Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Premature turkey chick with splayed legs

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:11 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:38 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
Hi - I'm a first-time incubator & had 9 healthy chicks out of 12 eggs (the other 3 were duds). However, the last hatched prematurely (2 dys early), after the shell was accidentally damaged. It was very weak with legs splayed out to either side. I tried fixing a little splint between its ankles to keep its feet in the right position & this enabled it to walk (well hobble) & feed itself etc. I fed it for several days on a mix of raw egg yolk, sugar & water through a syringe at first. The splint worked well except one leg kept turning around behind it. I altered the splint to hold the legs beneath the knees parallel & it hops & flaps around quite successfully. However, if I take the splint off, its left leg sits under it OK, but the right drags behind & it can't pull it around. It is now 2 weeks' old, fit & healthy in every other way, eating turkey crumbles, grass, clover & grasshoppers that my 4-yr old catches for it. However, is there any hope that it will ever be able to walk? I think that if it is never going to get any better, we may have to have the poor thing put down (it's called Bandy), as I don't want to see it struggling/ suffering & we can't keep it splinted in a cardboard box in the bathroom for ever! Grateful for any advice. Many thanks, Jenny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:44 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:48 pm
Posts: 82
Location: El Arish QLD
This happens to us from time to time too. We have noticed that it is more likely to occur if the incubator gets too hot. We always end up puting them down. Though they hobble about okay, it dose not get better and there would be no quality of life. Sorry I can't be more optimistic.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:29 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25485
Location: Albany, Western Australia
I'm afraid I agree with Sugar Farmer. If the splint is going to work it generally does so fairly quickly. This chick sounds as if it has another problem as well as the splayed leg.

Sorry. :(

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:30 am 
Offline
Discerning Duck
Discerning Duck
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:34 am
Posts: 1873
Location: drought or flooding rain with the random bushfire storm = yep thats about it for here
we had a gosling hatch WAY too early once and saved her - cant find the post and doesnt matter anyway as i digress

we have experienced this on occassion with our poults - always when the incubator gets too hot and never with a good outcome as to quality of life

i agree with Nelly G that his one has another underlying problem
it sounds as if it has the equivalent of hip displasia [in dogs] - I just cant think of the actual term for it in poultry atm

you have done well to get it this far but the outcome long term is not good
you have my empathy

_________________
not always right not always wrong but always prepared to meet on middle ground - Courtesy costs nothing yet buys things that are priceless
Breeder/Exhibitor = Orpingtons in Cuckoo, Black, Chocolate, Splash and Phoenix
http://www.thecuckoopoultrystudofaustralia.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:01 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
Hi - Many thanks to all for your replies. The prognosis is pretty much what I expected unfortunately. Don't think the incubator got too hot, but as I had more than one batch in there, I did run the humidity high at the end for the first lot that was hatching. I'll stick to one batch at a time in future. I think the hip displasia sounds about right as the bird seems absolutely fine otherwise, putting on weight & very perky etc. I shall give it one more week & then decide what to do.

Great information on this site by the way.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:24 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25485
Location: Albany, Western Australia
If it continues to get around allright on one leg and you are prepared to 'mother' it all its life, making sure it gets enough food and water, is safe from predators and not bullied by it's peers, you could give it a go. But bear in mind that as it puts on weight it may get more difficult for it to hop around. It really depends on your set up and the time and energy you have available.

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:03 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
UPDATE: Hi, thought you'd like to know that Bandy has been reprieved - at least for the time being. I took his splint off today & although his right leg is not working properly, his hip is facing nearly to the front & he can get around & uses the knuckles of his foot to walk on. I've moved him out to the large cage in the garage with 4 other babies for company. He's already larger than 2 that were born a couple of days before him. He's obviously not as mobile as the rest, but he's eating & drinking fine & I shall keep a close eye on him. The others seem just to have accepted him. I'm very relieved! I'm pretty sure that without the splint he would have been a goner. Cheers, Jenny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:13 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25485
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Well it is souonding somewhat hopeful! DO keep us informed of his progress, and good luck with him.

NellyG

PS Just had a thought. As the splint has helped his leg, perhaps you could try splinting the foot flat to see if that helps too. One method is to cut a piece of stiff card to the approx size and put his foot flat on it and stick it all over the top with really strong tape (like 1000 mile an hour tape), making sure it is stuck really well between his toes. Then trim off the 'shoe' just around the outside of his foot (not between the toes) so he has a sort of webbed duck foot. Then tape all the edges so that he is well held down. As with the other splint - leave for a couple of days and then remove to see if there is any improvement.

