Young One With a Gimpy Leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LaneyAngel, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    Today I was given a little chick, who I've since named Igor. (I don't know if its a boy or girl, but due to being named Igor, I will refer to as a male)
    He looks like he could be somewhere around 6 weeks or so I'm guessing, he is almost fully feathered, still barring a couple of tiny body sections where he still has baby fluff.

    He has gorgeous feathers, very long wings, lovely little tail...

    And despite that, I am utterly surprised and amazed he has survived this long.

    I went out to a farm to get some chicks, as they had an open day for buying, and a few other people were there.
    I was looking around, trying to decide which ones I wanted, as there was a lot of choice, and I saw this woman pick up this little black feathered chick that was resting on the ground. She placed it inside a barrel, hidden away. Her daughter asked her what she was doing, and she said she wanted to take it home and eat it.
    Mind you, this thing is small. It sits in my hand and is a perfect fit.

    So as soon as she turned her back, I grabbed it and took to carrying it around because I wanted to talk to the owner about it. When she saw me holding it, she asked if I would like to have it, as it had some problems getting around, and needed care.

    This young one just seems to have legs made of jello.
    If you sit him on a floor with a smooth surface, the legs just don't sit right, they can slip and slide every which way, so the little one can be doing the splits to the sides, to the front and back. It's really odd.
    Put him on a rougher surface, like a piece of carpet, or something with a bit more grip, and he can actually push himself to his feet and stand (not completely upright, but hey, his tummy is off the ground), he can walk (okay, so its more like a shuffle, but he's trying).... he eats, he drinks, in all respects other than his odd little weakened legs, he is perfectly healthy.

    I want to know if there is any way I can help him get his legs... improve the muscles... somehow. I'm keeping him inside at the moment, he has his own cage, with a roughened floor, so he doesn't have to fend for himself...

    What could also be the cause of this problem?
    How has he survived so long having this problem, when he was out in the yard with all the other chickens at the farm? How has he not been eaten, I have no idea!

    But he's utterly darling.
    When I first got him home, I wanted to see what his limitations were, and sat him on the pavers to see how he went.
    Not well, he toppled over sideways.

    I put him on the polished timber floor, his legs slip and slide.

    On the carpet, he can stand, on the dirt he can stand...

    But yeah, I just wanna know how I can help him get his legs, apart from just keeping him isolated so he doesn't have to fend for his food, and he's not picked on and all that.


    And PLEASE, I don't want to hear "cull him".
    The little guy is a fighter... he's lived this long all on his own, so I'm not going to do that. Surely there has to be something that can help him build up those muscles in those legs?
     
  2. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    Aww poor thing! I would try vitamins in his water. He sounds a little old to hobble his legs, but if you keep working with him on the carpet and dirt he might get strenght in his legs. The physical ed will get him stronger. I have read on here that many have had great sucess with these chicks! Don't put him on anything slick like newspaper.[​IMG]
     
  3. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    I'll try to get a picture of him in a little while...

    Yeah, I thought about taping his legs, like I heard people do, but not sure if he's too old for it...

    I'm going to get some vitamins tomorrow morning, as its too late at night now... but I've heard vitamins help...
     
  4. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    LaneyAngel - I have two chicks about 8 weeks old that each have one leg that is "gimpy" or bum. Last weekend I posted a couple of pics of one of them. Here is that post:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1890433#p1890433

    Hope this helps. We also decided that we would not cull them.

    I think that if I culled them, my wife and kids would cull me!!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    Quote:Yeah... I did think about that and give it a try anyway, mostly it makes him fall over.
    A LOT.
    And then he lays on his side cheeping coz he can't get back up again, so not much help there really.
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'd keep the legs hobbled anyway... eventually it'll work its way up and will develop the muscles to stay that way, then, after two weeks you can take it off.
     
  7. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    yep, keep it on. even though he falls down alot, that is to be expected. just spend some more time with him and try to get him to walk more. even holding up upright to help him get his balance helps. good luck with your baby! I'm sure he'll be up and walking with some time & patience!
     
  8. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    Ok, so I strapped the little ones legs again...

    Now that the legs are strapped again, the little one can push itself off the ground better than before. But not with straight legs, its like the legs are bent still, and he sits on his haunches...

    Tummy and bum are off the ground, with a little bit of leg going down to I don't know what you'd call it, the knees? Or, something... LOL. Where the upper part of the leg is, (to use vulgarity, the meaty part of the drumstick)...
    And then the length of the scaled part of the leg sits straight on the ground....

    When the little one realises that its legs don't do what they did before, OMG, he freaks out and starts trying to move around and ends up flip flopping all over the place.
    Not great to watch I can assure you.


    But will it help? Thats the question?
    If we can get over the terror of the legs being strapped, and all the constant falling over...

    do you think he'll learn to keep himself upright and not fall down?


    How can I help make the muscles stronger?



    I'm getting some chicken/avian vitamins tomorrow...
     
  9. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    So my little legless one has been on the vitamins for a bit on a week now I guess... since whenever that last post was.
    Am becoming sure little one is female, so will refer to as a she for now... LOL

    She was given an area on my heavily fenced in back verandah with carpet so her feet can grip it.
    And in the time, she's been coming good. One of her two feet has stopped curling on the toes and straightened out some.
    The legs are getting stronger, and in a rather wonky manner, the little one gets around its area, walking in a rather lopsided weird manner with the legs still quite far apart.

    But the incredible news is that the legs are now supporting the body, and she can put weight onto those spindly legs. She's starting to move.
    And the more she moves, the better she gets! [​IMG]
    YES!
     
  10. LaneyAngel

    LaneyAngel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Australia
    Chickens new nickname: "Drunken Bum"

    She WALKS, and when she does she stumbles around like a drunk... BUT SHE IS WALKIN!!!!!!

    *[​IMG]*

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] -- all hail the power of avian vitamins!!!!
     

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