My gluey chick needs help!


In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2017
San Ramon, California
My little Orpington just hatched about an hour ago. He was pipped for around 26 hours and it took him 3 to unzip. He is really gluey and has a somewhat bloody navel and green goo that looks different than the others. I took him out of the incubator because he wasn't drying and was shivering. I put bacitracin on his navel and now have him burritoed in a cloth and a heating pad. What else can I do? Should I wash off the hardened goo? Let him heal more first? Please help! I've put some pics up if it works. He's dryer now.


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Is sounds like something called sticky chick. You can find more specific info on that in the threads. I've had a few of these and they usually do just fine as long as there aren't other issues. I didn't try to remove it, but if it's over the eyes, beak or vent, you will need to. It's not going to hurt anything as long as it isn't preventing them from seeing, breathing, eating, pooping, or getting around. I'm sure some people do take the time to remove it better, I just don't like to risk chilling chicks that small. I have read that most of the concern seems to revolve around the fact that the chick can't properly fluff out and stay warm. I've never had a problem with that.

Sounds like you're doing great! Just check to make sure the areas I mentioned aren't crusted over.
Thanks! I put him in a box with the heating pad and towel and am just letting him rest until he's strong enough to go into the brooder with the first 3. Was going to put him back in the incubator but I have two pipped eggs in there that look like they may turn out like this one. It's gonna be a long night! I tried to gently clean the vent, but don't want to bother the navel.Thanks for reminding me of that! I'll keep an eye on it and maybe do a better job tomorrow if he's a little stronger. I think it's time for a better incubator!
The first time I ever had sticky chicks, two had pips at the bottom where I couldn't see and they didn't make it. They were GLUED to the floor of the incubator. They were the last two, so I thought they were just slow or late quitters. When I pulled them to check viability I was horrified. Of course I went crazy trying to find info about what causes it and how to prevent it.

One popular theory seems to revolve around humidity from day 1-18. Some people blame high humidity during incubation and some people blame low humidity. It actually sounds like a lot of people are just repeating what they're reading/hearing vs. having the experience themselves to take stock of their own variables.

I've had this happen when I was experimenting with dry incubation and when I was using more traditional humidity levels. A breeder I know always keeps his humidity at 55%, which is higher than what I shoot for, but he still only has random sticky chicks. TEMPERATURE seems to be the biggest factor, hands down, for me. I have noted that this happened more often when my temps were on the higher end of the acceptable range. Bloody navels are also a symptom of higher temps, so that's where I'd focus first.

Every single egg in your incubator has its own individual variables. Some are more porous, some have thicker shells, etc. They all have different needs. We have to figure out how to fine tune our incubators for the majority of those eggs. If the majority of your chicks were sticky, I'd recommend checking your temperature first, with a very accurate thermometer. Then consider humidity. Don't give up on your incubator yet, but certainly don't trust the digital thermometer/hygrometer if it has that. I'm a big fan of the Brinsea Spot Check thermometer. Best investment I've made this year. $24.95 was much cheaper than a new incubator! Haha!
Thanks! I'm going to pick up one of those thermometers! Our humidity varies a lot here and I had it perfect judging by the air cells then it just kept getting way too high during lockdown and hatch, 86% at one point! I'll get it figured out but I'll probably hatch a few more batches of barnyard mixes, they were much more resilient to my incubator than the lavender Orpingtons. I'm definitely learning a ton though and have hit a few complications in only my first two hatches so at least I'll be more able to handle it in the future. I had 2 more tough eggs, the one I posted about turned out to be the easiest. It was a long night!Thanks so much! Here are a few baby pics!


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Yay!! Cute babies! I've had some of those long nights. Haha! It's very rewarding and very stressful on occasion. You did great!

That thermometer gave me some much needed peace of mind. You'll love it. As far as humidity during lockdown, 86% is a little high, but it doesn't hurt to toss another hygrometer in there to make sure it's really that high. I've got one incubator that tells me my humidity is 99% when it's really only about 75%. That thing is nuts. Lol. I remember reading about how notoriously bad the thermometers/hygrometers are on most table top incubators. I never imagined they were this bad!
My incubator runs 9% low and my extra hygrometer seemed pretty accurate but I'll have to test it again. I've still got 3 eggs in there that I don't think are alive but I'll check again tomorrow. One was internally pipped but I don't see any movement and two I think are definitely dead. I candled when I took the last baby out, he still had a little yolk but pulled through! It's been about 10 hours and he's dried off, peeping, walking and even took a little pedialyte and B12. So I think he'll be ok! Yay! 3 days to hatch 6 babies, but totally worth it!

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