Hatched chick wants to lay on its back

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickenladyinMN, May 7, 2010.

  1. ChickenladyinMN

    ChickenladyinMN Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2008
    Isanti, MN
    Ok - so I have been raising chickens for years and never had anything like this. I have talked to a lot of people today and none of them have had this either. So the eggs should have been hatching on Monday the 3rd, that would have been day 21. One started to hatch on Thursday at about 7 a.m. and it finally made it out of the egg on Friday at 7:30 a.m. After it was out of the egg it flopped around a bit and I figured it just needed to rest and dry off. So I checked on it at around noon and it was laying on its back when I tried to turn it over it really started to sqawk, but it couldn't stand up on its legs - no they don't flop out like splay leg. I called the feed store to see if someone there had ever had or heard of a problem like this and no one had. They suggested putting it in a cup or small bowl making it sit on its legs and keeping it in the right position. So I have done this but he still wants to throw his head back and go onto his back - is there any help for him?
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I will be watching this as I have one that is laying to the side no splay legs but his head seems to flop to the side and back I can get him to drink but not eat I have him in a basket with a small stuffed mouse cat toy to prop him up
  3. ChickenladyinMN

    ChickenladyinMN Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2008
    Isanti, MN
    UPDATE - so I put the chick in a small dish and packed it with paper towels so that it had to sit wth its legs under him and the put a part of the towel aross the top of him so that he had to keep his head down and put it back in the incubator, he was probably that way for twelve hours and this morning I could hear him clunking around in the incubator and when I opened it he was out of the dish walking around like a normal little chick. This morning we moved him into a box with heat lamp, food and water and he is eating and drinking like a normal little chick. He cries a lot but his siblings have not hatched yet. So far it looks like things are going to be OK.
    1 person likes this.
  4. chickengal

    chickengal Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2009
    I had two to hatch this way. One just laid on it's side and it head was crooked way to the side. The other flopped on it's back and had it's head to the side. These two hatched last and since I had two die after piping, I decided to help these two out of the egg. It almost looked like they were too tight in the egg to turn around. The first one I left in the bator for 24 hrs. and it's head seem to mostly straighten out, but it still looks just a tad crooked. The other one keeps flipping on it's back, so I am going to try putting it into a cup and see if it will straighten out.
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Too low of incubation temps .......and they had to have been horrendously low if they are truely that late in hatching......can lead to a whole lot of chick problems.
  6. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    It almost sounds like wry neck? Although putting it in a cup wouldn't fix the wry neck, so... Hmmm. I had 1 hatch a while ago that couldn't figure out how to walk on his own, so I did the cup trick (actually used an egg carton [​IMG]), and it worked perfectly. But he was not throwing his head back like you're describing.
  7. TheCyberSpyder

    TheCyberSpyder New Egg

    Oct 16, 2013
    This is my second incubator hatch and the first time I had 3 do this and ended up putty them down. This time was only one and I was ready to give up since I cant stand putting them down. I tried taking this one and I put him in a coffee cup surrounded by T.P. last night after reading this thread. This morning is wobbly but standing and eating and drinking. I am so happy I feel like dancing :) .
    Thank you all for the help. I had a much better hatch rate this time and think I have worked out most of my mistakes I've been making. I am very excited to start my third batch and feel like I will have a very good hatch rate next time. Thanks again.....
  8. brandimonksmom

    brandimonksmom New Egg

    Feb 27, 2014
    ok i need help... i just hatched out my first chick and the little thing keeps throwing itself on its back. its feet are shaking. i have turned it over 2 times and it seems to stagger and get back on its back. i have tried to keep heat at 99.5-99.9 during incubation. what would be wrong with this little one? need help asap
  9. YardBird192

    YardBird192 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2013
    Southeast Georgia
    We just hatched 5 BCM's and 4 Lavender Ameraucanas. Every single one of the Ameraucanas were on their backs and we had to keep turning them constantly. It looks like some type of neurological problem. The BCM's behaved like most normal chicks(Nothing is wrong with them).
    We finally got all of the Lavender Ameraucanas upright, but one is now acting lethargic and looking pretty bad. Any help would be appreciated.
    I don't buy into the low temp comment above. If the temp was too low every chick would be acting this way. I think it is something specific to the Lavender Ameraucanas. I am thinking a genetic problem is the reason.
  10. winterhorses

    winterhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2015
    Chesapeake, VA
    I know this is an old thread, but I was looking for info about chicks sleeping on their backs and was surprised to see you mention Lavender Ameraucanas. Those are the chicks of mine that I'm concerned about. I wonder if there really is a correlation...

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