How much should I clean my "sticky" chick?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mamalaoshi, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    I've got a little guy that was snuck into my broody hen's nest the day I stopped counting and locked her up (so about two days before her eggs hatched). That batch hatched on the 1st of October. I stuck the egg in my incubator because it was already growing when I candled it and I figured why not.

    It pipped yesterday and then seemed to get stuck, meaning it made a large hole about dime sized but wasn't turning. Then it started foaming out of the hole around the beak! It was as if there was too much liquid and it was blowing bubbles. I ended up helping it unzip (in stages) and stuck it back in the incubator with a wet paper towel around it (I don't like intervening usually but it turned out that it was stuck to the shell by the edge of the pipped hole- I could tell after unzipping it).

    By lunch time today it had got a leg free but seemed to be stuck there for more than an hour. I took it out to check and one leg, a wing, and its head were glued to the shell and membrane. After some work with warm water and tweezers, it looked like this:
    [​IMG]
    I did some reading on here and saw a lot of people mentioned the second membrane drying like cement, so I checked and sure enough it was starting to feel like it had used shellac as hairspray. Back into its warm little bath, this time with some cotton swabs. This time I got a lot of the clear membrane off its body. The problem now is the head. I can't soak it's head, obviously, and rubbing with a wet q-tip is not cutting it. It's worst around it's eyes where I really don't want to rub. Also it's beak is making a clicking noise now, like it's sticky.


    [​IMG]
    It's trying to walk now- yay! And making lots of noise.

    So my question is- Do I leave it alone for now or try to clean it up some more?

    (If anyone is curious, it should be a silkie/polish cross and we're naming it Sneaky.)
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I get as much as is reasonably possible making sure the wings can move but pay a lot of attention to cleaning the vent and of course eyes. Crust on the fuzz or a few small pieces of shell is no big deal and they shed it off in few days but you don't want any glue sealing the vent or eyes closed.

    I only aid chicks if they get stuck too, I figure I was the blame with humidity. Keeping 70% + at hatch instead of 65% has stopped that from occasionally happening so far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
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  3. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Roy, WA
    Do you have any advice about how to clean the eyes? I'm worried I'll injure it or get water in its nose.
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi! [​IMG] you could try saline solution on a Q tip, but a dab of antibiotic eye ointment left to sit for a bit might free the eye up quite nicely. Best of luck to you.
     
  5. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Roy, WA
    Thanks!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You might have better luck using a bit of damp terry cloth, or even some cheese cloth to clean the head and around the eyes. When I have chicks that need assist, I float them in my hand in a bowl of warm water. Of course, they have to be COMPLETELY ready for an assisted hatch at this point, cause once I do that, there's no turning back. With the few chicks I've assisted this way, it's been a very easy process for both me and the chick. A quick dry with a towel, and put them back into the bator to dry off, and I won't be able to tell them from the others within 24 hours. I like to keep some betadine handy and swab the umbilicus if I do an assist. Congrats on a successful assist. I wouldn't have guessed the odds to be very good with the chick blowing bubbles!
     
  7. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your suggestions. At this point its head feathers are crunchy but it's opening and closing it's eyes and beak just fine so I think I'll give it time to get stronger before I mess with it anymore. And, yeah, when I started seeing bubbles, I wasn't too optimistic. But so far, so good!
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Your best course of action may be to do nothing.
     
  9. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    I gave it another bath today because it seemed very hard and crunchy around the vent hole and it looked partially blocked. I couldn't get the gunk off but the vent hole looks clear now. I'll just have to keep checking to make sure that poop isn't sticking to the gunk. Poor chicky was very unhappy to get a bath. It kept trying to jump out of the bowl. But at least it is strong enough to try and get away. Right now it is yelling up a storm in the incubator. It wants me to hold it but it needs to dry off completely first.
     
  10. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    He's fluffing up nicely except for the top of his head and along the spine. I was wondering, do his legs look a little wide set to anyone else? I'm wondering if he has a slight case of spraddle leg? Or maybe he just needs to get a little stronger on his legs.
    [​IMG]
    Isn't he cute? He's got one foot with the extra Silkie toe (you can't see it in the picture). I can't tell how much he's going to have a polish hairdo yet until the gunk comes off the top of his head.
     

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