Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I would never believe it if I didn't see it happen before my very own eyes. The little chickie with the not-so-little spraddle leg, curly toe problem has made a full recovery! I really thought he wasn't going to make it. And then another one was stricken with the same issues, and I became disheartened for awhile. Splinting them both multiple times each day, only to have the splints fall (or pecked, as the case may be) off within 30 minutes. Watching them spastically move about, unable to stand. Picking them up throughout the day to dip their beaks in water...

Lamenting the sorry state of affairs, I (skeptically) offered them water with a sprinkling of vitamin packet solution dissolved in it and gave them a reduced protein feed of 18.5% rather than the starter feed containing 23%. I decided to give it a week before deciding exactly what to do with them. Two days went by with no noticeable improvement. Then on day three, I thought they might be moving about just a tad more gracefully. I didn't get my hopes up, though, and was just grateful that at least they didn't seem worse.

And then another day passed and another. And each day they stood taller and for a longer time. Their legs were wobbly, but straight! And their toes uncurled! I continued my regimen, minus the (now deemed by me to be horribly worthless) splinting, cheering them on, happily changing out their miracle water which had been covered in pine shaves because they were actually scratching at the ground! Can you imagine writhing around on your belly one day with your legs completely unusable, and then greeting the morning with an upright posture, taking the first steps of your life? I can't help but think there's a kind of "amazing grace" type allegory in this tale. For now, I will just say: It really is nothing short of amazing.

Why, hello. You'd like to be released from sick bay now, I see? Oh, good for you. I'm so happy to see you've actually been able to hop out of your brooder box! Nevermind the poo you've left all over the floor. We'll clean that up later. No need to thank me. Here, have some more water!


  1. I've had splayed leg chicks that we've fixed by using a hobble between the legs (no small feat as you well know) but never had any with curled toes. Glad your chickies made a recovery; will have to remember the vitamin water thing next time we get any funky-legged chicks.

  2. What a wonderful turn of events! Yay!

  3. That's wonderful news! Was this a vitamin pack specifically for poultry? I had a chick with a neurological problem - head curved down and under, only able to move backwards and in circles, violent head spasms. I kept her separate, nursed her night and day (what we won't do...) and now she's the bossy-pants of the group. It makes your heart lighten, doesn't it?

    1. Hi Susan! Yes, I found it at the feed store for a few bucks - "performance poultry vitamin pack" - and I made sure to get the one containing riboflavin. They have an amazing ability to heal, those chickens!

  4. You are a good chicken mama!

  5. Wow, that is great! I'm glad to see the little one out and about and standing tall! :)

  6. When my daughter (graduates high school this Saturday) was eight, she begged me to buy a pitiful, half dead chick at the Feed and Seed. It also could not walk, and she spent about a week and a half spoon feeding water, uncurling his feet and helping him walk. Finally, after three weeks...success! She named him Miracle...when it came time to write her college entrance essay...She titled it "I believe in Miracles", told the story of her chicken and how love, patience and perseverance can help you accomplish your dreams! Club footed chickens hold a special place in my heart.

  7. So great to see this! Going to put this vitamin packet thought in my memory bank.


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