CROOKED TOES & SPLAYED LEGS
How to Fix the Problem
Crooked & Bent Toe
This problem can occur in Chicks that are late hatchings, to high or low incubation temperature and or low humidity during incubation.
To fix the problem you will need to make a “Toe Brace” (see fig1) it is recommended you use a “Chenille Stick” (aka Pipe Cleaner) 3mm x 300mm white in colour (other colours may attract attention of other chicks) you will then need to bend the Chenille Stick to the shape shown in fig1 cutting off the excess. Apply the “Toe Brace” using Medical Cloth Tape - Clear (Johnson & Johnson) you will need to tape each toe to the brace making sure the toe is completely straitened out. You must tape all toes to the brace, even those not bent to ensure success and to avoid damage to the toes not affected .If the chick is under 48 hours old leave the brace on the chick for 24 – 48 hours only, then carefully remove the brace. You should find the problem has been resolved, however in some cases you may need to re-apply the brace for a further 48 hours but this is rare, if the chick is under 48 hours old. If the chick is over 48 hours old then you will need to leave the Brace on considerably longer up to 7 days or in extreme cases 14 days but you will need to remove and re-fit the Brace regularly to allow for growth.
This problem usually occurs in chicks unable to grip to slippery floors in Incubators or Brooders, but can occur from growth within the egg or low humidity during incubation.
To fix the problem apply a Splayed Brace to both legs as per (FIG 2) using Medical Cloth Tape – Clear (Johnson & Johnson) make sure the tape is bonded to itself between the legs with no sticky area showing. If the chick is under 48 hours old, leave the Splayed Brace on for 48 – 72 hours only, then carefully remove the brace making sure you remove all the tape from the legs. You should find the problem has been resolved, if however the chick still has the problem, re-apply the Splayed Brace for a further 72 hours. If the chick is over 48 hours old then you will need to leave the Splayed Brace on considerably longer up to 7 days or in extreme cases 14 days, but you will need to remove and refit the Brace regularly to allow for growth.
Note: It must be noted that in some cases, chicks with Crooked – Bent Toes can straiten without applying a Brace within 48 hours of hatching, however the longer you leave it the longer the brace will need to be applied. The sooner you apply either the “Toe Brace or Splayed Brace the better the result in less time. Both problems are quite common in the United States, but not in Australia due to the larger number of Peachicks hatched in the U.S. Breeders in Australia may see an increase in these problems as the number of Peachicks hatched in Incubators increases annually