What causes legs to outwards?


12 Years
Aug 7, 2007
near ottawa ontario
Almost every time i hatch out chickes. There is a least one or more that has legs that go outwards. SOme will be just the one legs or the two legs. It is usually right out of the shell. I have paper towels down ...Is there something i am doing wrong during the incubation period?Or is it after hatching? I am a little bummed about. Because the ones with the two legs where it cant walk. I have to do away with it . SOme just dont recover right from it.
Somewhere on BYC there is a thread with great pics of how to treat "spraddle leg". Do a search for spraddle leg, all it take to fix it is a Band-Aid. I've never had to do it, knock on wood, but it seems to work!

Good luck!
Well, the pics have been deleted.

But I did find a link to this :

Whenever I have a chick with spradle legs I put them into a tiny container (rubbermaid) just barely larger than the chick and put a paper towel or toilet paper cover over the top held on with a rubberband. I usually do this as soon after hatching as possible and leave them in the incubator anywhere from 6 to 12 hours., checking on them periodically to make sure they are ok and to reposition them if necessary. I also put a piece of rubbermaid rubber shelf liner in the container on the bottom. By putting them in a tiny container it keeps their legs under them with no way to go out to the side and the cover makes them push up to exercise their legs but they cannot get out of the container. I have a cabinet incubator and the bottom tray has a lid. I put the newly hatched chicks in the tray with a towel to stand on. This is not slippery and helps their legs not slide out from under them.
Thanks alot. I read the link and looked at the pic. I had to do 3 of them I hope i am not to late. As they hatch 3 days ago. But i am hoping. So far they can stand with the bandaid. GReat idea. I think next time i am using shelf liners the rubber ones in the incubator next time.

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