Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by volchick, May 26, 2010.

  1. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    I'm a first timer at this so I have no idea what is or not. I had 6 eggs under a broody hen. This was her first hatch as well. They were/are in a dog crate in my bathroom (dh is so over that...) One hatched thurs night/ fri morn. The second hatched Fri. Third hatched Sunday. Monday afternoon number four hatched... this one we witnessed hatching and I noticed that mama was picking at the shell a bit (trying to help it?). Monday night before I went to bed I noticed mama had picked a lot of shell off #5 but the membrane was all intact with just a few slits in it here and there. Yesterday morn I got up and checked it out. She had picked over half the shell off from broad end to pointy end. I took it out because I was afraid she was going to crush it and I was afraid that the membrane was going to dry out. Well I really had to end up helping it get out. It seems to be fine now. So in the mean time #6 pipped and by the time it was time to pick up my dd from school there was about a dime sized hole in it. I left it in the pen and left. When dd and I got home we checked on them and mama had picked off shell and membrane from half of it from broad to pointy end. Then she and the chicks started fighting over eating the membrane (which was extremely bloody). By the time I could get the cage open and shoo them away they had the chick completely out and were trying to yank away the rest of the membranes off it. I scooped up the little one and took it to a hat box that i had chick 5 inside. I took chick 5 back to to rest of the brood and cleaned out the shell and membranes and bloody shavings that they were still fighting over. I cleaned off chick 6 and the poor thing had yolk and possibly organs still outside of it. My dd is devastated (I sent her out so she didn't get to see too much). I now have babe wrapped in a wet paper towel and I put it's body in a ziplock and it's laying in the hatbox under a lamp at close to 100 deg. I haven't looked at it since last night, but I don't hold much hope for it because of the pictures that I've seen on here of unabsorbed yolk my chickie looks far worse.

    My question is what would cause the mama to do that? They had plenty of chick starter and water... I'm ready to eat her now...
     
  2. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    anybody??
     
  3. drunkdog

    drunkdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Everett
    first off my answer is most likely wrong to begin with but I will attempt based on what I read to understand....possibly the last chick was not fully formed or was not going to make it regardless...animals seem to know in the wild which babies will make it and which wont...she was posssibly trying to remove/clean up what was interpreted to her to be a nonviable baby....the others ate on it because A mom was and B they ARE little Raptors and it was bloody? again I am probably wrong but hopefull atleast you get a bump and someone who knows comes along.
     
  4. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks... I checked on the babe a few minutes ago and it still had stuff hanging out. Not only that but it smelled horrible, like rotten meat. So I know it's a hopeless cause. I would have given up on it before now, but I told my dd I would do all I could. I changed the wet towel and wrapped the chick up and put it in our deep freezer in a box...
     
  5. SarahIrl

    SarahIrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    West Cork, Ireland
    In the freezer? I have to cull one tonight and will snap it's neck. Quick and painless.
     
  6. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, after I posted that I went back over to the incubating and hatching page. There is a thread there called "how to cull?" or something like that. Anyway, at the time I read it that is what someone had suggested to me, but when I went back someone else had put how to snap it's neck, so I went and got it out of the freezer and did that. It was literally 10 minutes after I posted that I had put it in the freezer. When I got it out it was already gone... or in deep sleep. I pulled it's head just to make sure. I know dd is going to need to have a chickie burial or something this afternoon...
     
  7. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2008
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    Well, it's all said and done, but freezer isn't the best option for the chick. They suffer, we just don't witness it.

    Back to what you saw.. What was hanging out of the chick was it's yolk sac, not completely absorbed. Not organs. It's possible this egg just didn't mature as fast as the others, and mamma hen thought it was time, so was helping it hatch. It's natural, chicks will also peck at anything that doesn't "look right". Mamma isn't bad, just did what she thought was right.

    I let my sitting hens do their own thing, and nature takes it's course. Though it's gruesome to think about, more than likely, if the chick wasn't meant to survive, she may have removed it from the next, or consumed it -- again, gruesome, but they have it in their nature to clean up after themselves, and they don't have human emotions tied into it, like we do.

    It's really hard for me, but I try to step aside of the emotion, let nature take it's course, and IF I have to intervene, make things quick and as pain free as I can.

    Best of luck with the ones that hatched! Are you letting momma raise them, or are you separating them?

    Quote:
     
  8. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to let mama raise them. And yeah, I thought it might just be yolk sac at first, too. But now I'm sure it wasn't. There were all different colors of stuff hanging out, some looked like yellow yolk sac and some like strings and some like tiny pieces of liver or something. When I checked it earlier it looked like all the yellow was gone, either absorbed into chickie or absorbed into the paper towel. I looked all over the internet for pictures of unabsorbed yolk sacs and nothing looked nearly as badly as this did. I don't feel bad for the chick since I know I did all I could... I feel bad for my daughter. If I ever have to cull a chickie again I'll know the pulling the neck method. Like I said I am such a newbie at this, so I'm doing what I can the best I know how [​IMG]
     

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