We have a three week old brahma chick with what we think is a spraddle leg and we're wondering if there's anything we

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Customer: We have a three week old brahma chick with what we think is a spraddle leg and we're wondering if there's anything we can do to help her.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long has the chick had this splayed leg?
Customer: we've noticed it for the last week, but looking back at her earliest pictures we think she's always had it and it's more pronounced
JA: What environment do you keep the chick in? Does she interact with other pets or animals?
Customer: She is in a pen with two other chicks her same age
JA: What's the chick's name?
Customer: Lucky
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no other issues
Answered by Dr Adrien in 3 days 1 month ago
Dr Adrien
Pet Specialist

6,372 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Bird Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Avian Medicine, Poultry Veterinary Medicine

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is***** (she/her) and I’m a licensed veterinarian with experience in treating a wide variety of animal species, including birds

**PLEASE NOTE** I am ONLY available for text/chat - I am NOT available for phone consults. You may receive an automated offer from Just Answer for a phone consultation. If you choose this optional offer, you will be transferred to a different JustAnswer Veterinary Expert, this chat will close, and we will be disconnected.

I'm so sorry to hear that! :(

Splay leg (also known as spraddle leg), is a common congenital/developmental abnormality in newly hatched chicks. It can involve one or both legs, although it typically affects both, causing them to extend outward to the sides of the chick's body. The severity ranges from mild to severe, and often may take a couple of weeks until it becomes obvious.

There are a number of different reasons chicks can develop splay leg, such as:

  • Fluctuations during incubation: High humidity and/or any temperature fluctuations can cause abnormalities
  • Hatching-related: The temperature of the incubator while the chick was hatching was too high or low.
  • Inadequate diet for breeders: Chickens receiving "layer" feed do not get enough nutrients required for chicks to develop properly. There is an increased risk of malformations and vitamin B deficiencies in the embryos and hatched chicks who are the offspring of chickens fed a diet intended for "layers"
  • Improper floor surface: Growing chicks require a floor surface that provides them with adequate traction to move around, otherwise it causes their legs to slide out from under them and prevents them from developing their leg muscles properly, resulting in splay leg.

When splay leg is so severe that the chick is unable to walk, it puts them at high risk of starvation or by getting trampled to death by flock mates. These chicks will require supportive care and need to be temporarily separated from the others, at least until they are able to walk on their own again to be able to access water and food.

If splay leg is spotted early, hobbling of the chick's legs can often correct the problem. Bandages should be removed and replaced on a daily basis to allow adjustments for growth.

Thank you for your response. We did find a local vet to treat her.

Excellent! Oh that's wonderful news! :)

I hope she is OK and heals up soon! :)

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope I have provided the information you were seeking. If any part of my response is unclear, please let me know! It’s my goal to deliver excellent service, so please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favorite Expert. You have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction, or you can request me by starting your request with “For Dr. Adrien only” or use this link

Thank you for using JustAnswer!

Dr. Adrien

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Dr Adrien
6,372 satisfied customers
Pet Specialist
Dr Adrien
Pet Specialist

6,372 satisfied customers



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