4-legged chick!

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One of my young banty hens hatched out a 4 legged chick today! The other 2 that hatched are normal. The weird one has a normal pair of legs and then an extra, smaller pair hanging off his hiney. The extra legs are normal-looking, with little claws and everything, but they aren't functional. Does anyone know 1. why this may have happened 2. is the chick more likely to die 3. if it lives, do I leave the extra legs on or remove them, and if I have to remove them, how?


-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), June 13, 2000


WOW! Only guessing here. Maybe it was a double yolked egg and one twin absorbed the other. It happens in people. Go to the poultry information board and ask there. There are people on that message board that have had chikens 30-40 yrs. I'm not very good on the address links and all. I start in Micrssoft Internet Explorer and in the search box just type in ameraserve. It's listed as a free banner and poultry information. Click on that and it will take you to an advertisement thing about banners. Scroll to the bottom of that and it will say "return to the poultry information exchange" Click there and when you get there click on read messages. Then you can post your question, and I'm sure you'll get a quick answer.

-- Jill (AZ) (lance1_86404@yahoo.com), June 13, 2000.

Double WOW!!!!My daughters want to know if you are going to keep it or not. We have bantams now and they just love them to death! Any kind of orphaned, runt, or hurt animal seems to end up here. Just don't let the Tyson or Goldkist people see it .....they will want to breed it to produce 4 legged broilers!!!!! Better profit margin on those I imagine! Personally, I would leave it alone unless it seems to be causing the chicky problems....might do more harm than good trying to remove them.


-- Jason (AJAMA5@netscape.net), June 14, 2000.

Your four legged chick is the result of an attempt to be a twin. Not so terribly unusual, many forms of terminated cell splitting occurs in most animal and in people. You can leave the extras on or snip them now with shears/scissors as you would if you wanted to dock a dog's tail. Another way, would to put rubber bands tightly around the legs as close to the body as possible. No big deal, it happens.

-- JerryR(La.) (jwr98@hotmail.com), June 14, 2000.

In response to Jason's question, will we keep the chick: definitely! It's funny that he was born this way on our farm, because our main purpose is to care for handicapped & "special needs" critters. We've got a whole assortment of defective animals! This little guy must have known exactly what he was doing. :)

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), June 14, 2000.

Let us know how he does! You may be on to something; the legs and thighs are our chicken pieces of choice around here. We eat a LOT of them, at .49 cents a pound. I don't care how I cook 'em, there are very seldom ANY leftovers....

-- Leann Banta (thelionandlamb@hotmail.com), June 14, 2000.

As I have stated several times before, we are currently living in the home county of a major poultry producer. It is said that they commonly have multilegged chickens born as well as chickens that have legs so weak they cannot stand after about 4 weeks. Those are the ones bred to produce the breast tenders marketed in one of the major fast food restuarant chains, and their breasts are 4 or more inches thick. They just crawl around to the food and water until their execution date arrives. The four-legged ones are usually destroyed as newborns.

-- Green (ratdogs10@yahoo.com), June 14, 2000.

Shannon, hope you keep us posted as to the 4 legged chicken's progress. Please keep us informed. Eagle

-- eagle (eagle@alpha1.net), June 15, 2000.

Unfortunately, it looks like the chick has other malformations in the hind-end. I think there's a problem with the pooper. Could be that he won't make it. I will let you folks know.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), June 15, 2000.

Whoah, Momma! seriously a four legged chicken? Wow! that has to be a site to see. i actually don't have a tender heart, but i really hope the little guy makes it! (or Gal!) Good luck!

-- Joshie-Boy (joshie_boyis21@hotmail.com), June 24, 2000.

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