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Date Posted: 18:33:37 05/14/08 Wed
Author: Trina
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: straddled legs
In reply to: Rhonda 's message, "Re: straddled legs" on 15:55:45 05/14/08 Wed

Yes, I'd definately recommend non skid shelf liner, it works wonders for straddle leg, helping the chicks feet grip & stopping the legs slipping out to either side.
As for treating straddle leg once it's started it can be difficult and fiddly. The 2 main treatments are the hobbles, doesn't sound like you've had much success with the tape hobble, the other alternative is darning thread, which is very fiddly. I've had success with this method. The trick is to give enough slack between the legs so the chick can still walk, but close enough to stop the legs sliding apart. And you also want to be careful not to tie the thread too tight, firstly so it doesn't cut off circulation & secondly so you can remove it easily afterwards without hurting the chick. I'd recommend not using cotton as it can cut into the skin or chafe, but something softer like darning thread etc. Any extra advice about the best ways to do this, just post. Another method I have heard of but never tried is a foam type hobble, whereby you take a little tiny rectangle of foam, cut 2 holes in it wide enough apart to hold the legs in the correct position. You then pop the chicks feet through the holes & the foam block holds its legs closer together, again, stopping them sliding apart. With all these methods you have to keep a close eye on the chick, as you've discovered if they fall over they sometimes can't get back up & can easily exhaust themselves to the point of death whilst struggling to right themselves.

One last thing, straddle leg is often caused by curled toes, if the chick has curled toes it can't grip on the floor & its legs slide outwards, causing the straddle leg. Has your chick got curled toes? If its feet are curled up into little fists then that needs to be treated either alongside the straddle leg or before treating the straddle leg, otherwise you're fighting a losing battle. If your chick does have this problem too then let us know & we can advise you in detail what you can do to cure this.

Hope this has helped, please let us know how you get on, it's always nice to hear what methods people do or don't have success with, & of course we'd love to know how your little chick fares!!

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