Advice needed: weak chick after assisted hatch

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Cped, May 20, 2016.

  1. Cped

    Cped New Egg

    May 20, 2016
    Hi all,

    We're looking for advice!

    So we assisted a hatch at 2pm today after a chick started to hatch yesterday morning. By 5 or 6 it started to fluff out and is managing to take a few steps before lying down again. Some of the eggshell still stuck in her, which she seems interested in removing.

    I have her some electrolyte water around 3:30 with a baby syringe. She's still in the incubator.

    I'm wondering what I should be doing for her? How often should I offer water? Plain or with electrolyte? Should I be mixing food into the water? At what point?
    Am I doing her harm each time I open the incubator to give water? Making her cold and traumatizing her?
    Can I hold her to give her the water?
    Should I help remove the shell?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!
    New time chicken mommies,
    Catherine & tacita
  2. allyclair

    allyclair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2015
    Hi, last year when we incubated eggs, the last one to hatch had a hard time getting out, and the yolk sac was not fully absorbed....we left the shell alone, as I had been told if it is pulled off and ruptures the yolk sac, the chick would likely die.

    The shell did eventually come off on it's own after a few hours, and the chick could not stand up, it was very weak. It would lie it's head right backwards onto it's back. Before bed that night, I wrapped it in a small soft sock, so that it's head would be held in proper position, and hoped it would rest during the night. I cleaned out the broken egg shells, since she was the last to hatch, and left her in the incubator overnight.
    In the morning, she was peeping like crazy, and nice and fluffy, but when I took her out she couldn't stand up at all. Her legs looked normal. Thankfully, she could hold her head up by this time. Between the kids and I, we spent a good part of the day holding her and seeing if she was getting any strength in her legs. That afternoon, while I was working in the kitchen, I wrapped her in the sock again, and set her in a mug on the counter, so her feet were on the bottom of the mug, but she was getting some support from the sides of the mug, and she could see out.
    That night, I put her in the brooder with her hatch-mates, but separated her with a little plastic bin so they wouldn't peck her. By the next morning she was able to run around with the rest of the chicks.

    I didn't give her any food or water until the next morning after she hatched, maybe 15-16 hours. I had been told by experienced chick hatchers that they do not need it for 24 hours, so I decided to trust their advice.

    The yolk sac got a bit smaller each day, by a week old you could barely see it for all the fluff! I did keep a very close eye on the chicks, as I worried one of them might peck at her yolk sac.

    How is your chick doing today?
  3. Cped

    Cped New Egg

    May 20, 2016
    Thanks so much for your post!

    So we cleaned off most of the shell on her (she had been shrink wrapped) ... And this morning she's ok. Will walk for a bit then rest. Gave her some water.
    Just put her in with our other two chicks. One of them is trying to peck at last little bit of shell on her, so thinking we might try to clean her again (also has some poop on her, but don't think it's on her vent...)

    Thinking of moving her closer to water & food hoping that will help with her strength.

    Is it a mistake to put her with the others so early? Is the early pecking at her setting up a dynamic? Should we let them work it out a bit or separate them...?

    So appreciative of any advice!

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