3 weeks ago we put 12 chicken eggs into a friends incubator. They are Castilian Blacks and were supposed to be the start of my flock of eating chickens. Yesterday we went to collect our chicks. Only four had hatched.
... and one of them appeared to be disabled with one leg stuck out at an angle. We took them home and put them into the brooder and hoped that the one with the wonky leg would survive.
This morning there were two of them flat on the their bellies with their legs splayed apart unable to walk. Something was obviously going on. A quick search on the internet (I can't imagine life without this amazing tool!) gave us the answer.
The surface they are walking on does not have enough traction and their legs are weak and can't support their bodies and so they give way. The cure is to splint the legs together in the correct position and then hope that the birds get stronger and recover.
So... we gave it a go.
A strip of plaster is attached to each leg with the padded bit in the middle. We popped the chicks back into the brooder (now with some rough matting on the floor) and watched.
To start with they rolled around a bit like bowling balls unable to get their balance but within a few minutes both birds were hobbling over to the water and the food and were standing upright. We are watching them very carefully and all fingers are crossed for a full recovery.
Oh and if one of the chicks turns out to be a cockerel we may just name it Cock Iam!