Miracle Chick! - Nope, nevermind...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BackyardDove, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About a week ago, I had two momma hens hatch their eggs on the same day. One of these hens is a very tame Silkie and the other is a very wild Gamebird, so I took the Gamebird's chicks away from her and put them with the Silkie. I waited a few days after the first of the Gamebird's chicks hatched before pitching the other eggs, because I knew that other hens were going into her nest and had laid a couple more eggs after the Gamebird had already started incubating. I couldn't move the Gamebird due to her wild nature and I couldn't seal her off into the nest, so I figured I'd let her sit on the eggs a few days after the first ones hatched to give the other, later laid eggs a chance to hatch.

    Then this morning, several days after pitching what I thought were all the eggs, I see this little guy in the nest.
    [​IMG]

    He's chirping and actively pipping. I have NO idea how this guy made it. After I had pitched the other eggs(and somehow missed him), the Gamebird that had been incubating in his nest stopped incubating. I had also moved his nest around after pitching the eggs, and this guy had to of been knocked around against the walls a good amount when I moved the nest. The Gamebird would still sleep in the nest, even though I moved it, but she wasn't sitting on any eggs in there during the day. I know this for a fact because I pass by his nest several times a day and she's never sitting inside it, and she's begun to lay eggs again. I'm actually not even sure where he was hiding in the hay in the nest, because I didn't see the egg until just a day or two ago, but I was in too much of a rush to pitch what I thought was a dead egg. When I first saw him, I was certain that the hole he made was actually made by ants, so I had picked him up to go ahead and toss him out before the ants get to the newly laid eggs. And then he started chirping! The egg was extremely cold, since like I said nobody's been sitting in that nest during the day, so I warmed him up using my hand, and then placed him in this very old fashioned incubator I had been given a few days ago.

    He's now sitting in the incubator, as pictured above, and is much warmer. Like I said, the incubator is a very old fashioned one, it's heat source comes from a heating pad located underneath the wooden box. The temperature inside the incubator is 94 degrees, so I'm still working on getting it to an ideal 99 degrees, but considering the little guy made it several days with nobody sitting on him during the day, I think he'll be just fine if I can't get the temperature to go up a little!
     
  2. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my mom decided she would take it upon herself to take off a portion of his egg shell because, as she claims "having the membrane and shell on made it too thick and he wouldn't be able to hatch". It never dawned on her that the membrane is thick because it's still full of blood and he's not ready to hatch yet. The membrane bled some, but it's mostly intact, and hopefully my mother didn't just jeopardize this chicks life...
     
  3. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nevermind. He died after hatching...

    I'm done with this ****. I'm so sick of throwing away dead bodies, of fighting all these stupids diseases, sicknesses, injuries and all the other crap that chickens love to get into. I'm tired of fighting so **** hard to save each chick, only for it to die anyways. I thought a bit of side breeding of Silkies would be fun, but it's been nothing but agony and torment this past year I've been breeding them. Predators, parasites, **** that shouldn't happen but yet still does. Sure, seeing the trail of baby chicks behind momma is sweet and awesome to watch, and I love their little peeps to mom, but it's just not worth it anymore. Instead of being able to enjoy them, I can't help but think how many of the chicks will end up being dead. I don't get paid **** to breed either. Nobody wants to pay what a Silkie is worth, I'm lucky if I can sell a three month old for $15. I've spent out the *** fortifying their coops and all that crap, building up my flock with good quality Silkies, and for what? To know that the Silkies I sell are going to live and go to good homes? No, because half the time I hear that the chicks I sell died for this reason, or that reason... Which I can't blame them, because I bought 10 Silkies back in March, but only 5 are left and they're still not even old enough to breed. I've had to throw away 7 bodies just this week because I'm going through a mild lice infestation, and God forbid these stupid creatures live through every minor illness that comes their way. And I'm sure I'll be throwing more away, because I had chicks hatch last week, before I knew of the lice. It's just a matter of time before the rest die too. Why should I separate them and try to treat them anyways? It does literally no good. I tried saving a different batch of chicks last time the lice hit. Treated them all immediately, they were all doing fine, then they just crashed a few days later. No point in trying if they don't have the will to live anyways. I can't even wake up in the morning feeling good and wanting to care for my animals anymore, because I'm scared of going outside and seeing more bodies, since morning is usually when I find the bodies.

    This one little chick, this chick who shouldn't of lived at all, who should've gotten too cold long ago to survive in the egg, if he had made it, everything would've been worth it. All the death, all the crap that's happened... it would've been worth it, because even though I couldn't save the others, I would have saved this one little chick who defied nature and decided he'd live without being incubated. I held him in my hand, warming him up and listening to his peeps, for a whole hour, then spent the day caring for him to make sure he would make it... only for him to die a few hours after hatching. I've learned so much this past year from breeding. I can tell you pretty much everything about anything to do with chickens and how to raise them, but what good does that knowledge do when your chickens will still die, no matter how hard you try?
     
  4. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im so sorry for your losses! It must be so difficult to throw away dead chickens! Hold in there. Don't give up!
     
  5. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been holding on for 4 years. The first three were me trying and failing several times to raise a batch of Silkies to breeding age. I'm done holding on. I'm not doing this anymore. I'm a full time college student and these stupid birds are not only sucking into my finances, they're stressing me out and taking time away from my studies. I've been holding out in hopes that things will get better, but if after four years things have only gotten terribly worse, I might as well cut my losses and move on to a hobby that will actually make me happy. I may still breed a couple batches in the summer, but I'm not going to do this year round anymore, and I'm not going to be as dedicated as I have been. It's no where near worth it.
     
  6. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok i understand! Raising chickens and having them isn't always as hard as you have had it! You definitely got the short straw! Sorry. Hopefully things will get better [​IMG]
     
  7. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no, I agree. Raising chicks isn't that hard once you get the hang of it. I've raised my fair share of standard size breeds, and I still breed another bantam breed. I've never once had a chick die on me that was older than a week from those breeds. But Silkies? No, trying to breed and raise Silkies is like trying to cut through stale bread with a plastic knife. Not impossible, but incredibly frustrating.
     
  8. Joplus

    Joplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the feeling. I used to breed flemish giants and I finally gave up after a devastating loss of my entire herd from snuffles. My guinea pigs caught it too and killed them as well. I decided no more breeding rabbits but I'm a lifer on the guinea pigs. Then last summer my herd was killed by dogs, then the next herd killed by dogs, then my current herd one got killed by a scorpion and 3 babies killed by cats. The guilt. But I have my herd intact somehow. My chickens are a little tougher and because the guinea pigs share their coop they're first choice of predators leaving the hens safe. I treat with ivermectin and valbazen a couple times a year and drench the place in DE. But as pp mentioned these are standard sized chickens not silkie. You might have to switch to another breed and call quits on the silkie like I had to with the flemish giants. So sorry for your losses and much luck [​IMG]
     

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