Chick has foot problem

gardengal19June 17, 2011

Hi ! My chicks are about 8 weeks old and one is having a foot problem. Only one foot is looking shriveled and she can't walk. I think she was fine yesterday but, something happened overnight and now she can't walk. What can I do to help her?

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Eight weeks is kinda old to be having foot problems like you'd normally see at hatch, hmmm...

Are they outdoors and running on grass/dirt, or indoors or in a brooder still? Are they getting daily sunlight? They need sunlight for vitamin D and to avoid Rickets.

Is there a chance she injured her foot? Does she put any weight on it at all, is there any evidence of an injury (especially a crushing injury since you say it looks shriveled)? Pick her up and place your finger under the foot--can she grasp your finger with the foot?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:15AM
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gardengal19

Velvet - I think I figured out what happened to the chick's foot. She must have got it caught between two branches that had narrow spacing. DH cut off one of the branches. I should have known better.

Do you think she could have pulled it out of socket? I think she is getting better all on her own. She tries to walk now. I did soak her foot in some Epsom salt solution. How long should I hold her in the foot bath?

The coop - "Peeper's Palace" - is actually a pre-built shed with 3 windows and a double door entry. DH built an interior wall and door with chicken wire so we can open the solid doors during the day. The chicks can get morning sun through that door. The opposite wall has one window for cross ventilation. He cut a chick size doorway near the corner of that wall so the chicks can go out to their courtyard. They can get afternoon sun on that side. But, I put a sun shield over half of it. So they can have some shade and still be outside if they want. He insulated the walls and covered that with bead board. Then, he painted it antique white and laid down some linoleum on the floor for ease of clean up. There are pine shavings all over the whole floor. I think the chicks like it a lot.

I will check her next time to see if she can grasp my finger.

Thanks for posting, Velvet.

-gloria

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:48PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If you are worried about it being dislocated, you can GENTLY check to see if it kinda flops around and turns in unnatural angles (compare it to a non-injured chick's leg). I'd be more worried about a break in the thighbone myself...not a lot you can do for something like that.

Give her a chance to rest & recover, soaking her foot in the warm water (warmth is good to speed healing, it increases circulation which in turn carries inflammation away) for a few minutes every day. If you need to make a warm compress for the feathered part of her, don't use a wet one, you don't want to soak her feathers and give her a chill. Be careful not to burn her, chickens have thin skin. I would try and keep her from jumping up/down from things like the roost until she recovers if you can.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 4:16PM
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gardengal19

The chick can limp around but, she does not jump up to the roost. She lays inside a cardboard box I have turned on it's side. I think she feels protected in there. Sometimes I carry her over to the food feeder and to the water. But, she can do it by herself.

Now that she can limp around - I'm wondering if I should bring her back into my house and put her and maybe a companion chick in the vat I used when I first got the chicks. That's the only way I know for sure that she isn't trying to use a roost. Maybe I should just let her be. She stays sitting most of the time.

I checked her foot - and she can grasp my finger. I never noticed before, but chicks have pretty fingernails so to speak.

Time for me to lock up the 'palace' for the night.

-gloria

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:18PM
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