Deformed chick........cruel to be kind??


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
Ok, I am still in the early stages of raising my first hatch of chicks and today I had a baby cross bred turkey hatch and he is deformed.

It took AGES to come out of the shell (3 days overdue) and I was sure he was gonna be dead but he's alive and kicking.

Only problem is that he seems to have half of his head missing!!! He only has one eye and the area where his other eye should be is just flat except for a little bump. I "take care of him" or do I seperate him from the rest of the bunch (because they will pick on him) and raise him anyway???

The moral question of the day!!!
Well, I think its one of those decisions that noone can solve except for you.

- If you want to give him a chance then I say GO FOR IT!

- If you want to take him out of pain, then do exactly that.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!
I would love to do that but would I be doing it just to make me feel better. What kind of quality of life is he going to have if he has to be seperated from all the other chicks and be left on his own most of the time??
That's one of the questions you're going to have to answer before you can make your descision. Another good one is what's YOUR quality of life going to be if you decide to keep a special needs animal around? That's pretty darn important, too!
There really isn't any reason for him to be separated. It is actually a much more common deformity than you realize. Lots of people here have had chicks hatch that way. I have, also. Some make it, some don't. Mine did not but she also had a severe cross beak. I would just leave him with the others and see how he does. Good luck.
Yeah, the commitment I would have to make to it would be enormous..........but then I don't know if I am physically able to kill it.....its just not in my nature!
I put him in with the other chicks and his fellow turkeys started pecking him (because unfortunately this breed is really quiet aggressive).
Is there any way he can be with baby chickens? If he did actually make it, I doubt he would require any specialized care. He has one eye so he could see.....he would grow up never realizing he was supposed to have two. Obviously it is your decision, but I would give the little guy a chance.
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Animals are pretty good at adapting. I have had a few chicks hatch with some problems. One was severe wry neck and after several days, he appeared to be suffering, so my husband put him out of his misery. Then I had another with bad feet and spraddle leg. I have helped him and he has adapted wonderfully.

If this one seems to have a lust for life... give him a chance!

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