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Crooked Toes

Bent Toes

Crooked toes (CT) is a skeletal disorder affecting chickens that is characterized by the curving or curling of one or more of the toes due to a deviation of the phalanges, which gives the foot a crab-like appearance. One or both feet may be affected, with severity ranging from mild to severe. If the condition is caught early on, it can often be corrected, although even without intervention, chickens with crooked toes can live normal lives.

However, depending on the severity, chickens with crooked toes are more at risk of developing bumblefoot and therefore daily physical exams should be performed of their feet.

Symptoms

Bent or crooked toes
Curled toes
Walking or resting on hocks

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam

Treatment

Corrective grow-with-me sandal: If the deformity is caught early on, when the chick is still growing, trace around the chick's foot on a piece of paper using a pencil.
Using coffee stirrers, pipe cleaners, wooden skewers or other similar material, cut to the length of the chick's foot, as if it were it's normal appearance.
Secure the pipe cleaners (or similar-like material) to the toes of the chick using Vetwrap or duck tape (even normal tape would work). It should be snug but not too tight, as you don't want to cut off circulation in the chick's foot.
Secure the cardboard (or similar-like material to the bottom of the chick's foot and to the pipe cleaners.

Prevention

  • Ensuring chicks are raised on a surface other than wire or of slippery material.
  • Feeding a balanced diet

Scientific References

Good Overviews

Blogs

Age Range

Newly hatched chicks are at risk of developing crooked toes

Risk Factors

  • Inadequate incubator conditions
  • Eggs were stored for too long prior to incubating (greater than 10 days)