Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Little Webbed Foot Help

While watching the four new goslings, our daughter was the one to notice the littlest one's right foot didn't look quite right.

Turns out the front third of the little webbed foot was curled back under.  She was still navigating but with a definite hitch in her get-a-long.

We tried unfolding the foot which didn't seem to cause any distress to the gosling, and then tried to tape it to keep it flat, but nothing remained on her foot for long.

Finally I made a little square out of strapping tape which is clear tape with filament inside it (makes it extra strong), put her little unfolded foot on that and then applied another square of the strapping tape on the top of her foot.  I pressed the edges of the tape tightly together along with putting a little pressure on the bottom and top of the tape covering her foot.


Then I trimmed the square of tape up a bit.  Put her back in the brooder and found that the bottom of the tape pad was too slippery and she kept falling over.

Out of the brooder she came again.  I painted some rubber cement on the bottom of the pad, and we dipped that in some fine grit making a sand paper-y grip on the bottom which kept the foot from slipping on the bedding in the brooder.


Her walk is still a little funny, but the "brace" has stayed on and she rapidly runs around the brooder like the Energizer Gosling Bunny.  When we put tiny pieces of green lettuce in there, she beats the other three to it every time.  Despite her slight disability, she's a little spitfire, no doubt about it.

So, two questions:  Have any of you ever had this foot problem with chicks, ducklings or goslings?  How did you handle it?

And any suggestions for a name for our little gimpy gal?  Since the goslings came from a hatchery in Oklahoma, we were thinking of using names for the four related to the musical and movie, "Oklahoma."  What do you think?

22 comments:

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I've never had a little gosling with a foot issue. I'm sure he/she would have been just fine with the foot problem. Straightening it out will give her a better chance to get around without issues, and time for it to adjust back to normalcy.

I like the names Gerdy or Skidmore.....there names from Oklahoma!!!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Since we have a pond, I wondered if she'd have trouble swimming with that one deformed foot?

Oh, I like the name Skidmore for one of the ganders!

Kristina said...

Oh I love Skidmore, ha ha! Never had a foot problem with my chicks, other than Sparta (rooster) breaking a leg (which we mended with popsicle sticks and tape).

Sue said...

I had a duck named Erma that had a bum foot.
She was a wonderful mother despite her disability. Occasionally we had to "help her" to the coop at night--it took her FOREVER to walk there on her own, but she had a good long life and seemed none the worse for wear

LOVE the little brace you rigged up. Cute and clever and hopefully helps.

Dawn McHugh said...

love the little shoe I hope it works :-)
There is some info on this site scroll down to the article about curled toes
https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Wow, that Sparta was one lucky boy not to have ended up in the stew pot after his injury!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I know animals do learn to adapt (probably better than we humans sometimes do) but our little gosling was not walking very well at all. Wish I knew how long to leave this brace on . . .

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - EXCELLENT article with good information. Thank you, Dawn. I had found a little of the info when I searched but this one was more complete. I think I'll see if we can get some of the riboflavin-rich foods into her. Thanks again!

Sue said...

I had to add--I showed this to hubby because I knew he'd love this--and he says to tell you you need to put little taps on the bottom. You could train it to dance and be rich---LOL!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - That man of yours is just FULL of ideas, isn't he? :o]

Tell him the "brace" looks more like a cymbal to me. Let's see, how could I rig that up? CRASH, thump, CRASH, thump . . .

Fiona said...

What an amazing 'repair'. I have not heard of anything like this with geese but I know in cattle,,,uterind position can cause some issues in a large calf...could she have been in an odd position in the egg? I mended a torn duck foot with a pad of gauze and...yeppers "Duct" tape. Having animals does make a person become a Dr. of sorts doesn't it. Tel your little gosling to GO GIRL!

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - From the reading I've done, it does seem that it could have happened in the egg. Also, because the hatchery wanted the goslings to stay warm on their journey, they were packed so tightly in their shipping carton I don't think they could move around much. So if her little foot was turned under when she was born and she more or less sat on it for two days, that probably didn't help the situation much either.

But as I say, she's scooting around the brooder with no problem so I'm hoping she's going to be okay.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good for you. You may need to adjust that as she grows or maybe it will fix itself with that little support. Great job!!!

Leigh said...

I've never had geese so it's all new to me. Sounds like you came up with a good solution and that you're getting some good comments about it. It will be interesting to follow along as she grows up and see how it works.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I think your little shoe is ingenious! It may very well straighten itself out if you keep the shoe on for a period of time. I'm glad it's not holding her back and that the others are pecking at her. -Jenn

Susan said...

That is an ingenious fix! Especially the traction! How bout Annie for Ado Annie?

Mama Pea said...

LHinB - I'm hoping we can take it off soon (but when?) and it will be all taken care of. I'm concerned about hurting the fragile skin on her little growing foot.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - With animals, it seems like there's always something new to learn, doesn't it? Even if her foot is never perfectly formed, if it's nearly flattened out for walk (and swimming!), I'll be happy.

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - No, the others don't seem to be bothering her at all. I think that's because she's still so very active and doesn't act "sick" at all.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yes, I had already thought of Ado Annie. I think Annie would be a good name for a goose!

jane said...

We kept geese for a while but although we didn't have any issues like that we did raise hens with splayed feet that needed bracing. You may need to remove plaster and re apply every few days just to check on progress. I think incubator hatchlings are prone to more issues than naturally hatched eggs. The gosling seems to have a real fighting spirit so she will probably be fine. Good luck with her... As for names, well I know nothing about typical American names, we live in Spain!

Mama Pea said...

jane - Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! All the way from Spain . . . thanks again!