day old chick cant head

Amy Murray

In the Brooder
May 30, 2017
Hi. I had a bantam chick that hatched yesterday morning but cant seem to lift its head up, it keeps rolling around the incubator and looks quite stressed as trying hard to lift the head up but it keeps just tucking back down under the wing.
I have taken it out and fed it some sugar water and tried to have it in position in my hands where the head was propped up straight and that seemed fine as the chick relaxed and fell asleep. When I move my hand away it can keep its head up for a couple of seconds then it falls back down again, and when i put it back in the incubator it freaks out again and starts rolling around with the head tucked down. Any suggestions? I really want it to be ok!


5 Years
May 30, 2017
West Texas
I did have this happen with an EE chick this year. He was flopping around in the incubator screaming bloody murder and it made me feel terrible. I figured it might have something to do with the wire bottom in the incubator making it hard for him to get his footing... As soon as he fluffed up (the next morning) I stuck his little butt out in the brooder on pine shavings where he could get his footing and within a day or two he was getting around pretty good. The heavy head thing went away after he started eating and drinking on his own. He's now a lovely little cockerel that comes running over to me every time one of the girls picks on him.

It's hard kicking your way out of a sealed vault at birth, haha! Give it some time, see how things go. There's an awful lot of waiting and watching that goes into this hatching business. But it's worth it. I'll second chickens really on the yolk thing. They can go for a while after hatching without food or water and do so safely.

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