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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I incubated and hatched 2 mourning doves abandoned by their mother. The first hatched 7 days ago and the second less about 24 hours later. Both have been eating Hagan Tropican formula that I have raised my pigeon on prior. They are eating well and appear healthy and strong. After a few days I noticed squab 1 unable to sit up, and I will note seems to be much more jerky when trying to feed (unsure if that's just being a baby or possible neurological issues). It lays on its side with its legs extended and normally grasping its own feet. It has mobility and I have been exercising twice daily but so far no progress in being able to keep them retracted. It does have strength to push back on my hand.
Squab 2 sits and can adjust and everything appears 100% normal. Neither have fallen or otherwise been injured to my knowledge. They are kept in the incubator in a small tissue-lined container. I try to keep squab 1 propped upright as much as possible.

I cannot find any info other than splayed leg but this appears to be the exact opposite.
I tried to roll up a tissue to about cigarette diameter to place under the squab, and vet wrap around the body to keep the legs apart but it was causing stress and I will wait to try again later. I can supply more photos if helpful but here is a comparison to its sibling, and a few other pictures. Please let me know if there is a name for this and how/if I can help.


Symptoms:
Lays on right side
Legs extended, sometimes shaky
Neck/head seemingly shakier than normal for feeding compared to sibling
Feet clenching each other

Positives:
-energetic
-normal appetite and digestion
-no known injury or difficulty hatching


Thank you!

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The tissue is probably too slippery for them. Try a soft blanket rather. Are you able to open up the toes? If so, you can make a small shoe and gently tape the toes in the correct position. There are a lot of info online reg baby chickens with this problem. Normally associated with a vit B2 deficiency, but you are raising them on formula so they are getting all the vitamins they need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I changed their bedding to a more grippy paper towel. But I believe I found the issue. Its left ribcage appears to be extended outside of his knee not allowing it to retract. Can I wrap his body in hopes of pulling the bones together like a corset? I've tried gently manipulating the leg over the ribs but am afraid of dislocation.
The right side doesn't have this issue which is probably why he favors the right side to lay on. Please see the video in the link:
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Can I wrap his body in hopes of pulling the bones together like a corset?
They need to be able to expand their bodies around their air sacs. Is the rib/knee problem likely to resolve as the bird grows larger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They need to be able to expand their bodies around their air sacs. Is the rib/knee problem likely to resolve as the bird grows larger?
I very loosely wrapped a 1/4" wide piece of vet wrap around his body under his wings. This first attempt is mostly to acclimate the bird to the feeling but is maybe 5-10% compression. Basically just enough for it to stick to itself and not come off. I'm hoping to progressively apply a little more pressure to at least stop the ribs from getting worse. I don't know if it can be naturally fixed without this intervention. Currently no signs of stress or labored breathing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE:

The squab slipped out of the first body wrap. Fortunately I haven't noticed the ribs protruding so severely and it appears that the leg can contract. However it still clenches its feet together and lays on its side unable to balance.

I created a foam saddle with vet wrap straps to keep it in place and expand the hips. So far it has been about 30 minutes and the squab is calm and still in place. It can still move and lift its body up for feeding and general movement. I hope this will help normalize movement and balance over the next few days. Will re-evaluate over the next few hours to see if the squab can stay in this position overnight.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Likely Final Update:

The harness was a success! The first stint in the harness was about 6 hours. The squab ended up freeing himself so I let him rest for the remainder of the night and following day. He was strapped back in the following night. Overall time was about 24 hours. Once removed he was able to stand for about 20 minutes before getting tired and leaning on his side again. A few hours of rest later he was back up and fully standing. I actually mistook him for his sibling because he was standing and flapping for the first time. I've provided rough dimensions for the harness/saddle incase others may be helped from it.

Some notes:
  • The vet wrap straps were 5-6" long and about 3/16" wide. The front straps were annoying him so I trimmed them to about half width at the ends to not touch his neck/head as much.
  • Make sure straps are under the wings so they can still move and exercise.
  • Make sure head strap is loose enough to accommodate for a full crop. Front strap is less critical but still needed to keep the bird from stressing.
  • I pressed both straps together in the middle to keep them from slipping off. Appeared more comfortable as well.
  • Make sure the rear straps keep the legs tucked up against the harness and the front strap keeps the toes flat.
  • Place a "bib" between the bird and the harness when feeding so it doesn't trap food/moisture against the skin
  • Can easily be scaled for an older bird but be careful with a younger bird to not dislocate hips.
  • Make sure there is a significant sized base so the bird cant flip over.

I appreciate the feedback and support. Please let me know if you have any questions. Hopefully this helps others.


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