HELP!! Chick hatched with big belly!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Joshp, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Joshp

    Joshp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Hey everyone,

    2 issues,

    My light Sussex eggs are on day 23 and only one has hatched and, the one that has hatched has a massive belly and on its stomach it looks as if there a hole into its belly. I can't attach a photo as I don't know how but I I'll try to attach one later.

    Please help :(
     
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To attach a photo, click on the picture icon 2 over from the smiley face icon.
    Any chick hatching on day 23 of incubation is much more likely to have issues, such as mushy chick disease, and swollen bellies (this can be from mushy chick disease, yolk sac infection, or simply the yolk still absorbing into the chick). The hole in the belly is where the umbilical cord was attached.
    I have had about a 50% survival rate on chicks with big bellies/external yolk sacs. The belly should go down after a few days.
    You need to make sure the chick is in a clean area, as bacteria can easily enter in through the open navel. Put some antibiotic cream on the open wound. You may want to add electrolytes in the water, and give it grogel (you can get this at feed stores).
    Next time you incubate, bump the temperature up and the humidity down (have you considered the dry method of incubation?). Chicks are supposed to hatch on day 21 (I like mine to hatch on day 20). As I said, any chick hatching after day 21 is more likely to have health problems, especially by the time you're on day 23.
     
  3. Joshp

    Joshp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Dry method?

    I use a small 12 egg incubator with an automatic turner.

    How do you incubate?
     
  4. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed on the dry method, but I would also add to that:

    Check your thermometer and hygrometer, make sure they're reading right. You can look up easy ways to test them online or here on BYC.
    For dry method incubating, days 1 - 17 keep humidity between 25 - 35%. Day 18 through hatch, increase humidity to 65-75%.
    If you have a fan, to circulate air, in your bator, keep the temp at 99-100F.
    If you do not have a fan, the temp should be 101-102F.

    This is totally a judgment call, but if your chick is having trouble walking, due to the enlarged abdomen, you might consider putting it in a shallow dish or cup for a while and let the swelling go down. Make sure the chick is comfortable (not too far or too close to heat). I would keep an eye on it, to make sure its comfortable.

    Some common antibiotic cream, like Neosporin, would be good for the navel area.

    Good luck with your little chick
     
  5. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dry method means keeping humidity in your incubator between 25-35 %, just like @n8ivetxn said.
    Never trust the built-in thermometer on your incubator alone. Always always always have several additional, reliable thermometers in there too. Temperature is crucial in having good hatches, and your incubation temperature was way too low. When chicks hatch out late, you know the temp was too low.
    Don't worry about having bad hatches. Everyone who has incubated has had a bad hatch at some time. Now you know that you need to raise the temperature in your incubator. I prefer to have my incubators a little warm, at 100 degrees (in an incubator with a fan. Still air incubators need temperatures around 102). I've found that chicks that hatch sooner are healthier than those that hatch later.

    Have you read the Hatching 101 article here on BYC? Very imformative
    x2
     
  6. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By the way, how is your little chick doing? [​IMG]
     
  7. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Josh, how's that chick? Inquiring minds want to know! [​IMG] Don't keep us in suspense.....
     
  8. Joshp

    Joshp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Hey Everyone! I'm still having trouble trying to send images? I'm on my iPad, does that make a difference?

    Thank you so much everyone for your help, and I still have some more questions after this if you can help me out.

    Well I'll update you all now on the little survivor.
    So far the little chick is looking like a normal little chick except with a large back end. His walking is more of a hobbling, he doesn't have splayed legs or anything like that it's just the big belly that's throwing his balance off.The opening on his stomach seems to have shrunk a little bit so hopefully that's a good sign.
    I haven't seen him eat, drink or poo yet. So that's a concern.

    I think he definitely has the mushy chick disease or what ever it was called as i figured the other eggs would have died by now (they were already dead don't worry), so I opened their eggs up and all of them had died from what looks like their stomachs being massive and bloody.
    I was reading up the causes of mushy chick disease and they said its when the eggs get infected by bacteria in the incubator.

    This leaves me with more question with incubating.

    If these chicks died because of bacteria in the incubator, that's means I have to clean my incubator right? So, is there any way to clean an incubator? I've just washed it with hot water in the past but I've recently seen people saying to use bleach?

    another question, when you put eggs in the incubator, should I clean them/wash them first to get rid of any potential bacteria or put them straight in?

    Last question, at the moment I have 12 Silkie eggs in another incubator on day 6. Their humidity is at about 50 and they are on day 6. Is it too late to try and drop the humidity to about 25-35?

    I'm still a bit shocked about how horrible this try was, in the past I've incubated many quail and I've always gotten about a 40/48 hatch rate.

    Thanks so much everyone. I hope you all have better luck with your next hatches :)
     
  9. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't worry about the chick eating/drinking... they can go a couple days after hatching without consuming anything....Wow, that's really cool that it's still alive!..... I don't know much about incubating or disinfecting the equipment [​IMG], so I'll let somebody else answer that.....you might need to make a separate thread asking that question...

    I think you'd be doing a good thing to go ahead and back the humidity down...just keep an eye on your air sacs and make sure they shrink down appropriately.


    Ya know, I'm surprised at my own current bad luck as well, even though I knew it was a gamble, I thought it would turn out better than it has..... oh well, you can only do so much....[​IMG]

    Good luck to you too Josh!
     
  10. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Yes, definitely use bleach, and let it dry in the hot sun for several days if you can. Also, mushy chicks can come from too high humidity and too cool incubator temps
    2. Only incubate clean eggs as a rule. Washing the eggs removes the bloom, the natural bacteria shield on the egg
    3. Never too late to do the right thing. Go ahead and drop that humidity for the rest of the hatch; raise it to 60-65 on day 17-18.

    I hope your silkie hatch is successful! Please post to this thread about how it goes (and how your little dude is!)
     

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