Feeling cursed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cricket-cricket, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    I think our broodies have water on the brains!

    Since I couldn't keep my incubator well regulated thanks to huge weather swings in our area, I decided to put our shipped hatching eggs under broodies instead. But this hasn't gone so well either. [​IMG] First casualty I found two days before hatch. Later caught momma picking all the shell off the eggs (leaving the unborn chick inside its membrane to die) ...so inside came her 2 remaining eggs to hatch under the incubator. They're doing fine.

    Two more eggs from another broody were a day late and a dollar short (Heck, I may just name them that!). These two were very late - pipping while momma was off teaching her other hatchlings how to scratch. After it was apparent she wasn't going to return to her nest anytime soon, I brought these inside also to ensure they would have a better chance - and yes, they're surviving fine. (Maybe she had too many?)

    From another broody, one chick was completely tossed out of the nest after hatch. (This might have actually been warranted). I tried to replace him under momma twice, but she kept giving him the boot - so inside he came. Unfortunately, his chances are poor. He will barely eat. He never fluffed out like the rest and he smelled just awful, so at day 2, I bathed it. At day 4, he's still struggling. Once I was able to get it to eat a big meal of raw liver and scrambled eggs, but since then, its only nutrition seems to be protein powder mixed with honey which I dip on its beak. I don't hold much hope. Too bad. It has become our favorite!

    This morning, went to feed and check on everyone to find one hen with a chick stuck to the underside of her wing. Don't know what glued it on so tight, but it was really stuck! THe hen had proceeded to pick and scratch and fuss so violently that the poor chick was being flung around like a kite caught in a tree on a windy day. In came this chick too. After inspection, it's clear her little wing is badly damaged. Broken? Dislocated? There are two very large pockets of intense swelling. She won't hold it right, it hangs limp, and the skin on the rest of the wing looks like raw read meat. When I cleaned it under cool running water, the chick just wanted to drink and drink. I massaged the wing very very gently in hopes of resetting a dislocation or break. I smeared the skin with Neosporine & fashioned a sling out of a strand of wool to keep her from dragging it on the ground, and since she was all about rehydrating, I crushed 1/8 of a doggy aspirin we'd got from our vet a few days back & mixed it in the water. (I will only do this once since I don't want to risk poisoning her). Hopefully what little she got into her will relieve swelling or just make her feel a little better. She's actually doing pretty well considering. Good appetite, and drinking lots.

    SO that's 6 of the 12 hatchlings that have now made it into the house and are living in our makeshift infirmary (though only the latter 2 chicks are in ICU). I feel like a real nut job over this whole saga, but what do you do? (I really am a responsible, sane chicken owner).

    Funny thing - a week or so ago i was saying to my partner, "gee hon, I really wish I could go down to the Gulf and volunteer to help with all the birds that are now wounded or in peril." (sigh) As the old addage goes, be careful what you wish for.

    If anyone has any comments or suggestions, please offer them up. I'm totally open.

  2. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Aww aren't you so sweet to have rescued the babies as you did. I sure hope that all the babies that are in ICU make it out ok. Poor little guys/gals. Your luck sounds like mine only I am having issues with my grown chickens not the babies right now.

    Lots of luck to you and your babies.

    [​IMG] to you and your babies.
  3. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Holy Cow ! I don't know what I'd do (well, actually, yes I do - I'd do the exact same thing and get called CRAZY for doing it !)
    Hope they all make it OK - sounds like you're doing a pretty good job so far
  4. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    Okay, so noticed that little chick who hasn't been eating had a crop that was like a total BALLOON!. I tried to massage. Nothing. I tried to get oil in it and some baking soda solution, and THEN massage. (Do you know how hard it is to force feed a 4 day old chick????). Kept massaging, then giving a break - repeat. Was going to give up, but thought I'd try the massage one more time. Do you know? I heard this little muffled "pop"! The crop went way down. I can see some material in there, but don't know if I should force it to fully aspirate or give the chick some time. Poor thing has been run ragged at this point. What a trooper.

    It's resting now (still standing on and off if you can believe). Think I'll give it a chance to rest and then see how it's doing in 30 mins or so.
    Oh, the drama.
  5. whillo

    whillo Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Willamette Valley
    I wish I knew an inkling of what to do for my chicks like you do. Just lost my first 2 day old silkie. Fine last night after a close call I thought. Eating and drinking. Today, she is gone. I'm a mess. Scared something similar might happen to the other eight. Massage her crop? Are there pictures?
  6. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    Sadly, an inkling is about all i have. He's still hanging on there, but barely.
  7. Peppermint

    Peppermint Songster

    Oh wow. Hopefully you have time to chase around checking for battle wounds on all the chicks each hour!!!! Soon you'll be an expert in all sorts of chickie problems. Please give us an ICU report.

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