I had a strange case with one of my chicks and would really like some input..


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
hi there

Okay so I KNOW this is about chickens but I NEED to ask this, even though it happened last year it still bugs me up to this day...

There was a nest of plover birds (birds which are typical to our area in south africa) at our stable which the mummy has been sitting on for about 3 days. Someone went and disturbed the nest by putting a tire around it to stop the nest form being stood on by the horses as it was in their paddock, but classically, the parents abandoned the nest
When I went riding I saw the tire around the nest and I wanted to see if the parents would come back (they are normally EXTREMELY protective over their nests, they never leave it and attack you to hell and high waters if you come anywhere near). 2 hours later and the parents were nowhere in site. Apparently the tire had been put on the evening before so I decided to take the eggs home (there were 3). I made a seriously make-shift incubator in a box.. I unfortunately must admit to not turning the eggs or adding humidity for the 1st week they were in the incubator... I didn't know it had to be done and when I actually got the brains to research it, I started immediately.

Anyway, two of the eggs never hatched and when I eventually opened them they were rotten
The one who did hatch, however, I messed up completely :( After he pipped and didn't make progress for hours on end, I ended up helping him out.. Turned out his yolk sack wasn't done absorbing :( Put him back in the incubator and after 3 hours he absorbed it just fine on his own. Anyway.. He was REALLY weak at first but after about 2 days he got strong but he had a crippled foot :( It was really bad to the point where he was walking on his ankle joint. It didn't seem to bother him though as he walked absolutely fine and ran about everywhere and ate SO much. He was growing steadily and everything was doing really really well.. But one night (he was about 2 weeks old now) I had a really bad feeling. I checked him at about 3am and noticed he wasn't looking so well. Thought he may just be tired as he'd been running around like crazy that day so I left it until morning. At 7am he was just laying there, no noises no eating.. nothing. I immediately started rushing him to the bird vet which is 30 minutes away.. but in the car he suddenly sprawled himself out, went stiff and passed away :( It was the scariest and sadest thing
I know it was most likely my fault, and that I could've helped out if I'd done some research but I just need to know everyone's opinion of why this might've happened? It was just so strange how from one minute he could be running around eating and all that and the next his heart just failed him

Anyway, I've just incubated my first very small batch of chicken eggs properly and all my bubbas are out and running around as of today :) Did everything properly this time and did SO much research so hoping all goes well and they grow up beautifully
Please let me know what you think about the other bird I hatched, though. It still bugs me to this day not knowing what may have been the cause...
Wild birds are very difficult to raise for many reasons. It sounds like there were some developmental problems. It is possible that once the yolk sac was absorbed the chick's digestive tract was not up to supporting growth and development.
Perhaps it had something to do with what you where feeding it? It might now have been thriving on it oposed to what it would have eaten in the wild and it just finally caught up with it.
No, I researched their diet and fed him exactly what they eat in the wild.. I even bought the food from exotic pet stores instead of catching it to make sure no pesticides were in it. Also contacted the local bird sanctuary and they told me what to feed him.. He was thriving. The vet said something about his internal organs may not have grown properly :(
Okay, I just thought maybe since I know nothing about that type of bird. Sometimes if they are not turned properly it can mess up their development, but really there are so many factors involved. Could have even been bad genetics on the parents part. Hard to say, sometimes they just don't thrive and we never now why.

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