first hatch. chick not looking well


6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
Newport, New Hampshire
Yesterday was day 21 for my hatch. This is my first time so I don't know what to expect.

Anyways, the first chick to hatch did so while I was at work around 6pm. By the time I got home at 11pm, the chick was almost completely dry and walking around (well, clumsily). The second chick to hatch was a bit smaller, from a silky/EE. When he first hatched , he moved around quite a bit, but only for about 15 minute. I left themm alone to go make some food.

3 hours later and he is on his side most of the time and his little feet are shaking a lot. When he tries to stand, he can't and if he manages to boost himself up, he just falls back over. He is sticking to the unhatched eggs a lot. Like, to the point that he dries to them like glue. I turned the heat up a tiny bit more but it didn't seem to help. It's 2am now and time to get some sleep, but I'm really hoping he makes it. Has anyone had this happen? Is there anything I can do? Do you think he will pull through? The first chick seems so healthy but this little guy seems so weak :(

This is from right after he hatched. Now he is on his side and his feet are curled and he can't stand up :(
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When i hatched my first batch in my homemade incubator i had a chick that was very weak and his feet were curled.. he was the last to hatch... even when he fluffed up he couldn't move as he was far too weak... i tried to help him get up but in vain.. i let him in the incubator then 36 hours later he started to move a little eat a bit of food etc... 2 days later he was fine eating drinking etc.. now at 3 1/2 week old he is the strongest of the 3 chicks that hatched jumping on the othera flying in the brooder... so don't worry he will be ok..
It sounds like it is sticky. Some times stuff from the eggs dries to their fluff, to the point it is like cement, and they can't move very well. When I've had that happen I get a little bowl of warm water and give them a little bath. You have to be very careful and make sure they don't get too cold though. I wipe them down quickly to get some of the "goo" off, then put them right back in the incubator so they won't get chilled. If they only have a little on them it's best just to leave them alone and let it come off on it's own. I only do this if it is to the point where they can't move.

This is a link with more info. -- it would be the sticky chick.

Here's brief summary of what we've discussed. This doesn't represent a 100% consensus but seems to represent the current majority opinion:

Shrink wrapped: before pipping, both inner and out membranes dry tight around the chick; caused by too little humidity throughout incubation

Sticky chick: after pipping, the liquids dry becoming glue-like followed by concrete-like; caused by too little humidity during lockdown

Wet sticky or Swollen: the chick is swollen with water or simply very wet and sticky; caused by too high humidity throughout incubation

Drowning: the whitish outer membrane is dry while the clearish inner membrane is wet, binding the chick; also caused by too high humidity thoughout incubation

*Chicks experiencing more than one of the extreme conditions can exhibit multiple issues.
*These same issues can also occur during natural incubation, under a brooding hen.

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