Rotational limb deformity due to tibiotarsal rotation can affect captive-bred houbara bustard chicks (Chlamydotis macqueenii) from an early age. If not completely corrected, the affected birds can neither be released into the wild nor used in captive-breeding projects. A nonsurgical orthopedic method was developed to correct this deformity before growth is completed. The method consists of hobbling digits III and the distal part of the tarsometatarsus of each leg with a self-adhesive conforming bandage that keeps digits III parallel with enough freedom of movement to allow walking. The tibiotarsal bones are left free. This treatment was successful when it was implemented for 20 days on 10-day-old houbara bustard chicks presenting with 60° to 90° unilateral tibiotarsal rotation. Implementing the same corrective method at an older age was not successful. This cheap, accessible, and noninvasive technique may be applicable to other avian species.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1