Curled toes in chickens is a relatively common issue that can affect baby chicks. Curled toes will look pretty much just exactly what they sound like.
The chick will have toes that are curled under or to the side on one or both of it’s feet.
If you are incubating your own chicks, you will likely notice the curled toes right when you take the chick out of the incubator. Although, chicks can develop them after they have moved to the brooder. Chickens with minor curled toes can do fine without treatment. While chickens with majorly curled toes can have issues walking and will need to have their toes treated.
What causes curled toes in chickens?
Curled toes are generally caused by the same things that can cause splay or spraddle leg. Some things that can cause curled toes are:
1. Slippery surfaces.
2. Too much room in the incubator.
4. Vitamin Deficiency.
5. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity during incubation.
The first two causes can pretty easily be prevented. Make sure that your chicks have a textured surface (like paper towels or pine shavings) to walk on when they hatch and during brooding.
Also, make sure that there is not significant room in the incubator during hatching.
You can try to prevent injuries by keeping a close eye on chicks, but sometimes accidents do happen. For example, if chicks get too cold and huddle on top of each other this can sometimes cause injury that will result in curled toes.
How to treat curled toes in chickens?
The treatment of curled toes is pretty simple and very inexpensive.
Supplies to treat curled toes in chicks:
You will need two small pieces of cardboard and a bandaid, tape, or vet wrap. You can use really any kind of cardboard. We like to use the cardboard from a notebook since it is easy to snip a few pieces off of and it is thin and easy to work with. However, you can easily use cardboard from food packaging, a box or anything else you have around.
Process to treat curled toes in chicks:
1. You will want to make sure that your cardboard is cut so that it is just slightly bigger than the chicks toes. The cardboard will look like little chick sandals.
2. Place the chicks foot on top of the cardboard and arrange it’s toes so that they are straight.
3. Wrap the toes onto the cardboard with the tape, bandaid or vet wrap so that the chicks toes are secured in place.
4. Leave these cardboard “shoes” on for a few days until the chick holds it’s toes properly on it’s own.
Any questions? Please drop us a comment below!