Tips If You Have Splayed Legged Chicks

I received a couple of tips if your chicks have splayed legs that I thought would be useful to share.

  • “Its my opinion from many years of hatching, that getting the splayed (spraddled) legged chick on 1/8 inch wire as soon as possible will correct most chicks with this defect. Keith”
  • “My wife has cured splayed legs in quail and chicken by tying the legs together with soft yarn. Like a pair of handcuffs a loop arond each leg just above the feet then joined in the middle. Tie the legs so they are parallel to each other.Not an easy task, but worth the effort.  We have had good results after only five days. The sooner you do this after the hatch the quicker the result. Trevor”
  • “Easiest thing to use is elastoplast. The normal finger ones with the lint in the centre are best. Just trim into thin strips and shorten a bit then apply between the hock and the feet. The centre lint is just the right length. You should only need to leave this on for a couple of days. Sallie” http://farmingfriends.com/splayed-legs-in-guinea-fowl-keets/
  • “If the method from poultryhelp.com is used to correct this problem using bandaids, rubber bands or pipe cleaners as a type of brace, the splayed legged chick should be quarantined to prevent other healthy chicks from pecking the brace. Keith”
  • “Always make sure new chicks have a non slip surface to stand on. Newspaper is too slippery. Towelling is ideal. Trevor” http://farmingfriends.com/litter-suitable-for-brooders/
  • “Splayed legs are typically caused by staying a little too long in the egg at hatching although other incubation problems can cause this to occur. Keith”

If you keep poultry or are interested in keeping poultry then visit the farmingfriends forum for the latest chat.

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Splayed Legs In Guinea Fowl Keets

Splayed legs are when a guinea fowl keets legs are not in line correctly but splayed out making movement and standing difficult.

Splayed legs can be the result of the newly hatched keets not being able to get a grip on the floor of the incubator or brooder and as a result the legs will spread out. It can also be caused when their is a good litter on the ground but the keet just struggles to stand due to being weak or because the feet are curled in.

If caught early the splayed legs can be cured by strapping or splinting the legs so that they come back into line. This can be done with pipe cleaners, elastic bands or probably best of all an elastaplast bandaid. A good resource to show this can be found by clicking this link http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html

In future you can prevent splayed legs by making sure that the litter you are using in your brooder has good traction. I tend to use chopped up straw to start with so that the guinea fowl don’t think that it is food like they do with sawdust.

If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

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Splayed Legs In Quail Cured

Sara, one of the farmingfriends visitors, contacted me for advice as 2 of her day old quail had a splayed leg problem. I sent Sara some information which suggested that she use a band aid to splint the legs. You can strap/splint the legs so that they come back into line. This can be done with pipe cleaners, elastic bands or probably best of all an elastaplast bandaid. I have found a great article that shows you how to splint the chick. Here is the link
http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html      

 

I was delighted to receive this email from Sara with great news,

2 Day old quail cured of splayed legs“Great success with the splay legs cure.  Highly recommend it to anyone who has similar problems.  Can’t thank you enough for the info.  Lost one chick yesterday, it hadn’t looked quite right but seemed active, eating and drinking although it did lay with its legs stretched out behind when sleeping.  This has been my first experience of quail chicks although I have had adults for 3-4 years and love them.  They are not as scatty as some people say, I go into my pen 2 – 3 times daily and they are not spooked though I have noticed that if a stranger walks up to them they are a bit more flighty.  If anyone wants a very dark quail cock bird I have one I would happily rehome as he does not like the white cock bird and is quite aggressive.  Would probably suit being on his own with just hens!  I may have to build another run and separate him out with a couple of hens of his own.  Anyone thinking of having quail – go ahead, their song is a delight and the eggs are much appreciated by friends and relatives alike.  A lovely change to take to a dinner party instead of wine!!!  Their needs are not complicated and they do grow to know you, mine cope with 9 dogs (4 labs and 5 terriers) and, as their pen is by the back gate put up with the dogs going ballistic at anyone approaching.  None of this worries them, just goes to show they adjust to most things.  Once again many thanks for the advice yesterday.  Attached are two pictures of the quail before and after splinting.  Will recommend your website to everyone. Brilliant! Kind regards” Sara I am delighted to hear that sara’s quail are better and that the advice about splayed legs works.

  1. we have just had five chicks hatch & one of them had splayed legsthanks to the help link we spooted & treated it quickly
    & as soon as you put plaster to hold legs together the chick manages to stay upright

    Comment by PETER UPSHAW – August 9, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  2. Hi Peter,
    I am delighted that your chick is now able to stand. It is great to hear that the information is of use.
    Keep me posted about your chicks.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

Splayed Legs In Quail

Splayed legs are when a chicks legs are not in line correctly but splayed out making movement difficult.

“I have 17 2 day old quail chicks and all seem well, eating and drinking.  2 of
the chicks have very splayed legs and are unable to stand.  How long should I
leave them before making a decision?  Is there anything one can do to help them
get their legs under them?” Sara

Hi Sara,

Thanks for your enquiry. Glad to hear most of your quail are healthy but sorry to hear about the 2 with splayed legs.

Make sure that the litter you are using in your brooder have good traction. I tend to use chopped up straw to start with so that the quail or guinea fowl don’t think that it is food like they do with sawdust.

You can strap/splint the legs so that they come back into line. This can be done with pipe cleaners, elastic bands or probably best of all an elastaplast bandaid.

I have found a great article that shows you how to splint the chick. Here is the link
http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html

I would recommend splinting the chicks as soon as possible to help their legs re-align.

Let me know how you get on and good luck.

Kind regards

Sara

I was pleased to receive this reply from Sara:

“Thanks so much for the info and the amazingly speedy response.  Will go and band aid the legs right now. Most impressed by the response.  How do I join your farming friends? Sara” Then this morning (Wednesday) I received great news about the quail, “Great success with the splay legs cure.  Highly recommend it to anyone who has similar problems.  Can’t thank you enough for the info.  Lost one chick yesterday, it hadn’t looked quite right but seemed active, eating and drinking although it did lay with its legs stretched out behind when sleeping.”

If you have any experience of curing or preventing splayed legs in quail chicks or any type of chick then please leave a comment.