Might be worth a try!

Nels

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:27 am 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
Thanks for the advice Nelly. However, as his 'ankle' joint seems twisted around, I don't know if splinting his foot would help or not. I know he won't be able to roost very well, but since he'll always be on grass (hay at present), I hope his knuckles will toughen up & cope. If I get any future turkeys with the same problems, I'll be able to treat them properly earlier.
Cheers, Jenny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:25 pm 
Offline
Wise One
Wise One
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:53 pm
Posts: 2617
Location: SE Queensland
Hi Turkey Girl,

Great work that you've done so far, well done! I had one with pretty much the same problem. It hobbled around alright as a youngster but I found as they all grew up into large birds that it frequently got trampled and knocked over by the other birds. Im sorry to say I eventually put him down because I didnt think he had quality of life. He never really seemed to hold his own in the pen with all the others. Sorry to say this :(


Michelle

_________________
Sors ventus fortis...Fortune Favours The Brave


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:32 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
Hi Michelle - yes, I accept this is a possibility in the future. All I can do is monitor him & be prepared to act if he's suffering. Our pen is pretty large & I'm hoping to free-range these guys more since they are so tame, so he may be OK. He's happy at the moment & that's good. Cheers, Jenny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:30 pm 
Offline
Wise One
Wise One
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:53 pm
Posts: 2617
Location: SE Queensland
Hey Jenny,

I think he will be fine if you can free range them. I had to pen mine because i was worried about them getting into our crops. If he doesnt have to be worried about a crowd of his peers doing the all in brawl on him I think he will be fine :) Hope all goes well for you.


Michelle

_________________
Sors ventus fortis...Fortune Favours The Brave


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:18 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:25 am
Posts: 347
Location: Gympie
I was given six adult guineas and one of them had a bad foot that should have been splinted when younger but wasn't and by the time I got them he was already fully grown. He gets around so agilely, though, you have to look very hard at the feet to find him amongst the others.

He is neither at the top of the pecking ladder nor at the very bottom. He probably has a slight disadvantage when it comes to scatching the ground but when free-ranging the guineas mostly pick insects off the grass, so it doesn't matter so much.

Hopefully turkeys are similar to guineas and your one won't have a problem...

_________________
Crazy about Guinea fowl 'cause Guineas are crazy?
Kreyziy abaewt Giniy faewl koz Giniyz ar kreyziy?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:37 am 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Crabtree, Tasmania
Hi - after last 2 posts I'm feeling more hopeful about Bandy's future - thanks!

I have a confession to make. When I first asked for advice re Bandy, I had no idea that 'splayed legs' was a known term/ condition & was not uncommon in turkeys. Equally I had no idea that splints/ hobbles were regularly used! I had searched the site before posting, but had been looking under 'premature' & 'early' so hadn't found anything very useful. Yesterday I searched under 'splayed legs' & was increasingly humbled & astonished to find so much information & so many mad, dedicated people, splinting & nursing their babies! I thought I was the only nut!

Just a note re hobbles. We fitted a hobble first on Bandy to pull his feet under him on I think probably his 2nd or 3rd day after hatching. He was able to walk straight away but after a few days it was apparent that his 'knees' were very close together & he was sticking one leg in front & the other behind. That was why in the end, we stuck the lower portion of his legs onto shaped card to hold both his 'knees' & 'ankles' at the right distance apart & keep his lower legs parallel to each other. It was harder (but not impossible) for him to walk, but it did go some way to correcting the right hip displacement & twisted right leg. However, it was during this period that his right foot became more twisted! Poor Bandy.

I don't know whether we just didn't hobble him early enough or if we should have hedged our bets & put a more comprehensive splint (including 'shoes' for his feet) on him right at the start. I think in the future I'll be inclined to go overboard just to be sure. We reduced the stress on him during splint-fitting procedures by popping him in an old elastic sock (the sort you put on your elbow when it's sore) & he lay in there quite happily with eyes closed, with his legs sticking out the bottom! It held him fairly firmly & stopped his wings from flapping.

I've since seen on this site & others, the use of foam instead of card & also narrow orthopaedic boxes/ chairs. I feel bad that my ignorance meant Bandy didn't get the correct care from the start. I've got a new batch due on Friday so I'm all prepared just in case!

Many thanks. Jenny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:34 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25485
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Don't feel bad, Jenny. You are doing your best for him and who knows if a 'shoe' as well would have made any difference? You can't possibly learn everything there is to know before you start - everyone learns as they go. You have given him a chance in life, whereas before he had none.

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone