Brown Egg Blue Egg

Never Give up

by Michele Kruszynski
edited by Kate Stanford
Some of you might know this story and some might not. I figured it was worth telling again anyways.

Back on October first, I hatched out some Silkie chicks from Lydlo on Out of the 6 eggs I set, 4 hatched. 2 lived, and 2 died after pipping. These are the 2 babies that hatched.

The Two That Hatched

Two Weeks Spraddle
After hatching, the darker chick on the right began to have some spraddle problems with her legs.

She would fall down and hold her leg far out to the side. She was never quite good at walking or holding herself up. My vet was out of town with a conference and his sub had no chicken knowledge. So I was faced to deal with this alone and with all of you. This is her at 2 weeks.
I came on, sought out info on spraddle and, since I had previously treated a chick for spraddle, I thought this would be a piece of cake. So, I bandaided her.

I went out of town about 2-3 days after bandaiding her.

I left her care in the hands of my neighbor who looked in on them a few times during the day. I came home to find that she had wriggled out of her bandaid and in doing so, broke her leg. Her leg was literally dangling when I picked her up.

Bandaid Baby

Bandaid Baby's Leg Is Broken
I came on here and searched for answers of how to help her and yes, I searched other chicken websites too. The answer I heard from many was "Cull it, it'll always have a problem, its not worth the effort, etc..."

I found one website that talked about making a sling for the baby to dangle in while the leg healed. 2 weeks was supposed to be the time she spent in her sling. Here she is in it.
Of course, anyone thats raised chicks themselves, knows that its very hard to tell a now 3-4 week old chick to stay still and in this sling for her own good. This didn't work for me.

She flopped around and was literally miserable. So, I contemplated culling her and meanwhile I had set her in the brooder with some other chicks. She was happy. She DRAGGED her broken leg behind her and over to the food and water where she ate and drank.

Meanwhile everyone is telling me, "the pain alone will kill her." So I thought, "If this little bird can drag herself to eat and drink, she's not giving up and neither will I."

Hmmm but how to heal the leg. I went to pour some milk and the gallon jug was empty. I held it and stared at the plastic handle. WHOA!
I can cut off this handle, cut a slit down the side of it and tape it to the baby Silkies leg! So that's what I did.

And still this little one dragged the cumbersome "splint" around on that bum leg over to eat and drink when she saw fit.

Here she is doing so.

Bandaid Baby Drags her Splint
I talked to Wes and told him what I was doing. He said to leave it on for about 2 weeks. In that time, she continued to eat and drink and try to dust bathe with her brooder mates.

Bandaid Baby No More!
My vet came back to town and said, "Bring her in, I want to see how she's healing." I took her in, showed him my milkjug handle "splint" and he xrayed her. He was stunned and so was I, she was healing perfectly and able to move the leg again and it was NO longer dangling! So he said another week for sure.

So by now, she was a month old and the date was November 5. This is her after the splint came off...
She kinda gimped around when it first came off, but she was weak and her leg was bald. I told everyone how she was doing and, on another chicken site (I won't mention names), they told me "she'll never walk normal or be normal and you'll never be able to show her."

Yea, ok! Uh huh.

I'm proud to say she's made a COMPLETE recovery! By looking at her run around the coop, dust bathe, jump over things and on top of things, you would NEVER have known her leg was dangling beneath her 2 months ago.

Yes, she's almost 3 months old now.

Here she is today.

Brown Egg Blue Egg