Appalachia Chickens

The Chicken Momma is a Healer too

Today’s post was written by Chitter.

growing chickens

Growing chicks

As you know I’ve been raising six small chickens in our basement. It has been almost a month now, hard to believe how big they’ve gotten!

I have four brown chicks and two yellow ones. About a week ago I noticed the smallest brown one could not walk well. I was afraid she’d somehow broken her leg and that there was nothing I could do.

I was worried the chick was in pain so we started researching and luckily we found an answer.

Since this chick was fine for the first week or so I suspected one of the others was probably playing a little too rough and the littlest one got hurt. Turns out she had something called spraddle leg or splayed legs. This condition can happen to chicks standing on slippery surfaces when they’re small, causing their legs to repeatedly fall out from under them and dislocate their hips. Or it can happen as they hatch.

I learned that because a chicken’s tissue and ligaments grow so fast as they mature, it can be reversed.

After watching a video on Youtube, I put a brace on her legs (a band-aid cut in half long ways), said a little prayer, and hoped for the best. I isolated her and a buddy in a box in my room so that she could heal. For several days all I heard was “chirp chirp chirp” and I didn’t sleep much. 

The idea is that tying the two legs together will force them to be straight allowing the ligaments to tighten up in the right position.

I woke up one morning and the band-aid had fallen off, and the chick was walking like normal. Boy was I glad! I re-introduced her and her buddy to the others, and it was as if nothing had ever happened. 

The chicks get wilder by the day. I expect we’ll have to move them to the chicken pen within the week.


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  • Reply
    May 9, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Congratulations Doc Chitter for a job well done! I have no doubt the prayer helped also. Good job.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Awww so glad the little chick is all better…..with a little help from her friend:)

  • Reply
    May 8, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Isn’t it wonderful the way a little help at the right time can change a life?
    A similar method works for chicks that have crossed or crooked toes – using a piece of bandaid to tape them in correct position to a little triangular piece of card.
    I once had a friend come over to tape a piece of padding inside a baby goat’s ear when the ear had suddenly folded up and stopped flapping in unison with the other ear. I held and distracted the goat while my friend did the taping – goats always want to see what you are doing, so it was a two-person job! In just a couple of days the ear was back to normal. I always wondered if it would have healed itself without help, so years later when another kid had a folded ear I left it alone – and it’s still folded. Darn it! There’s nothing wrong with it, and maybe it keeps some of the mosquitoes and black flies out of that ear, but I still with I had taped it like I did the other one. Live and learn!

  • Reply
    Glenda C. Beall
    May 8, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Love this post.
    Chitter, it is well written. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Jeff Loflin
    May 7, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Hatched out about 16 chicks 1 year and one of the chicks could not walk it was just laying on the ground so I went out about 10 times a day and held it in my hands and put the beak the water and the beak in the food several times and after about a week the little chick could walk and hold her own with the other chicks. Success story Carson City Nevada

  • Reply
    Allison B
    May 7, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Love the chicken stories! glad all is well.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I have 19 new girls that can be moved in 2 weeks.They are fun to watch.I had a baby chick years ago that I did the same thing with.I also have 3 hens that just turned 12.I get an egg every once in a while.Have fun

  • Reply
    Patricia Small
    May 7, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I’m so happy to hear your chickie is healed! I once saved my son’s Piranha fish by walking it through the water and forcing water through it’s gills. It survived for many years after.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 7, 2020 at 9:41 am

    And Chitter, I agree with Miss Cindy, you’re a real Farm Girl and I’m impressed. You write just like you’re Mama.

    I got a new addition to my family, Keva had a boy, to go with the othern. It starts with a “K”, born on Jennifer’s Birthday and weighed almost 8 pounds. Jennifer is tickled to death. She now has 2 boys to go with all them Girls. …Ken

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 9:21 am

    The prayer may have helped more than the band aid.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 9:04 am

    I’ve got a feeling those chickens will never make it to the dinner table. That’s the first time I have heard spraddle leg in years. I always heard it called spraddle legged and it was normally used to describe a persons legs, not a chickens. Good to know it’s not just one of those words Mom was known for making up.

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    May 7, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Way to go Chitter. I am impressed. I was always the one that thought I could fix anything. Sometimes I was lucky and sometimes not. Be proud.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Very impressed with this. I am at a loss for words on this ( rare for me) because that is such a great act of kindness for this tiny little creature. Perhaps it would do all well to raise and care for a tiny chick. In this age where it seems we encourage traits such as strong ambition and excelling in sports, it is refreshing to see such a mix of kindness and ingenuity. Thank you Chitter, and I look forward to more of your posts.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 7, 2020 at 8:01 am

    I know you will be good to your chickens and have fat happy layers.
    Seems like I always get off on a tangent. I was building a raised bed the other day not far from a large bush when a hen came a tearing out of the tall fescue, I checked around the bush and she had a nest. I checked on her a couple days later and there was so many feathers scattered around I knew she had been eaten. I checked on the other nest by the bamboo and there were a few feathers but she got away. I got word from my neighbor that he heard his chickens cutting a shine night before last. Now there is one less fox.

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    May 7, 2020 at 7:23 am

    Way to go Chitter….lovin’ on those wee chicks.

  • Reply
    sheryl paul
    May 7, 2020 at 7:09 am

    That is impressive. Gr
    Eat job

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 7, 2020 at 6:32 am

    That’s pretty amazing Chitter. I’ve watched you take care of that little girl and as a result of your care she is healthy now. Your a real farm girl now and I can tell that you like it!
    I am very impressed!

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