Help with lone baby chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Amy HUNTERTON, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Amy HUNTERTON

    Amy HUNTERTON In the Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2017
    My family and I went on vacation for a week and came back to 3 broody hens laying on a bunch of eggs together. We decided to let them continue and see what happened (this would be our first try hatching our own chicks). 3 chicks hatched at are thriving. Days later, I found one flattened chick and one half out of the shell dead. The next day I opened the coop and saw another chick half out of the shell chirping and the hens would not keep it warm. I know that you aren't supposed to help a chick out of the shell but I couldn't bare to see another die. Desperate, i held the wet baby in my bra covered with a towel for 5 hours until he fluffed up then put him under heat lamp. He ended up making it and I gave it a little water and some egg yolk. He's the sweetest little guy and I'm smitten with him. I do, however, have a 1 year old so I can't exactly carry a chick around with me all day. Two of the hens are still sitting on eggs which I don't think will ever hatch. I put Lucky under one of them and the hen took him. The hens peck at the chick if it's out though and I worry that I'm going to find him dead. They also won't take him to food or water either. Should I take the eggs out from under them and just let the chick remain? I don't know what to do.
     

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  2. mockingbird

    mockingbird Chirping

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    Feb 28, 2017
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    It's hard to predict what will happen. A few notes from similar experience:

    I usually put a chick feeder and waterer in with the broodies for the new chicks. Note that they do not need to eat or drink immediately because they are still being nourished by yolk.

    The broodies will not take the chicks to eat or drink for a few days because they are still in hatch mode and will continue to sit on the eggs. If the eggs were layed at different times the hatching will be spread out for longer.

    While in hatch mode the broodies may see the chicks as a threat. They also like to keep the new chicks underneath of them for a day or so and will peck them if they come out.
    Broody hens will kill other broodies chicks sometimes and sometimes they will co-parent. Broodies will also kill their own chicks sometimes, especially if stressed.

    I would give the chick to the one that accepted it and move her eggs under the other broodies to continue to sit. Separate the hens into different areas if at all possible. They will continue to steal each others eggs and they may get broken. At the least separate the one with the chick.

    If this is not possible you could set up a brooder with a heat lamp and raise the chick away from the others. It would not be able to rejoin the flock until it was roughly the same size as the adults. If raised by a broody the broody will integrate it into the flock.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. Amy HUNTERTON

    Amy HUNTERTON In the Brooder

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    Thanks mockingbird! I will make some separations in the coop and see what happens. Fingers crossed!
     
  4. mockingbird

    mockingbird Chirping

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    YW. Another thought - the eggs hatch at 21 days so if your eggs get to be a few days older than that with no signs of life you can throw them out. Since you were gone for a week the eggs may continue hatching for a week since you don't know exactly when they were laid.
     
  5. Amy HUNTERTON

    Amy HUNTERTON In the Brooder

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    They are way over 21 days but one just hatched recently (but was killled) and I've been candling them and see chicks inside. They may be dead...I have no clue but I would hate to discard viable eggs. I just put some poultry wire in the coop as a divideresult so the other chickens don't harm my little friend. The chick was out and pecking the hen's face and she wasn't pecking it so that's a good sign hopefully. I keep putting it's beak in the water every once and awhile for a sip just for piece of mind.
     
  6. mockingbird

    mockingbird Chirping

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    Feb 28, 2017
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    That is a good sign!
     
  7. Amy HUNTERTON

    Amy HUNTERTON In the Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2017
    Thanks for the advice. I feel a lot better that they are separated. This chick is so tiny since it's a Serama and is mixed in with some big girls. It's really a miracle that it's still alive since it sat cold in the coop for almost an hour after hatching. Hopefully all goes well and another chick hatches so he can have a buddy!
     
    Snow Flamingo likes this.

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