If you have a chick with just one leg affected and it can get around you can just leave it alone. Some will get along just fine like that in life.
This is from the www.poultryhelp.com site:
|Spraddle Legs is a condition caused as a result of a newly hatched chick not being able to get good footing in the hatcher or brooder right after hatching. The photos here are of a Silver Spangled Hamburg chick that hatched in a GQF Sportsman and jumped out of the tray and tried to walk around on the tin foil in the bottom of the incubator for 36 hours. It's legs were unable to get a grip on the surface and so have slipped out to the sides. This condition is usually correctable if detected and treated in the first few days. The idea is to immediately give the chick something it can walk on (paper or cloth towel, wire mesh, etc) and assist it in keeping it's legs under it until it gains strength in it's legs.|| |
Spraddle Legged Chick
Spraddle Legged Chick
(looks like me ice skating)
A 3/4 in. bandaid makes an excellent prosthesis, because the "pad" in the middle is just the right width to keep the chick's legs the correct distance apart. but you can also use string, yarn, masking tape, etc. Cut the bandaid in half lengthwise to get the correct width.
It may take two people here. One to hold the chick and the other to tape it's legs. Here's what it should look like when it's finished.
The legs are the same distance apart as the gauze pad in the bandaid.
Right after applying the bandaid, the chick can already remain upright, even though it's legs are still weak and it's sitting on it's hocks, and not using its feet. It's getting used to the idea of standing erect.
Back in the brooder, here's the one that was just treated on the right and another awaiting treatment on the left.
The same chick the following day. Standing Up!!
|If the chick's legs haven't gotten too weak, the adhesive will usually give out about the same time the chick is walking and no longer needs it. Keep an eye on it and if the bandaid lets go and it still isn't walking on its own, apply another bandaid. We've had to do this four times in some cases.
Once you have successfully restored a chick's ability to walk, you can proudly add "PPT" after your name: Poultry Physical Therapist!
Good Luck !
Here's some information and pictures from www.feathersite.com:
Slippery surfaces can cause spraddle leg, where the legs slip out to the sides and the chick can't stand. If not cured quickly, the chick will die or need to be put down. Fix the surface to create good traction and hobble the chick, using yarn or pipe cleaners.
The left picture shows a hobbled pheasant chick -- the hobbles could bring the legs in a bit more than shown, so they go straight down from the body, like the Silver Polish chick on the right
Photos courtesy of Nancy's Hideaway (left) and Julie Bushnell
Another problem that can appear in new chicks is that of curled toes. Sometimes this is genetic, but often it's a result of some problem in incubation/hatching. In this case, if done in the first few days, before the bones harden, the toes can often be splinted and thereby straightened out.
Splinted toes (using pipe cleaners): Before (well, During) and After
Photos courtesy of James and Kathy Caldwell
This is another style of toe splint -- but I'd cut it to be smaller, more the size of the foot.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Rizzo