lifeless chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AusChook, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. AusChook

    AusChook Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2013
    Australia
    Hi, I have a broody hen. She has been sitting on eggs for 21 days. They have started hatching today. So far 2 have hatched. They are both very lifeless. Not moving at all. If I pick them up they chirp a little but the cant seem to pick up their heads so it just dangles. I have no idea why. I doubt they'll still be alive in the morning. What could be wrong? Will this happen to all the chicks that hatch. I am feeling very miserable about the whole situation.

    I will add that she is on a clutch of eggs from 5 different hens and 1 rooster. I have hatched eggs from these chickens in an incubator a fair bit and have never had a problem.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,056
    7,620
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    How long ago did they hatch (hours/minutes)? Chicks are often a bit lifeless and weak in the first hour or so after the hatch, especially if it was a drawn out hatch. Tuck them under mom's wings, so they can stay warm and leave them.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,701
    2,656
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
  4. AusChook

    AusChook Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2013
    Australia
    They have hatched around 7 hours ago.

    The chickens range from 18 months to 9 months in age.

    They get fed chicken food with grit added, lots of scraps from inside and they free range 18 hours a day.

    I don't know what has gone wrong.
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,252
    248
    193
    Sep 12, 2012
    Seven hours ago seems like they're right at the point of resting off all of that work from hatching. Is mommy still sitting on them? Are they warm when you pick them up? If so, just leave them alone and they'll probably be fine. Check on them tomorrow, and see how they are doing then.
     
  6. AusChook

    AusChook Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2013
    Australia
    The second one that hatched has perked up a lot. The first to hatch is still not moving and I think it is going to die. I am not so worried now though. 3 more have hatched that all seem fine and there is lots of chirping coming from under her so more to come I'd say. The first one might have hatched too early? Maybe it didn't get all of its yolk? The rest have only hatched early this morning and starting to pip now so the really sick one is at least 24 hours ahead of the rest. Maybe this is why.
     
  7. AusChook

    AusChook Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2013
    Australia
    Oh and mumma hen is still sitting on them. I am trying not to bother her too much, just lifting up her front feathers or wing to have a little look. The little sick one is under her but right at the front. I don't think it has moved since it hatched but it is still breathing.
     
  8. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,252
    248
    193
    Sep 12, 2012
    It sounds almost like it may have hatched right when mommy got off of the nest to stretch, and maybe got too chilly. If so, it will come back when it warms back up. I'm hoping the best for you either way.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by