Family Portrait

James the Bald

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Jan 6, 2013
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Well, today, I float tested my 4 remaining eggs. I made sure that the water temperature was around 95 degrees. The first one sunk to the bottom. Bummer. The other 3 floated, but I didn't see any movement. So, I patted them down with a soft rag and put them back into the incubator. I'm not holding my breath on them hatching, but I'm going to give it a good shot. I have 11 in the brooder right now. The first 48 hours, I had a small tupperware lid with stones from a fish tank in it so none of the chicks would drown, and sprinkled the food all over the bottom. The only down side was that I had to continuously add water to it as it would evaporate or the chicks were drinking it dry. Now they have the regular watererer and chick feeder. My one that has curled toes is much smaller than the rest. I was really hoping that his toes would straighten out themselves after 24 hours, but that didn't happen. My wife and I put a piece of medical tape on the top and bottom of his foot to hopefully straighten his toes out. We're hoping that it does the trick, but we are holding our breath over it. Here's my little guys. I had to turn the heatlamp off for a few seconds so I could get a picture of them and not orange little "blurrs" (that my last pic looked like).
 

James the Bald

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Jan 6, 2013
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Well, I lost 2. One last night and my daughter found one this afternoon. I had told my daughter not to name them, but somehow she did. So imagine my surprise when my wife Emails me at work that "Lettuce" has died. There is a few more sentences that I don't start reading because I'm sitting there trying to think who "Lettuce" is and how he or she has died. I'm lost in my email thinking... maybe Lettuce is that folk rock singer who opened at Woodstock that recently died. Dumbfounded, I finish the email and learn Lettuces' identity. SO, the one with the curled toes has been nicknamed Nubby is somehow managing to hang in there, and it's the only one allowed to have a name.
 

SavageChick

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Apr 3, 2013
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Really sorry to hear about you losing two of them, James. It really makes you wonder what happened after they've worked so hard just to break out of their shell. I am curious how Nubby's feet are doing today. I've read where taping can work as quickly as 24 hours, so hopefully the toes will straighten out for you.
 

James the Bald

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Jan 6, 2013
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Really sorry to hear about you losing two of them, James. It really makes you wonder what happened after they've worked so hard just to break out of their shell. I am curious how Nubby's feet are doing today. I've read where taping can work as quickly as 24 hours, so hopefully the toes will straighten out for you.
Nubby pecked at the tape until it fell off of his feet. The website I went to made it seem very promising. We put the tape on his feet, both top and bottom, which was really a task in and of itself. The little chick wouldn't hold still, and we kept getting stuck on the tape... we looked like the Keystone Cops trying over and over and over. After we got the tape on his foot, it seemed like he was trying to roll his foot backwards like he wanted to walk that way. I wanted to get some kitchen sizzors right then and there and cull him, but I wanted to be patient and do the right thing. Sometimes doing the right thing isn't what we expect it should be. The following morning, I saw the tape on the bottom of the brooder and grabbed it before any chicks got ahold of it and choked on it. His foot is still the same. He doesn't stay too far from the water or food. We considered putting more tape on his foot, so we may do that this evening to see if it can have an impact. He couldn't keep it on his foot for more than 8 hours when he was 18 hours old, so we don't suspect that it will make a difference now that he is 72+ hours old. I want to give this chick the benefit of surviving for atleast 6 or 7 weeks (if it is a male) or another year if it is a female.

So sorry to hear this James...so what do you think is going on?
I really wish I knew. I could see if there was a draft blowing through my den, or the temperature was 110 degrees, but neither one of those are the case. I'm almost dumbfounded, but I guess this is natures way of saying that those 2 chicks weren't strong enough to make it another 5 weeks. One thing that I have considered, but am partial to trying, is adding some vitamins to the water. Personally, I dont like taking medications, so I don't want to have to force on these chicks the same thing that I myself don't enjoy. If I lose another chick tonight (besides Nubby), I may make a run to the Tractor Supply store and see what they have in stock.

I am so glad that "selection of the fittest" doesn't effect humans like it does the animal world... I would really miss some of my friends.
 

TwoCrows

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Nubby pecked at the tape until it fell off of his feet. The website I went to made it seem very promising. We put the tape on his feet, both top and bottom, which was really a task in and of itself. The little chick wouldn't hold still, and we kept getting stuck on the tape... we looked like the Keystone Cops trying over and over and over. After we got the tape on his foot, it seemed like he was trying to roll his foot backwards like he wanted to walk that way. I wanted to get some kitchen sizzors right then and there and cull him, but I wanted to be patient and do the right thing. Sometimes doing the right thing isn't what we expect it should be. The following morning, I saw the tape on the bottom of the brooder and grabbed it before any chicks got ahold of it and choked on it. His foot is still the same. He doesn't stay too far from the water or food. We considered putting more tape on his foot, so we may do that this evening to see if it can have an impact. He couldn't keep it on his foot for more than 8 hours when he was 18 hours old, so we don't suspect that it will make a difference now that he is 72+ hours old. I want to give this chick the benefit of surviving for atleast 6 or 7 weeks (if it is a male) or another year if it is a female.

I really wish I knew. I could see if there was a draft blowing through my den, or the temperature was 110 degrees, but neither one of those are the case. I'm almost dumbfounded, but I guess this is natures way of saying that those 2 chicks weren't strong enough to make it another 5 weeks. One thing that I have considered, but am partial to trying, is adding some vitamins to the water. Personally, I dont like taking medications, so I don't want to have to force on these chicks the same thing that I myself don't enjoy. If I lose another chick tonight (besides Nubby), I may make a run to the Tractor Supply store and see what they have in stock.

I am so glad that "selection of the fittest" doesn't effect humans like it does the animal world... I would really miss some of my friends.
James, I am so sorry you are having so much trouble with the hatches. Where these egg from your own stock or did you get them shipped to you? And if they were shipped to you, did they come from the same place you originally got your first eggs from? The reason I ask is if these are not your own stock and they are coming from the same place as before, this could be something genetic in origin and they are just poor in quality. Thus you would be having the same problems again.

However if these eggs are from your stock or even from a different source from the first time, the only thing that raises a red flag is the fact that you are dealing with a chick with a foot deformation. And if this is not a genetic thing, it generally is caused by too high temps in the incubator. Sometimes low humidity as well will cause feet and leg issues, but high heat is the number one cause.

So on this note, high incubation temps can also cause organ deformaties and other internal malfunctions, unabsorbed egg sacs and things of this nature, leading to their deaths shortly after hatch. I hate to keep bringing this temp thing up, but this may be the issues. High temps destroy vital development in the egg and the first few days their little bodies will fail if there are defects in their systems.
 

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