Help! Sticky chick needs washing

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kedreeva, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    So I hatched a little duckling out today and it was just covered in egg gunk. It came out of the egg partially dried on already (I had to break it out of the prison because the membranes had gone gummy and congealed to the duckling's skin and feathers) and this baby is not going to fluff out. Is there a safe addition to just warm water that might help get this off? I already gave it a finger scrub in warm water and the water turned cloudy yellow from the gunk I DID manage to get off... but it's really stuck on there and I didn't want to chill the duckling by keeping it out too long or rip feathers off because it was glued to the chick so much. It's in my little brooder with an underneath heating pad and the good heat lamp... but I know I'm going to have to give it another bath before I can move it in with the others.

    Suggestions to help with this sticky, dried on gunk?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would think just a few inches of warm water and a really mild dish soap would work. I would gently towel dry, then blow dry, then place under a heat lamp.
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I've had success with baby chicks by just using a DRY soft brush, like an old toothbrush, makeup brush, or paint brush. Don't see why it shouldn't also work with a baby duck. The stuff just sort of crumbles off.
  4. sarochka

    sarochka Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 3, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    The other day I had a very sticky chick hatch. When it was a day old and dry, its feathers were hard, shiny and crunchy -- looked like it had been smeared thickly with hair gel, and it was having trouble walking, too. I bathed it in a bowl with a few inches of warm water, just rubbing with my finger. I also used a spray bottle with warm water, and squirted his head repeatedly with moderate force (in the direction away from his beak/nostrils, toward his back). It didn't get every last bit of the stuff, but a few days later he is completely fluffed out like all the other chicks.
  5. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never gotten one I helped to survive...but there have only been two prior to the one I have now.
    I had to help this little chick, which was sticky too. I have a gentle spray on my kitchen sink, so I adjusted
    the water to the correct warm temp and ran the chick under the water, then dried it with kleenex.
    Kleenex is more absorbent faster then a towel is. Needless to say I did not put it's head under the water.

    It dried, and fluffed up nicely and it looks like it may survive unlike the other ones who got weaker and weaker,
    this one though tiny is getting stronger and stronger.
  6. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Well, I can't use dish soap because ducks are way crazier than chickens and they will do everything in their power to drink any water they are near... but a toothbrush may work now that he's fluffing out a little. He was becoming a little ball of crusty, crunchy feathers before his 'bath' last night, but this morning he has got a little bit of fluff and a little bit of crunch. I will try the toothbrush when I get home!

    And Mini, that's very strange that your helped chicks are dying off. I have helped a lot of chicks (I'm still figuring out how my incubator likes to be stroked to perform well enough with humidity) and there was only one of a few dozen that has died- and it had respiratory issues before hatching, gasping and choking while in the egg. I don't help until the chick's pipped externally and has sat for 24+ hours with no progress... and even then I only create a zip line for them and they have to push out themselves. This is the first one where I had to actually crack more than that and pull it out because the membrane was sticking to it so badly, but it seems to be doing just fine health-wise, hobbling between the food and the water towers and giving me the hairy eyeball every time I look into the brooder. I wonder if you're helping too soon or too much?

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