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#1 2012-04-17 01:27:08

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Leg Troubles

Last year I had quite a few crooked toes with my EO's that I hatched.  This year my first hatch I have had to cull two chicks already, first one was walking around on it's hocks it hatched that way.

Just did the second one yesterday it looked like it's leg was dislocated at the hip.  Now I find number three his foot is starting to go in the opposite direction at the hock.  I am just wondering if anyone has had this many leg problems with their EO's.  I hate having to destroy chicks it breaks my heart to do it but will not see it suffer long term with it.  I have never with any breed of chicken have such issues as this with legs.

The second and third chicks hatched fine and this seems to come about as they mature :( 

Just wondering if anyone else has had the same problems and or what would cause this, maybe a weakness in their gene's???  :huh:

Thanks!!

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2012-04-17 01:27:08

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#2 2012-04-17 02:38:57

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

I was researching an article the other day, someone emailed me with a question and I read there were about 4 factors, nutrition of the parents, hatching temps, and some others, flooring, etc

Here's another list, I can't find the page it's from here http://successwithpoultry.blogspot.ca/
1. Incorrect settings at the incubation stage (or an unreliable incubator)
2. Slippery floor surface in the brooder once hatched
3. Nutritional deficiency when growing.
4. Hereditary

BUT check this out! This is interesting too and more scientific, high temps.....glycogen forms in the muscles as the high temps make the chicks grow faster than the egg can take in oxygen, on page 3 it says

"incubation profiles affected all these bone and leg health parameters, indicating that independently of strain, incubation may have a stronger effect on leg health. The elevated incubation profile caused a high incidence of splayed legs at hatching independently of the strain."

http://www.worldpoultry.net/chickens/br … -9251.html

My splay legger was late hatching Lav Amer, that BP was just heavy I think and is fine now.

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#3 2012-04-17 02:40:36

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: Leg Troubles

FRF I do think it is genetic. I have  been thinking about making a post of the troubles/ diseases that people are seeing in the EOs to track their vigor. I wondered though if people would want to post or feel better with PMs. Just looking at a way to keep track of what we are dealing with ( or not :) )

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#4 2012-04-17 02:44:13

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

I just reread your post Paula.  I think splay legs or hip problems is one thing and bent toes is another, that may not be related to each other.  I think the bent toes and maybe joints that develops over time is more likely genetic than the splay legs/hips at hatch. 

I just don't understand why we haven't had any bent toes/legs on EOs yet.  Diet/care/housing the same, the odd weeks timing different that's all with shared eggs that others have hatched bent toes one with.  Who was it that said it could be nutritional, was it a poultry judge?

Good idea Susan.  They are susceptible to Fowl Pox, though no worse than any others.  I remember the Ameraucanas and I think it was Chanteclers never showed one spot!

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#5 2012-04-17 03:18:54

ipf
Member
From: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Registered: 2011-08-29
Posts: 168

Re: Leg Troubles

bent toes are DEFINITELY sometimes incubator temperature related. Don't know about the hip things.
And for the record, I think public info-sharing is a good way to go, re vigour.

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#6 2012-04-17 03:31:10

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: Leg Troubles

Dr Crawford said it could be nutritional in the parents

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#7 2012-04-17 03:54:27

Island Girl
Member
From: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Isla
Registered: 2011-07-06
Posts: 1403

Re: Leg Troubles

My last two Gorrias with this hatch were both splay legged, the last also with turned in feet. I hobbled their legs and gave the last one fancy tape shoes but they were in tough shape so I dispatched them today :sick: so not my favorite part of this journey! I just knew there would be issues with their legs when they were slow to hatch. So were they slow to hatch because of their genetic make up (which includes splay legs) or did they get splay legs because some incubation issue made them hatch last. If that was the case why did all the others hatch out so timely and with such nice legs? I'm leaning more towards it being a genetic fault of the breed because of the small gene pool and I'll bet with time it becomes less frequent as the the pool to draw from gets larger (further apart). Just some of my thoughts on the subject. What do the rest of you think?

XOX Monika

extended length of hatching time (12 to 24 hours) may cause the heat stress that triggers higher incidence of splayed legs.

The above excerpt is from Claire's second link  http://www.worldpoultry.net/chickens/br … -9251.html   I never thought of heat stress being an issue but this one line make a lot of sense to me. The longer the eggs takes to hatch the longer it is exposed to heat and therefore splayed legs occur. BUT why did the chick take longer to hatch, that would not be something that I would want to perpetuate. Very interesting!!

Last edited by Island Girl (2012-04-17 04:07:38)

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#8 2012-04-17 09:36:24

gubi
Member
From: Walton
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 1344
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

I see the twisted feet/ bet toes in every hatch.  I seem to be getting close to 1/10 chicks with it in the EO's.  I don't get any in my other breeds.  The hocks and splay legs I have had in the silkies, BLRW, and EO's.  I think that comes from the chick pushing so hard against the shell and causing injury to itself. 

One of the differences from my hatches to Claire's would be that mine hatch on day 21 and Claire's always hatch early?


Herd of Brown Swiss, a few sheep, red cuckoo basque, Silverspangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben, ameraucanas(EE), Welsummer, broodie silkies and a few more heritage hens

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#9 2012-04-17 12:04:21

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Leg Troubles

Well all good and interesting points. 

The first EO chick that had the swollen hocks was either one from my birds or another source that I had incubated in the Hovobator.  The EO eggs in the Lyons incubator was from another source and that's were the current chicks with the troubled legs came from.  I legged banded them so I would know who came from what incubator hatch. 

I feed the same medicated chick started that I have been purchasing for years.  Their bedding is wood shavings either pine or cedar.  I have been hatching chicks for many years and I have never seen this issue with any other breed.

