Young guinea tip-toe walking

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by twoquinns, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. twoquinns

    twoquinns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2012
    We have 7 keets about 10 weeks old. Two weeks ago I noticed one of them sort of tiptoeing when it walks. It spends most of its time perched or hunkered down in their pen, but when it does walk, it doesn't use its whole foot--and this is true for both feet. I have no reason to think it's not eating or drinking, as it comes to the dish when I bring treats of mealworms and millet. It just seems to be painful to walk so it chooses not to do so. I've been adding vitamins to their water for the last two weeks but haven't noticed any improvement. They get a mix of chick and gamebird starter/grower. Any suggestions or thoughts as to what the problem might be?
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PeepsCA is better suited to answer this problem, but if it seems painful for the guinea and can't be fixed (that's where Peeps' advice comes in), I'd recommend euthanizing. Difficult but probably best for the guinea. Good luck.
     
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't had this issue with any of my keets, but it may be a tendon/hock issue that is causing the bird pain every time it tries to fully extend it's legs to walk. The hocks may be inflamed/swollen. If that's the case... there's no cure, and as JLeigh mentioned euthanasia would be what is best for the bird. It's already in pain and it will only get worse as the bird grows/puts on more weight. It will never be able to free range or keep up with the rest of the flock... and most likely a predator will pick it off quickly if it's not kept in the safety of a pen. (I know putting a bird down is a difficult task to deal with and I sympathize with you for having to deal with this, but living in constant pain and stuck in a pen is not a life I'd put any of my birds thru... [​IMG])

    Before you put the bird down tho, be sure to do a thorough check of all of the toes and the bottoms of the feet, making sure there are no injuries, infections, splinters/thorns etc that could be causing the bird to walk abnormally.
     
  4. twoquinns

    twoquinns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've checked the keet's feet and legs and don't find any wounds or anything. I tried massaging its feet and it didn't react as if it was painful. I can't discern any swelling or inflammation anywhere. I've let them have the entire barn for several days now to see if exercise will make it any better, but it hasn't seemed to. But it still comes quickly when I put in treats, and every now and then it uses its entire foot. But mostly the tiptoeing continues. It looks mostly like it doesn't want to put its heel down. I'm sure it's not considered a heel on a bird, but you know what I mean.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have done everything you can for it, aside from taking it to an avian vet to get checked out. If it doesn't appear to be in pain, and is growing and eating fine, then I'd just see how it does... if it seems to be in pain or it's being excluded from the rest/left behind then you'll need to decide if that's the kind of life you want for the little bird or not at that point. The rest of the flock when mature may decide it is the weak link and ostracize/pick on it to the point they run it off and will not let it be part of the flock... which may make it extra vulnerable to being taken by a predator. Guineas can be huge bullies to the weaker ones or the ones they perceive as a threat/danger to the flock (weak link).

    Best of luck, post an update if anything changes.
     
  6. twoquinns

    twoquinns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, nature seems to have taken care of the problem. Sometime between 6 p.m. Monday when all the guineas went to bed and 8 a.m. Tuesday when I went out to let the stragglers out (there's a window to an open-topped run from the barn, so most of them let themselves out in the morning,), Tiny Tim as we had dubbed him (of tip-toe through the tulips fame) disappeared. He had been getting around the yard o.k. with the other keets, sometimes spending time with just one other juvenile, presumably to get some rest, but mostly hanging out with all of them learning how to be a guinea. I never saw him getting picked on or anything, so I have no idea what happened. Most of the guineas spend the night perched on the top of the run walls or on the branches inside the run, so maybe something picked him off, but we've never, ever had any others taken at night. Maybe in the morning after they let themselves out to roam something was able to get him, but we didn't hear any extra yelling by the others. So long, Tiny Tim. Hope you enjoyed your short life as much as your physical limitations would allow.
     
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about that twoquinns. It's always sad when we lose a member of our flocks. [​IMG]
     

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