Weak chick with splayed legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by diamondsilkies, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    (Edited title to match the new diagnosis, used to be "Chick having trouble adjusting to leg brace")

    I had a hatch of several chicks this past weekend. One chick seemed to have a moderate splayed leg from hatch, but I've had chicks in the past who looked like they had splayed leg but just had trouble getting on their feet. I let her dry off in the incubator before putting her in the brooder with her hatch mates and some two week old chicks that they've been getting along with very well. This afternoon, I noticed she was still having some trouble, so I rigged up a brace for her with a piece of cut straw and a small hairband.

    Ever since I put it on her, she's been having trouble standing. She'll stand for a minute or so before slowly falling over onto her side and laying there with her legs sticking out. She has lots of trouble getting up from this position, and will just lay passively on her side while her siblings stumble over her. I tried moving her out of their direct path, but that stresses her out and she begins to cheep loudly. I've done this splayed leg thing several times before, but have never had this outcome. I know she'll only have this brace for a couple days, but I'm worried about her not being able to get to food and water, or her getting trampled by her siblings. I suppose I could separate her, but she's one of those chicks that just panics without her friends.

    Anyone else have experience with something like this? Will she eventually adjust? I'll try to get pictures/video later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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  3. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    Update:
    I moved the chick (who I've since named Junebug) into a little box with two of her smaller/gentler friends for company. I was getting worried about her being squished by her bigger siblings.

    She doesn't seem to be doing much better, and I'm very worried about her being able to eat and drink. I've placed her right next to the food dish, and keep dipping her beak in the water. However, I'm not home from 7 AM-4PM, so I worry that she's not drinking enough while I'm gone. She's so light compared to her friends, and doesn't seem to want to do much besides sleep.

    When I got home today, she was laying directly underneath the light and breathing very fast, heavy breaths. I moved her to the edge of the box, where the other chicks were hanging out, and hung the light a little higher. After some water, her breathing slowed to normal pace.

    I will try the chick chair for a couple hours this evening and see if that helps her at all. If anything, it will give her better access to food/water. I also noticed two little red sores on her legs, one on the back of each joint. I got some pictures, so I will upload those in a minute.
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  4. LillyCalkins63

    LillyCalkins63 In the Brooder

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    Hey, I just wanna warm you I tried the hair and straw trick. It was honestly a terrible idea for my chick it cut off some of the circulation, and luckily I noticed fairly early. I have been having issues with that type of stuff, but here is a link of what some people told me yesterday for mine and pictures of what the rubber band did. Hope the issues I had with my chick can help you good luck.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...p-legs-need-help.1291832/page-2#post-20981989
     
    diamondsilkies and Eggcessive like this.
  5. StefanThunder5

    StefanThunder5 Hatching

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    Feb 12, 2019
    Does she seem to be in pain?
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Red sores on the back of the legs at each joint sounds like slipped tendon. You can try splinting those - you may find the links below helpful.

    How is she doing? It sounds like she overheated? I would first get her hydrated, then offer her a wet mash of chick starter.

    It would be good to get some Poultry Nutri-Drench and give her a direct dose of 1-2 drops per day. I would also crush 1/4 tablet human B-Complex and add it to her feed daily.
    Look forward to seeing the photos, hopefully we can offer you more suggestions.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/peachick-with-slipped-tendon.1092979/
    https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry
     
  7. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    Thank you for all the helpful tips. I used a soft hair band to prevent cutting off her circulation. I took it off today and her legs seemed to be doing better.

    However, her overall condition has worsened quite a bit and I'm worried she's not going to make it. She's entirely skin and bone, and I can't get her to eat. At this point, she'll barely open her eyes, and isn't drinking very much either. For now, I've taken the splints off because I'm worried that they're causing her more stress than good at this point. If she recovers, then I will work on fixing her legs, but for now I'm focused on keeping her alive and as happy as possible.

    If anyone has tips on getting her to eat, I could really use some. I don't know if it's an issue of appetite or strength. I will give her some Nutri Drench and try dripping some water into her mouth. Just to clarify, I should give her 1-2 drops of pure Nutri Drench per day, correct?
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  8. LillyCalkins63

    LillyCalkins63 In the Brooder

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    How old is this chick, and maybe read up on feeding it a hard boiled egg all mashed up to maybe help it get some nutrients too. Just an idea not for sure.
     
    diamondsilkies likes this.
  9. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    She was hatched Feb. 10, so about four days old at this point. She seemed a little weak from the getgo, and unfortunately I think my attempt at fixing her legs started her downfall. I gave her a drop of Nutri Drench (mixed with just a little water because I was worried about overdosing her). If I could just get her to peck at something, some boiled egg would definitely be beneficial, but I just can’t get her to open her eyes, much less eat. I wish I could stay here, but I have to leave the house for a couple hours, but we’ll see how she is when I get home. Hopefully I can get some food in her then.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Unfortunately, some chicks fail to thrive due to genetic abnormalities. The legs are just one symptom of this. When there are outward signs of genetic flaws, there are likely inner flaws, as well. In other words, your chick may not be eating because it lacks a developed digestive system.

    This is why Nutri-drench is so important to start as soon as possible when a chick gives indication of underdeveloped systems. There's a chance it can give the chick the boost it needs to finish development. Give the chick one drop twice a day. Too much can give it diarrhea.

    As for the legs, there's a narrow window after a chick hatches where it's possible to correct leg abnormalities. If you wait until the second week, the outcome may be less successful.
     
    Eggcessive and Wyorp Rock like this.

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