Now the EO eggs that were in the Lyons starting hatching on day 20 and it was actually an Easter Egger that hatched first on day 19.  I still have to have a look at the links that Claire posted.

Well I am at least somewhat relieved that you others have had the same things happen, I just really hate dispatching chicks :sad:

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#10 2012-04-17 21:03:31

Maggiesdad
Moderator
From: Louisa County, Virginia
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 1980

Re: Leg Troubles

I agree with ipf, stay public with the problems.

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#11 2012-04-21 00:05:46

ChestnutRidge
Member
From: Western Virginia
Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 251
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

I had my little one with a slipped tendon.  I have never seen that before in any other chick or breed.  It is supposed to be nutritional but only happen in older chicks.  I did find some people with silkies who had the same thing, so :huh: .

There's a good site about poultry leg issues here: https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia … y-podiatry
Slipped tendons here: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseasein … or-perosis

The best I can figure, this is what it was.  Something was definitely slipping in and out of the joint, and the hock was very swollen and eventually infected.  The bottom of his leg was turned sideways.

My curled toe chick was the under cover Orp.  It was from swap eggs where 1/4 arrived broken in shipping (leaking box), then one was broken by a broody sharing her nest, then they were washed and stuck in the incubator, so I'm thinking "incubation conditions" for that one. 

:( The other 19 chicks were okay, except my chick who just weakened and died in one day.  Nobody else showed any symptoms, and it's been two weeks now.

Last edited by ChestnutRidge (2012-04-21 00:06:53)

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#12 2012-04-21 01:10:32

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Leg Troubles

Very interesting Heather.  The last one I culled yesterday sounds very similar to yours with the sideways turned to the bottom of the leg from the hock.  I am assuming yours was an EO as well.  So I feed the chick starter medicated so I am just assuming it has the ingredients to help prevent perosis.  It's the feed I have used for years but maybe with EO's they need a little extra as far as vitamin supplements???

Thanks I think you are onto something!!

Last edited by Flat Rock Farm (2012-04-21 01:17:15)

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#13 2012-04-21 13:51:50

Amblecroft
Member
From: Millbrook, Ontario
Registered: 2011-08-03
Posts: 448
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

Sorry to hear about your chicks' legs Flat Rock. That must be awful to dispatch a chick.   
The articles about the incubation temperature and all the individual information is very interesting though.  I've only had 3 EO batches hatch.  All have hatched early, the temperature reading in my Hovabator Incub. always reads on the low side (I don't think I've ever seen 100 in either of the two thermometers I use), and I have not had any deformities.  Just one chick with a very slight head bob, which it still has.


Susan Buttivant at Amblecroft,
Chaparral Pyrenean Shepherds and Petits Bassets
http://www3.sympatico.ca/chaparral/amblecroft.html

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#14 2012-04-21 23:18:40

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Leg Troubles

Well am just trying to figure it out that's why I posted this subject.  The chicks in question came from one source so I am not sure if it is just coincidental??
I have another batch of EO eggs in the incubator so hopefully I won't have any problems.

Yes Susan it is horrible having to dispatch chicks, one of the worst things I ever had to do.  Ask poor LL she had to do one last week, it is very hard but necessary at times :sad:

Last edited by Flat Rock Farm (2012-04-22 15:30:00)

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#15 2012-04-22 13:32:21

ChestnutRidge
Member
From: Western Virginia
Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 251
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

Yes, it was an EO with the hock issue.  He had the problem from the beginning, so maybe the breeder birds need more supplementation if it's not just a genetic issue.  I wish I could hurry time along (just for this - not for all of the other parts of my life!) so that I can see what I get as a next generation and if I see the same issues or if it was just a fluke or flock-specific problem or if it is the EOs in general.  It's good that we are keeping a record here.

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#16 2012-04-22 15:29:44

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Leg Troubles

Well CR the source of you EO's and the one's I have been having issues with are from the same source, that's why I asked to see if there was a connection.   Thanks for answering me that, good to know.
I know I have only started on second generation with my birds this year and so far no problems with what I have hatched from them.  The chicks seem to be feather quality and leg colour right, so I guess I have my breeding pen selected pretty good. :thumbsup:  Will see how they mature.

Last edited by Flat Rock Farm (2012-04-23 12:02:33)

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#17 2012-04-23 04:26:20

jonesfamily
New member
Registered: 2012-02-24
Posts: 2

Re: Leg Troubles

In my first hatch of 15, I had two with hip or knee displacement, and at least 2 more with bent toes. A few odd things about it:   all the affected birds are roo's, and all have the yellow skin/shank trait- In fact, all of my yellow skin roos have some sort of joint issue, and none of my white shank birds have an issue, nor any hens. Perhaps a coincidence as i am working with small numbers, but wanted to throw it out in case anyone else was seeing similar correlations.

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#18 2012-04-23 09:42:06

gubi
Member
From: Walton
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 1344
Website

Re: Leg Troubles

Hi Jonesfamily welcome!  My chicks with twisted feet were mostly roosters too but I had white and yellow legged affected.  It affects larger chicks at hatching because they have less room inside of the egg and male chicks are a bit larger then female.


Herd of Brown Swiss, a few sheep, red cuckoo basque, Silverspangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben, ameraucanas(EE), Welsummer, broodie silkies and a few more heritage hens

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#19 2012-04-23 12:01:56

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Leg Troubles

Welcome jonesfamily!!  Well the two I dispatched with the leg problems one was a cockerel and the other a pullet and both had white legs so I don't know of leg/shank colour has anything to do with it or not??  I have had curled toes before and occurred in both sexes but did seem more predominant in the cockerels.

I think CR is still onto something as to the breeding stock making sure they are supplemented with the minerals and vitamins to prevent perosis, which this displacement of hip and hock which this may be caused from.

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