Monday, 27 June 2011

Maran Chick : Fused Toes Surgery

Fused toes on a newly hatched chick can lead to other leg and balance issues if not corrected. The following photos and commentary come from keeping chickens newsletter subscriber Christina Raving of her surgery on a Maran chick with fused toes.

(May 6th) "This is one of my Maran chicks which was born on April 19, 2011. He is very well bred; he was the first one born from 8 Maran and 2 Buff Orpingtons which I’d purchased from a breeder in Roseville.

I called this chick “Lumpy” because he seemed to pop out of the egg in a hurry, and his head was misshapen. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get his bottom out of the shell, and started dragging it around the incubator. The next morning, I peeled the shell off of his abdomen before I put him into the brooder. His abdomen was still protruding with un-dissolved yolk, but he shaped up quickly.

I sexed the chicks three days later, and he was one of the males. Since he was the first out, he imprinted on me, and is easily recognizable as the biggest chick. Even at this young age, his tail seems to be erect and attitude very bold. I love to hold him while he snuggles under my chin as I sit at my computer.

Lumpy had a small defect, in that two of his toes were fused, which is related to the gene which gives this breed feathers on their legs.

I started the operation by trying to hold an ice cube on his foot in an effort to numb it. He is quite lively, but I managed for about 5 minutes. Then I dried and covered his foot with a Betadine- type solution.

I took an alcohol-sterilized pair of sharp manicure scissors and quickly made two snips to free the toes.

Then I lathered it with antibiotic ointment and put him outside with the rest of his brothers and sisters. He barely bled and did not seem stressed about the procedure at all.

When I brought the chicks in tonight, he acted no different from the rest, and his toe incision seemed well-sealed. I think he will be fine.

The only thing I would have changed was to use Ora-gel, the toothache pain reliever, as suggested by the breeder.

*Note: I later realized that I had some Lidocaine cream that might have worked to numb the foot as well. It is important to realize the merit of improvising in a home situation like this where you want to help your animal, but can’t afford to take it to a Veterinarian.

May 19, 2011: Lumpy continues to do well. His group is now outside and integrated with the flock, but Lumpy still recognizes me and nuzzles under my chin."


Dale said...

Way to go lumpy.

Flea said...

Oh he's DARLING! How is he doing now?

Allison said...

That's an adorable chick! I love Marans.

Snooglerat said...

It is probably best you did not use the Lidocaine on the wee one. I've read in numerous places any of the "-caines" are very toxic to chickens and can kill them.

Anonymous said...

Nice job with your minor surgery!

SCraddock said...

Any cream ending with caine that has pain relief is toxic and most likely will kill the chick. Good thing you didnt use the lidocaine