That Quail Place Forum

Raising Gamebirds => Brooding and Raising => Topic started by: HumboldtHoney on April 02, 2013, 10:30:18 PM

Title: Hatching issue (unable to straighten legs)
Post by: HumboldtHoney on April 02, 2013, 10:30:18 PM
Hello, I'm new to the group and fairly new to Japanese Coturnix Quail. My problem once in a while is a chick that hatches (or needs help hatching) but it is never able to walk correctly. it's legs seem unable to hold it up or it seems unable to straighten its legs without help. This isn't happening very often, but when it does, it seems to happen to chicks that aren't hatched soon enough. Is this whats going on? Please help. Thanks!
Title: Re: Hatching issue (unable to straighten legs)
Post by: Little Bear Game Farm on April 03, 2013, 07:26:27 AM

Others on here will know more but I believe it could be a humidity issue.  Although sometimes I think they just were not as healthy as the other chicks that hatched as scheduled.  Also, I've done what you like to do and have helped chicks hatch.  I don't think any of them have ever survived.  If they weren't strong enough to hatch on their own, they haven't been strong enough to make it.  There are some things that people try by rubber banding their feet so they don't stay spraddle legged but it has never worked for me.  Good Luck!
Title: Re: Hatching issue (unable to straighten legs)
Post by: RedOakGamebirds on April 03, 2013, 09:43:35 AM
Ahhh the famous spraddle leg issue.  Been there-done that.  Years ago my wife used to take over and attempt to help out every egg and chick that pipped the shell but never hatched properly.  It worked for some but not all of them and the ones it did help between her and the kids the bird wound up being a pet that I couldnt use in the end as it was either a permanent handicap of some sort or either so tame it would come to you.  Regardless if you dont raise them for that purpose then helping them would be just fine I suppose.  For anyone else the culling of the problem chicks is usually the way to do it.  The strongest survive and the ones that dont were meant to be that way.  Most spraddle legs Ive seen are born that way usually the ones that are helped out of the shell.  They positioned wrong before hatch sometime during incubation.  Other factors are too low/high humidty are even possible the genes of some birds.  When incubating always remember to quit turning the last few days of incubation so the chicks can ready themselves in the correct position and get the humidity high enough for them not to dry out during hatch.  When incubating pointed end is always down.  If you have some that are pipped and you are determined to help them be sure you are doing so AFTER the alotted time of incubation.  Chicks dont always hatch together.  Some are delayed by two or even three days.  If the majority of them hatch today, some hatch tomorrow and one or two are still chirping and cant get out by day three then they are probably either positioned wrong or dried out in the shell.  A cause for the drying is probably low humidity by opening the incubator every time a chick is hatched.  Try opening it once or twice per day no matter if the chicks are ready or not to avoid the humidity drop.  It wont hurt them to stay in there.  They dont require food or water for a couple days anyway but when you take them out you need to start them on food and water.  The chicks injest the sac which is how they can survive the shipping process so long without food and water.  If you have another incubator handy move the troubled ones over to that one so you dont offset the process in the hatching incubator.  If you are like my wife and kids then every hour youre out there with the top open.  Gently misting the eggs during hatch works too if youre humidity isnt perfect.  Spraddle legs is hard to fix to begin with but not impossible if you have the time.  First off remember no slick surfaces such as newspaper.  Paper towels work fine.  For makeshift brooders we use the plastic liners that you put in drawers to keep things from moving around.  A roll is cheap and can make several brooders.  When you clean it daily just soak it in a bucket of water with soap and bleach and let air dry and use it over and over again.  Some people use rubber bands my kids prefer bandaids.  Also take some medical tape and tape the legs closer together but not tight enough to lose circulation or so them cant walk.  If you google that you can come up with dozens of ideas on taping it.

Perhaps others will chime in on the subject.  Do some searches on here-alot of great information.  The chat has been slow for awhile but hopefully it will pick back up.

Title: Re: Hatching issue (unable to straighten legs)
Post by: slider on April 04, 2013, 11:58:05 AM
I do not help birds hatch. Because there is a reason that they did not hatch on there own..and its usually bad...
Title: Re: Hatching issue (unable to straighten legs)
Post by: HumboldtHoney on April 05, 2013, 03:43:56 PM
Thanks for the great replies!!! I keep mostly everything as you all have stated..but it does seem to be that the ones that cannot hatch out on their own (but not all of them) are the ones with difficulty walking..How weird is that?! maybe its that little extra ...push that they put pressure on those teenie legs to help them to stand. There have been a few that have needed a little bit of moisture on them to help them pop out and they have grown up fine. Its hard to know that there is a little life that cannot come out on its own and accepting the fact that if I dont help it to hatch, it will die. I know that is nature and natural, but its hard accepting it anyhow. I have a new place to nose around in! This is a big site with tons of awesome info  :laugh:
So one more time..thanks for the replies !!!