Treating Pigeons with Spraddle Legs

Spraddle Legs is a condition caused as a result of a newly hatched pigeon not being able to get good footing in the hatcher or brooder right after hatching.  The photos here are of a Silver Spangled Hamburg chick that hatched in a GQF Sportsman and jumped out of the tray and tried to walk around on the tin foil in the bottom of the incubator for 36 hours.  It’s legs were unable to get a grip on the surface and so have slipped out to the sides.  This condition is usually correctable if detected and treated in the first few days.  The idea is to immediately give the pigeon something it can walk on (paper or cloth towel, wire mesh, etc) and assist it in keeping it’s legs under it until it gains strength in it’s legs.

Although the examples here are of the hamburg chick the treatment can easily be adapted for pigeons.

Spraddle Legged Chick

A 3/4 in. bandaid makes an excellent prosthesis, because the “pad” in the middle is just the right width to keep the chick’s legs the correct distance apart. but you can also use string, yarn, masking tape, etc. Cut the bandaid in half lengthwise to get the correct width.

It may take two people here. One to hold the chick and the other to tape it’s legs. Here’s what it should look like when it’s finished.

The legs are the same distance apart as the gauze pad in the bandaid.

Right after applying the bandaid, the chick can already remain upright, even though it’s legs are still weak and it’s sitting on it’s hocks, and not using its feet. It’s getting used to the idea of standing erect.

The same chick the following day. Standing Up!!

If the pigeons legs haven’t gotten too weak, the adhesive will usually give out about the same time the pigeons is walking and no longer needs it.  Keep an eye on it and if the bandaid lets go and it still isn’t walking on its own, apply another bandaid. We’ve had to do this four times in some cases.
Once you have successfully restored a pigeons ability to walk, you can proudly add “PPT” after your name:   Pigeon Physical Therapist!

Article and photos curtesy PoultryHelp.com

See also Spraddle Legged Pigeons

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