Chicks Die During Pip or Immediately After Hatch-Cause? (for a friend)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by speckledhen, May 8, 2008.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Someone I know has chicks hatching under a broody that are dying halfway out of the egg or immediately after they hatch, even up to the point they get to the brooder, then gasp and die. I may not have all the information you need to help here, but I told her I'd ask and see if anyone had any thoughts on the possible cause. The only things I can think of are some ecoli contamination in the nest and/or on the eggs that has spread to all the chicks. She has a previous hatch where there was sticky goo and a "cheesecloth-like" substance on the chicks. The only possible causes I can find are nutritional deficiencies in the chicks/breeders OR just bacterial contamination of the eggs/nests. Anything else? [​IMG]
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    Quote:That is what I keep reading too. I hope she can find out what's wrong soon.
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Are the conditions where they live very wet? This sounds typical of high humidity and mushy chick syndrome.

    Edited to add - do they smell? Mushy chicks have a bad odor.

    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    She didnt say that they smelled, but I'll ask and pass on the information. I've never seen that happen, but it's all I could think of, too, besides a nutritional issue. I know she has ducks and turkeys, but she says the nests are not dirty, so not sure what else it could be.
  5. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    It sounds like a humidity issue to me as well. If not during incubation then in the surrounding nesting material. The aspergillosis mold that everyone was freaking out over a couple months ago can thrive in even moderately damp conditions at the bottom of a nest. The hen may not be affected but chicks, due to their close proximity and tiny size, can be infected very quickly. The respiratory symptoms you describe make me think this is quite possible. On the other hand, it would be unlikely to affect unhatched chicks whereas too high of humidity during incubation is likely the culprit. Does she only have this problem with the one hen or is it also happening with other broodys? Is there mixed lineage in the clutches or is every egg from the same pairing. Know this will make it easier to rule out certain possibilities.

  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    there is a chance that they have a genetic disease that kills them as soon or soon after as the umbilical cord is seperated.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    There is mixed lineage in the chicks. Many are crosses with RIR/Lt Brahma, RIR/BR (sexlink), BO/Lt. Brahma. The hen sitting is a Lt. Brahma. I believe this is only happening with this one hen who is still trying to hatch her current clutch.
    Thanks so much for all the input, folks. I'll pass it on.
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  8. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Oh I hope this does not happen to me. I am looking at like 8 more days until hatchdown.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I havent ever seen them die after hatching, just drop like that, so I dont think you have much to worry about. This wasn't a common problem, which is why I brought it to our very knowledgable BYC people to help me solve.
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Thanks all who contributed to this thread. It turned out that unbeknownst to my friend, there was a terrible bacteria set up in the nest underneath the hen, she found out. She lifted the hen, then stirred around underneath, and smelled something very foul under there. They threw out the last few eggs, removed the hen, and blocked off the nest from others till they could clean it out.

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