new member - need help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by pepperbasket, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. pepperbasket

    pepperbasket In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    Hi - first time incubator hatch project - no prior chicken experience. Chicks hatched yesterday - 5 fluffy chicks in a brooding box. However, there is one chick struggling in the incubator. He was the first pipper on Sunday and struggled over 48 hrs. We read several sites and I "helped" him last night - only breaking the dried rubbery exposed membrane. He had a hole in it around his beak and had been breathing and pushing out. He "fell" out of his shell this morning. 7pm and he's still wet. Wobbly, falls to his back often. Very loud peeps. Rests, stands, moves around the incubator. No sign of drying. I put a shallow dish with fresh water and marbles in there - he has been to it several times. Can't seem to hold up his head - rests it on that dish and the other non-hatched eggs for support. I put a shallow dish with feed in there, he found it, couldn't tell if he actually ate anything but he did peck at it. He fell on his back on the saucer so I took it out.

    Questions!!!!!!!!! What can we do if anything to help him now. For some reason the incubator is having trouble holding at 100. Had no problem for 3 weeks. The water tray beneath him is full, nasty and smelly and when he rests, his beak gets in it - yuk. The incubator reeks - have to cover our faces to open it - needs to clean out. Should we take him out and put him in a smaller box inside the same brooder as the others? Even if just to clean out the incubator? How long could/should he last in the incubator like this? Still wet? He's been breathing air since Sunday though stuck in the egg till this morn - shouldn't he need to drink and eat by now?

    Please advise, thanks!
  2. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

    Apr 30, 2010
    I would put this in the chick section.
  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Well, it's still in the incubator, so it may belong here.

    If possible, I'd section off the warmest part of your brooder and put the new chick in there to dry. There's no way a smelly, damp incubator is better then a warm, dry brooder after hatching. A lot of times freshly hatched chicks are very weak (especially if they've had a long hatch, like this one) and they will flop around in a very undignified way for quite a while before they get the hang of it. Keep him warm, let him fluff out, maybe even put another chick in his area to keep him company. Mine will swamp a new hatchling and keep it warm and safe until it dries out, but some will peck at newcomers, so be sure to watch if you add a chick friend to his part of the brooder.

    Good luck! Fingers crossed for you!
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  4. pkw

    pkw Songster

    May 14, 2010
    North Edwards, CA
    I had a chick hatch out on June 14th that was weak after it hatched. I took a dry wash cloth and towel dried the chick, emptied the water out of the incubator, put a clean dry wash cloth in the incubator for the chick to have something comfortable to lay on. I also kept the temp at 96 degrees. It doesn't need to be at 100 degrees that is too much heat. Keep the incubator closed until it dries. It took 2 days for my chick to hold its head up and to be able to walk. After that it was able to move to the brooder with the other chicks and it is doing fine now. Maybe this will work for your chick
  5. pepperbasket

    pepperbasket In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks to all advice. We put him in a smaller box inside the brooding box. Gave him a dish of water w/marbles and some feed. Swapped the lightbulb from 85 to a 100watt and the temp is steady at 92/94 in his area. Put down newspaper, paper towels, then a washcloth. He's not steady - rolls to his back and doesn't get up well, but he can. Haven't seen him get to the water yet - about 5 inches away (he's in a shoe box inside the brooder).

    Hard to watch. Does not look good - not that I really know what the stages look like for long - the others fluffed up so quickly. He is however drying - one side of him is fluffing, but the side he lays on is still wet looking. Fluff looks really ragged and thin too. His breathing is very heavy and fast too.

    Will see what he looks like tomorrow - to the one that took 2 days to hold up his head - sounds about like this guy too.

    Thanks. I also dumped the incubator outside and gave it a vinegar rinse - too late, dark out and tired to clean tonight - but could not stand the smell any longer. Will give the other eggs a couple more days and then clean up that process.
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    If you haven't seen him drink yet I'd dip his beak in water. They can go for a few days without but it would be better for him to get started on it since he's already had such a tough time. Some folks add a bit of sugar to the water to give them a little boost. Good luck!

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  7. Lalaith

    Lalaith In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to BYC, pepperbasket. It sounds like you're doing everything right to give the little guy a chance. There are different approaches available to you though. I personally don't leave them in the incubator for very long. Even if they are still a little wet, I get them into the brooder box and the fresh air. I monitor them closely to make sure they are close enough to the heating lamp and I make sure they all know where the water is, then I let them be chickens [​IMG].
  8. pepperbasket

    pepperbasket In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    okay - now I'm in tears - this little guy is hard to watch

    about an hour ago I found the temp over 120 - one child thought he looked chilly in the 80s and put the other lamp on - UGH that breaks my heart - I can't speculate how long - maybe less than 30 min - the fluffy chicks didn't seem stressed and are still doing fine - but this sick one I think that will do him in - I instantly got him out and fanned him/therm back down

    while picking him up I realized the "wet" side of him is actually dried on stuff - if he makes it he could be washed off later

    his breathing is slower and labored, not panting like before and don't see his heart racing like it has been. I made some sugar water and used a tiny paint brush to brush some across his beak - haven't heard him peep in a while

    what/when do you do what? how could we put him out of his misery?

    earlier I tried putting a healthy chick in with him - but the chick just trompled over him so I took him out.
  9. gurooh

    gurooh Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    New York
    Quote:I'm no expert at this kind of thing but after it dries off after hatching you should dip its beak in the water right away. Good Luck [​IMG]

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