Duck, Goose & Chicken Hatchery

Spraddle Leg

Spraddle leg is caused by a day old bird being on too smooth a surface after hatching. This could happen in the hatcher, in the box in which it was shipped or in its brooder. The legs go out to the side and will never recover without your assistance.

The first thing is to put them on a surface that is rough and on which they can get a grip. No newspaper, cardboard, plastic or metal. Straw, shavings or some other absorptive, rough surface is ideal. Then you must bring the legs back to their natural position and hold them that way to allow the hip joint and ligaments to heal and strengthen.

One ideal method is to take a 3/4" band aid and cut it lengthwise down the middle. Put the pad part between the bird's legs and wrap the adhesive end around the leg and on to the pad. This keeps the legs the proper distance apart. Normally within a day or two, the bandaid will fall off and it is no longer needed. But watch them as you may need more applications. If you don't have bandaids, you can also use string, rubber bands, masking tape, etc. The key is to bring the legs back to their natural position.