I need advice. I just did my very first incubation with 11 live chicks, and following the directions in the Learning Center article on careful helping, which I studied carefully before proceeding, I helped 2 chicks emerge that were shrinkwrapping (more than 24 hours after external pip and fading activity, no zip, membrane discoloring) by carefully pricking off the top of the shell and pushing back the membrane per the instructions, allowing the chick to emerge from that point back in the incubator. At 36 hours of age, the first one is thriving and a member of the group. The second one, however, had to absorb the last bit of yolk after she pushed herself free from the shell. She isn't doing well and I currently have her inside my bra where she acts very happy to be. I did place her back inside the MamaHeatingPad for a few hours while I slept (brooder is still indoors). The temp in there measures 100 degrees.
I was taught as a child that when a baby bird's legs are contracting into their body and are weak and they can't stand, and their eyes are staying shut, that they are fading and on their way out. That is what is happening with her. She pecked at a few grains of feed a couple times, and has drunk water (using the homemade electrolyte recipe from the article) or has tried to, but is now too weak to succeed. I have tried giving drops through an eyedropper but I think she aspirated-- I held her upside down momentarily to help her lungs clear and she seems to have recovered but I don't know. She is currently chirping occasionally, she prefers it when I cup her from the outside of my clothing with my hand and will chirp when I stay away too long, like for typing.
I guess I'm writing to ask if I should just let her expire on her own, or if she's suffering and I should make some effort for euthanasia, or if there really might be something I could do to help her at this point.
I feel very responsible because I helped her emerge. This incubating thing is tricky and pretty awful. Not that I don't always feel responsible for any animal charges, but I feel extra responsible.
Edited by Victoria-nola - 5/18/16 at 9:12am