What would you do to fix this chick's legs?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stone_family3, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her legs are kind of splayed and her toes curl under. She's 4 days old. Previous owner tried tying the legs together, but it didn't quite work. So I'm wondering if I should make the tie with bandaids and do the boots. Also how long would you keep them bandaged up?


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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    If its splay leg heres some info off a website:
    Splay / Splayed Legs & Treatment/s

    Now with being so many home hatchers and hobby breeders, splay / splayed legs in chicks is very common for the home incubator enthusiast, and it's worth covering one of the most common problems encountered when with hatching small birds/chicks.

    "Splay leg" can affect all bird species, but it has a particularly devasting effect on fragile little bird species. There are a few biological reasons why young birds develop splayed legs, and these have mainly to do with vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the parent birds. However, the main cause of splay leg is often the wrong choice of flooring in the incubator or brooder. When you use home made brooders set up in cardboard boxes, you should pay attention to the texture of the floor. If the floor is made of plain cardboard or newspaper, it could be that little birds will struggle to gain sufficient grip, and rather than walk as they intend to, their legs splay outwards, slipping on the paper. Most little birds will struggle with slippy flooring to some extent, but some have a real problem.

    If there is sawdust in the base of the brooder, badly affected birds will try and use the shavings to get upright but more often than not, they will just push the wood away, leaving them sprawling like a novice ice skater. Some will eventually get over the problem on their own, but the worst cases will develop misshapen legs which could lead to a life time of deformity. They sit on their bottoms with their legs out either side of them, and they will never develop the strength they need to walk normally.

    In a commercial situation, many of these splay legged birds will be culled, but for the smaller scale home breeder, there are a number of options to fix splay leg. The easiest way is to make sure that the chicks are kept on a surface which gives them enough grip, stopping splay leg from starting in the first place. Parallel corrugations always give a little bird some way of standing up, but in extreme cases you could even use a small section of carpet offcut, which little birds will have no problem dealing with.

    In extreme cases, active intervention is called for. The old fashioned technique of "hobbling" splay legged chicks sounds like a silly idea, but the results are excellent, and even the worst cases can be turned around in just a few hours. By taping the affected chicks ankles together, the legs are held at a natural angle in the hip joint. The "hobbling" restricts mobility, but it is amazing how quickly chicks learn to get about with their legs tied together, and the bones and joints set at the right angle to promote future growth and normal development.

    If you leave just enough space between the fastened ankles, most splay legged chicks will be able to stand with the hobble in place after a couple of hours, and after a day, they will be able to move around with surprising ease.
    If the hobble is too wide, you will see the legs begin to splay again, and if it is too narrow, the bird will have the tendency to lie on its breast with its legs stretched out behind it. Both of these outcomes are better than the sight of a crippled and immobile bird, but a little adjustment in or out will help even more. Keep an eye on the hobbled chicks and make sure that they can get access to food and water, then take the hobble off after 36 to 48 hours and you will be amazed at the improvements. It's a fiddly job, but if you're prepared to take the time and effort to do it, you'll see a real benefits.

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    Helpful How To Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnlj4mNBPFY

    How to Treat Splay Leg Yourself

    Splay leg, or spraddle leg, is a common deformity in bacy chicks. The most common cause is inappropriate or slippery substrate in the brooder. This causes the birds' legs to slide out, warping the legs natural shape. Left untreated, this can become permanent and prevent the birds from perching and walking normally. Splay leg in young baby birds can usually be corrected by fashioning a brace or hobble to realign the birds' legs.

    Things You'll Need / Can Use To Fix
    • Sponge
    • Ruler
    • Scissors / Knife
    • Plasters
    • String
    • Lolly Pop Sticks

    Our Instructions Of How To Fix:
      • Determine whether the birds are candidates for home treatment. Home treatment using a brace is most effective on very young birds, soon after the problem first occurs. If the birds are fully feathered, or have had splay leg for more than a day or two, you should consult an avian veterinarian rather than attempting to treat the condition yourself. Surgical correction may be required.
      • Cut the sponge to 1/4 inch thickness, 1 inch wide, and slightly longer than the affected birds' width.
      • Place the birds on the sponge, and use the marker to mark where the leg holes will be cut. There should be just enough space between the two holes to allow the birds' legs to extend straight down from the hips.
      • Pierce the sponge using the tip of the scissors or a knife to create slits at the locations you marked in Step 3. Make sure the slits are wide enough that they will not squeeze the birds' legs, but not so wide that the legs will slide around within the slits.
      • Gently insert the first two toes of the birds' feet into the slits. Pull the feet through carefully, making sure that the toenails do not catch on the sponge. Push the sponge up against the birds' body, so that the bottom of the sponge does not cover the leg joints.
      • Turn the baby birds upside down in your hand to make sure that the vent is clear and droppings will not land on the sponge. If the sponge extends directly under the bird's' vent, use scissors to carefully trim away that portion of the sponge.
      • Check the sponge several times a day and correct the positioning as needed. If the sponge becomes soiled, replace it.
      • Leave the sponge brace on the birds for at least a week. The amount of time it takes to correct splay leg varies depending on the severity and the age of the birds. If birds' legs are not straight after two weeks, consult an avian veterinarian.

    Tips & Warnings
    • Splay leg is easiest to correct in birds that are one to two weeks old.
    • If you have older birds with splay leg, it may be correctable via surgery. Consult an avian veterinarian for more information.
    • If more than a very small percentage of your baby birds develop splay leg, there is likely to be a preventable cause.
    • Use a brand new, plain sponge for this purpose. Do not use an abrasive cleaning sponge, or one that contains scents or cleaners. These could cause injury or toxicity to the baby birds.
    • Do not place baby birds with a brace back into the nest box with the parents. They may refuse to feed, or even kill, the baby.
    • Be certain the sponge is not squeezing the legs too tightly, as this can cause circulation problems and gangrene.

      SOURCE: Solway Feeders Ltd
     
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I booted and taped her legs together. Guess I'll just have to wait and see, she's a beautiful chickadee and she's got such a wonderful personality.

    If this doesn't correct itself would she be able to live a normal life?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  4. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How often should I change the boots/brace? Here is the chick currently, and they're eating/pecking and drinking just fine. I'm still working on finding her a box mate, but so far no luck :(
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