worth a thousand words


    Wonder what frostbite looks like? Maybe you suspect scaly leg mites. Could it be you are having trouble sexing your guineas or chickens? Or possibly you are curious about the 5 toes of silkies and showgirls. It might take a thousand words to explain some of these things so here's hoping these will help.


click on pictures for larger view


Wonder who laid it?

Guinea Guinea

Guinea  vs Silkie

French vs regular Guinea

guinea.JPG (26367 bytes)

guinea size.JPG (26617 bytes)

guinea  silkie.JPG (32553 bytes)

twofrenchonestandardegg.jpg (557977 bytes)

left VERY large

Turkey vs Peafowl Ostrich  Emus Emus vs chicken mixed chicken

double yoke pea egg.JPG (38519 bytes)

peaturkeyeggs.jpg (59755 bytes) 

 picking six eggs.jpg (57994 bytes)

emu2.JPG (43667 bytes)

emu1.JPG (42569 bytes) brownvsblue1.jpg (53807 bytes) 


  BB Red

First egg/silkie 



Dark Maran.JPG (67743 bytes) 

bbredq.JPG (58172 bytes) 

tinyq.JPG (39299 bytes) 

silkieq.JPG (57797 bytes)



Fertilized Eggs



eggs2.JPG (93832 bytes)

eggs.JPG (121859 bytes)




frostbite~the black areas show the damage

frostbite on wattles

frostbite is seen with taller combs and wattles that can hang in water when drinking

frostbite.jpg (47680 bytes)

frostbite2.jpg (24986 bytes)

buddy.jpg (41836 bytes)


Decayed feet on an 8 week old chick

feet1.jpg (49431 bytes) feet2.jpg (39651 bytes) feet3.jpg (39968 bytes) feet4.jpg (74467 bytes)
This chick has been raised on wire, with a heat lamp  on the top of wire. The cage was in a draft free outside barn.   Temps did dip down in the - digits wind chill                      feet5.jpg (48756 bytes) feet6.jpg (39968 bytes)

could this possibly be another case of frost bite? feet are leathery looking and feeling, Chick can still stand. upper part of leg is normal and warm to touch.


Five Toes


mobf_hen_feet.jpg (67878 bytes)

Five toes are one of the special characteristic of silkie chickens. The fifth toe splits off of the fourth inside toe. 


Keets Hatching

Turn on your sound and listen!


Orthopedics for fowl


Many of us have problems with curled toes, crooked feet and splayed legs. A fowl friend of ours has good success with the following methods. 


The Kickstand

Copyright 2004   All rights reserved.



kickstand description


1. Cut a small piece of cardboard (cereal boxes are a good supply of cardboard) about 2 1/2" square.  (This is just an approximate measurement.  You will need to adapt the size to the size of your keet.)

2. Fold one edge of the cardboard to form it into an 'L' shape.  The base of the 'L' should be at least 1/2".  I don't know if "more is better" - 1/2" worked for me.

3. Measure your cardboard against the side of the keet to be sure that the top edge will be in the keet's "armpit" when he is standing.  (The "top edge" would be the long unfolded edge.)

4. Trim off any extra height of the cardboard so it can fit comfortably under the keet's wing without "jacking him up" on one side.

5. Use a something like a knitting needle to poke two holes through the cardboard. 

6. The first hole should be about 1/4" to 1/2" below the top edge of the cardboard, about in the center.

7. The second hole should be directly below it about 1/2" to 3/4".

8. Here comes the magic pipe cleaner again!  Use a whole pipe cleaner and thread it through the holes, so the two ends are sticking out the "back" of the 'L'

( side view would be kind of like this: =|_ )

9. Position the cardboard under the wing of the side your keet always falls toward.

10. Put one end of the pipe cleaner under his belly, and the other over his back.

11. Twist the two ends of the pipe cleaner together on the side of the keet that is opposite side from his "kickstand".

12. Adjust and adapt as necessary.







Splayed legs





I use pipe cleaners, because they have that soft fluffy coating, but are strong and "shapeable". 

1. Cut a pipe cleaner in half. 

2. Bend it into the shape of a staple - before stapling. |_|  The middle section should be about the length of the distance between the keet's legs.  Don't get it too long or too short.  You should be able to "eye-ball" it - no need for micrometer measurements, here.  It is not a precise science.

3. Gently hold the keet upside down and position the pipe cleaner above one "knee" and fold down one side of the "staple".  Be careful not to squeeze the keet or the folded pipe cleaner.  It should be secure, but not tight.

4. Here comes the tricky part, since the keet will be squirming and uncooperative.  Position the other side of your staple above the "knee" of the other leg, and fold it into place.  Again, be careful not to squeeze it too tight, but make sure it will stay in place.



Copyright 2004   All rights reserved.

More Orthopedics Help

There are several schools of thought and ways of approaching this problem, D. C. Townsend has written a very informative article that you can read for more information go to:- ORTHOPEDICS FOR POULTRY MADE EASY FOR BEGINNERS

This is a "chair" DCT designed to prevent the Achilles tendon from slipping out back out of joint. 

1chairs.jpg (44235 bytes) chair cradle.jpg (24278 bytes)

The unseen inner part of this "chair is a plastic
Pepto Bizmal bottle with bottle neck sawed off with hack saw
and one side of the triangular bottle removed. Two leg holes
and a hole for manure to fall through were cut with razor
blade. This part was lined with material from one of those
slip on insulators for soda pop cans or beer cans. If you
do not have one of those sponge can be used for padding.







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