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Date Posted: 15:48:43 01/11/18 Thu
Author: D C T - friendly poultry orthopedist
Subject: TWISTED TIBIA IN YOUNG POULTRY
this is now published and copyrighted by PEAFOWL TODAY magazine (United Peafowl Association) complete with illustrations by D C T
TWISTED TIBIA IN YOUNG POULTRY
by D C TOWNSEND
It was around 2000, give or take a couple years, that I had a Spalding peachick named Firestone because at that time there was a brand of tire with that name that had a very serious defect and many tires were recalled. At that time I had plenty of experience treating crooked toes, straddle legs, and displaced Achilles tendons. If a chick was very young and treatment was done "right now or sooner" a complete cure was the result more often than not.
But there was one thing that haunted me and cast a shadow over the "Friendly Poultry Orthopedist". It took me a long time to even comprehend that the reason why a lower leg and foot pointed out to the side was a twisted tibia. It took an even longer time to learn what to do about it. Firestone was about two weeks old after being treated successfully for a few common problems and I thought that my work with her was complete. Then one day as I peered into the brooder I saw to my horror that Firestone had one leg pointed out to the side. This was certainly "twisted tibia" but not a displaced Achilles tendon because I could see clearly that the tendon was centered in the groove at the rear of the hock joint.
Even today with many cures done with my own hands and more done by persons who got instructions by email or at my website I have to ponder how the idea formed in my head. Perhaps I should have changed Firestone's name to Epiphany, Breakthrough, or Theodora. (Gift from God) because the idea was too good to be my own. So I share this gift with anybody that wants it.
1. I cut some sponge the right size to wrap around just one hock joint and taped it in place. I did not wrap the other joint. Note: It really does not matter which joint is wrapped but I usually do it on the good leg.
2. I brought the lower legs firmly together and taped them from below hocks to above the feet.
REMOVE WATER TO PREVENT TAPED CHICK FROM STUMBLING INTO IT AND DROWNING
3. Taping was done at bed time and removed in the morning so I named it "Night Taping".
I removed tape and sponge in the morning so that the chick could be active during the day.
4. Five nights of treatment completely cured Firestone.
Of course, I anxiously observed her for a long time expecting a relapse and having a hard time believing my eyes. She grew up to be a very beautiful Spalding peahen and lived around sixteen years. I did a necropsy finding an ovarian tumor about three inches diameter, yellow lesions on liver and a slightly enlarged heart.
What untwists a twisted tibia? The force is supplied by the chick's own muscles as it struggles against the "Night Taping". Doing the treatment at night and removing the tape and sponge in the morning so that the chick can eat, drink and walk during the day works very well for me. Sometimes more than five nights of treatment is needed for full cure. What do I mean by "full cure"? The chick will show no evidence of ever having had a twisted tibia. If you stop short of obtaining the full cure it is very likely that the tibia will twist again because being out of line causes pressure that forces leg to twist. It is very important to treat the chick while very young because the bones soon harden.
When someone puts a question on my website or sends me an email asking me how to treat a chick with leg pointed to the side I will insist on seeing a photo of the hock joint taken close up from the rear. Before sending treatment instructions I have to know what I am treating. If there is a displaced Achilles tendon it requires a different treatment. If both probems come together the tendon must be competely repaired first because "Night Taping" will harm a hock joint weakened by a displaced Achilles tendon.
The tibia (and fibula) are located in the piece that the Kentucky Fried Chicken people call the "drumstick". The leg bone above the tibia is the femur. The bone below the tibia is the tarsus.
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