I could use some advice on this chick


ChowDown Silkie Farm
10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Hornbeak, Tennessee
I have a chick that seemed to be having a hard time hatching. It is 3 days late. It had pipped but nothing else for hours. Only a very weal chirp. I could barely feel movement. So I chipped away at the shell and left the inner sac in place except around its beak, then wrapped in in a warm moist papertowel and put it in the incubator to see if it tries to get out of the sac. There is no yolk at all. The cord is intact still. That is where I left shell. I didn't want to pull it off there. It will chirp and move a little but is not trying to to much but a kick every now and again. So I pulled the sac away except where the cord is at its bottom end, rewrapped it and isolated it in a small plastic container and is sitting on a heating pad.

Right now the temp in there isn't warm enough, its at 81 but climbing but the humidity is 86%. I supposes that is becasue of the wet paper towel. It is still listless but i'm hoping when I get the temp up to about 100 that will change. It probably didn't have a chance in the first place but I wanted to do somethng to help. I never leave them to die in the shell. I have only lost 1 chick that I helped out and thats not bad concidering that i've helped out many.

I was hoping somebody had some advice as to what to do to help this one get more lively. It is breathing fine and like I said gives out a little chirp every now and again. It is alive but I think in critical condition.
That's cool enough to kill it - get out the blow drier and warm it up while the incubator reheats. Use it on low, keep it moving so you don't over heat any spot, fluff with a wash cloth corner and just keep it warm and get it dry.
Should I pinch off the cord and just get that out of the way? Then go ahead and get it dry all the way? When I used the hair dryer it perked a bit. A little more movement but it's still listless.
Since you have to handle him, yeah pinch off the cord for several seconds then snip it off. If it seeps hold a bit of wash cloth to it, but if you pinch hard for a bit they don't generally.

And just keep getting him warm with the dryer - otherwise his organs will shut down.
I got the temp up as far as 100, but the humidity kept jumping up so I would use my hair dryer on low to dry up some of it and tried to keep it around 50 and 60%. When it went up I brought it back down. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be anyway, but I do wish I could have gotten the heat up and humidity down. I'll work on a CCU just in case I need it again. Maybe I can find an old incubator with no fan. A better heating pad. I had borrowed that one. Mine I have to hold the lever down and it gets hot enough to burn skin if held too long. It keeps people from leaving it on for hours.
My little post - hatch incubator is made from an eight bottle wine cooler - nice window/door, a light, some heat tape and a fan. If I'm staggering I use it to dry chicks in and get them strong enough for my staggered age brooder or to watch or treat chicks wierd at hatch.

I got the non-working wine cooler free. It had fans in it, just needed some rewiring, add a light and a heat tape and a little water heater thermostat and I'm golden.

I also sometimes use it for a small batch hatcher. Just depends. With no water in it, chicks dry quickly, like cuddling over the heat tape (I tiled over it). It's small handy, dried them quickly and offers a clear view of the inside for monitoring. And since I tiled it, easy to clean.

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