Chick off to a bad start: stuck in egg, stepped on and left alone!

pipin

Chirping
Nov 5, 2018
37
48
61
Australia
Hi there! I just joined after reading the forums for so long. I couldn't find anything specific to what is happening to our little lot though!

For background, we had a really rough time with our eggs. They were put under a broody hen who did great sitting on them but when it came to hatching time, things went awry. Firstly, we lost one chick to another hen trying to steal the nest and crushing it. We isolated her and prayed our brooder would stay put - and she did, thankfully! The next nine chicks came out fine. Some were fairly slow but everybody came out eventually.

However, our last little one had a really bad time. She began hatching at about 9am Sunday and by 6pm, when I checked on them last, she was half-way out of her egg. I thought she would just come out overnight after a bit of a rest but when I checked the next morning at 9am again, she had gone completely fluffy but still had her entire lower half stuck in the egg! I got her membranes wet again and waited with her until she was able to get out.

For the first day, she was fairly limp. Moving but so exhausted! However, this morning I woke up and checked on her and she had been abandoned in the nest by herself. I found the others and their mother having a dust bath nearby and, assuming she just hadn't been able to get through the flower bush they're nesting in, I gently moved her over the group. She immediately tried to go under the mother and the mother stepped right on her back. She went stiff as a board for a moment and I panicked and took her out. She went limp in my hands and I thought she was dead...

But she's still alive. I put her in a nice warm box, gave her some water and tried to feed her some mash and plain yogurt for an energy boost. She's drinking by herself and able to walk but she definitely isn't walking as fast as the others. I've taken her out several times today to rejoin her little flock and she'll try peck around and keep up, but she just can't so she ends up falling asleep and getting left behind. She seems 'rounder' than the others - almost a little hunched, buts he's peeping loudly and has lots of energy when she isn't pooped.

Sorry for being so long, I just wanted to be thorough! I'm just not sure what my next move should be. Right now she's sleeping back in her box. I'm sure both her legs are fine but she does seem to 'flop' a little on her left side, like she's a bit 'heavier' on that side. She's also pooped, so no pasty butt or anything.

Has anybody else had something like this? Should I just put her back with the others and hope she is able to keep up (and accept it if she can't?) I have a huge soft spot for her so I really want to get her up and running around with the others :(
 

pipin

Chirping
Nov 5, 2018
37
48
61
Australia
Is your box warm enough ? She probably needs another day to get stronger then you can add her back to mom after they go to bed for the night.

We have a lamp on her and one of those heatable rice neck-warmers (bad description, I know!) in with her, which she is snuggling up to. She seems comfortable and gets really perky after an hour or two of sleeping. I'm just stressing that she doesn't seem to know how to eat properly and she is surely coming up to a point where her yolk can't sustain her :(
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
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madison Indiana
Thats what I call them. LOl If she is acting ok she probably is ok. needs around 90 degrees for heat and enough room to be able to get away from the heat. Mama hens teach them to eat. You can too. Try a pencil or fingernails and tap at the food or pick pieces up and let it fall in front of her. Make sure they are small enough and a good treat is scrambled egg. Yolk is good for 3 days but sooner she eats the better
 

pipin

Chirping
Nov 5, 2018
37
48
61
Australia
Thanks for the advice, all! I took one of the smaller, more docile chicks and put her in the box with Flopsy. Seems her sibling is helping her get the hang of eating after I did the pencil-tap a few times too! Unfortunately, my partner found one of the other chicks just moments ago with her neck broken and two other chicks left by themselves out of the nest :( seems our brooder may not be the mother we thought she'd be!
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,616
137,792
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Firstly, stating the obvious, not all hens make good mothers.
Ideally all the chicks need to hatch withing 24 hrs of each other. Nature seems to have arranged this so there is minimum advantage for those who hatch earlier than others. The chicks communicate with each other and mum while they are still in their shells and this helps coordinate hatching times and once hatched, imprinting.
If the eggs are disturbed in the last three days the correct orientation of the eggs to facilitate hatching may also be disturbed and this can make hatching more difficult for any chicks in the disturbed eggs. This is just one of the reasons why taking the eggs out to candle them and otherwise interfering with the clutch may cause problems later in the chicks hatching and development.
While it is understandable to want to rescue those chicks who are late hatchers, if the mother abandons them and you remove them from the mother they will not properly imprint on their mother and may have integration problems later if returned to the flock.
My view now is if the mother abandons the chicks then I let them die. This is what nature intended.
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
144,350
227,481
2,037
madison Indiana
Thanks for the advice, all! I took one of the smaller, more docile chicks and put her in the box with Flopsy. Seems her sibling is helping her get the hang of eating after I did the pencil-tap a few times too! Unfortunately, my partner found one of the other chicks just moments ago with her neck broken and two other chicks left by themselves out of the nest :( seems our brooder may not be the mother we thought she'd be!
Is she a first time mom ? Sometimes it takes them a hatch or 2 to get the hang of things. In this case I think you should take the remaining chicks to raise yourself . Sorry for the loss :hugs
 

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