AAAARRRGH! Help?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MsAyianna, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    Sep 7, 2016
    That pretty much sums it up.

    I've been reading along with you guys for a few months now. I have a new incubator (which failed) and jerry rigged it to work anyway with electrical supplies. This is my first hatch. And...there's something going on.

    I am hatching coturnix and button quail. I had a chick last night not doing so well. I thought from the way it was acting that maybe it was dehydrated. Enter a little sugar water and making it drink. That really didn't do a whole lot at the time. Then I moved it from the brood box to the incubator, where it was a little warmer.

    This morning, it seemed fine again - fairly strong, very active, and alert.

    Now, most of the quail chicks are exhibiting similar symptoms. They've had free access to water and I taught them how to drink and there's been game feed powder all over the floor of the enclosure. In case the issue is heat, I've moved them back to the incubator for warmth and some have perked up.

    Symptoms are as follows:
    Eye or eyes closed
    Poor equilibrium (lots of lopping)
    Somewhat listless
    No discernible eye goop or running of noses, etc.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    WELCOME TO BYC!!!!!

    i would make some electrolytes (link below), gatorade, pedialyte, sav-a-chick, poly-vi-sol (without iron, its baby vitamins)
    Homemade Electrolyte Recipe for weak/ill chicks post #3876

    What temp is your brooder? can you upload a picture of it??
     
  3. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    Thank you for the link. I'll be making some fresh water in moments.

    I've attached a couple of pictures here. It is lit from the inside because the heating element went out mid-incubation. It's been a nightmare. I'm not using the brooder until further notice, as I don't have another thermometer with an alarm that I could use to alert me if the temperature dips too much. Air conditioning is great! ... except when you're trying to incubate.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    Do you have a heat pad? like you would use for back pain??
    what are you ambient conditions?
     
  5. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    Sadly, I don't. The lamp I made and installed through the hole for topping up the water reservoir and is attached to a reptile thermostat. When it reaches just a little over 100F, the lamp clicks off. I do keep the humidity around 65% except for when I'm messing with the babies, which I try to keep as short as possible for opening the incubator. It normalizes the humidity within 30 seconds.

    The A/C is set to 77 and varies between 76 and 78.

    I do keep a fleece on top of the unit to try and insulate it better. I peek in pretty often at this point to check on health status. Due to the inconsistencies in the temperature before I got the thermostat and put the lamp in, I'm happy to have a nearly 50% hatch rate, to be honest. The incubator's heating element failed on day 15.

    It's been one heck of a ride!
     
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  6. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    you did well for all of the mishaps involved, great job [​IMG]

    do you have any light cords/rope? they stay nice and warm too

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your continued assistance and support. :)

    I don't have any light ropes, but I like the idea overall. Had I anticipated the severity of the issue, I would have ordered a ceramic heat emitter. The bright lights kill my eyes.

    Some of the quail have perked up, noticeably the larger ones recover faster. I've read that often babes don't need water or food for a couple days after, but my button quail suffered barely more than a day after hatching, if that long.

    I'll continue to monitor them and 'encourage' the weaker ones to drink the water.
     
  8. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    did you see my post about the electrolytes??
     
  9. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    Yes, and I immediately put the soda, salt, and sugar in their water. They are mostly perked back up now. :)
     
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  10. MsAyianna

    MsAyianna Just Hatched

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    So, an update.

    I actually slept last night - not by choice admittedly. I've been up but for 12 hours in the last 4 days as a result of the A) struggling heating element kicking out beeps all the dang time before I realized that it wasn't because of my A/C, B) stress, C) vigilance in making sure the temperature was correct with the new non-digital thermostat (a pain, let me tell you!), D) watching for potential hatching issues (I had more than a few die in the shells before they could break out and the humidity level was good), and finally E) whatever was going on with the chicks.

    At this point, I'm not convinced that it was dehydration itself, but rather secondary to what might have actually been eye goop. I had a few quail this morning still not bright eyed or no eyes open at all. I took them all to the bathroom where one had a little hard line and I was all 'hmmmmmm!'. A little warm water and some coaxing and that came off and the chick's eye opened. Okay, so...maybe some microbiology involved. At this point, with all the other issues, I'm not surprised. I did make them all drink some slightly concentrated electrolyte water, just to give them a boost, and put them back in the brooder box.

    As a result of my crashing out for 6 hours (included in the 12 listed for the last 4 days), I woke to one dead chick. I'm positive that being awake sooner or staying up a little later to make it drink more would have made a difference, but...this is life.

    I did have another chick hatch this morning. It's day 20! I have another in the shell pipping. It's not sounding as strong as the other, so I'm keeping a very close eye on it.

    Meanwhile, I did move everyone back to the brooder box and made a little tent around the light to keep the heat in. It doesn't get too warm, but they can stay warm enough and it's easy to get out of for water. The food is sprinkled everywhere for convenience, grip, etc.

    MAN I have a headache. I need more sleep, but I don't want to risk more chicks. What's a gal to do?
     

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