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Question on partially hatched chick- Updated with pictures!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by pbjmaker, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    We have a chick who is now beginning day 24.
    Last night we broke a hole in the shell to get him air - he had been peeping in the shell for about 20 hours without a pip and the peep was getting weaker. Today he just laid in his shell and peeped all day so we peeled back part of the membrane - the veins are pretty much died back, no bleeding, but it looks like the yolk may not be entirely absorbed.

    My question is he does not open his eyes at all - is this normal? Or is it because he is just weakened and that would require precious energy?

    I do have to say his peep has gotten a lot stronger now that he has oxygen.

    The shell was as hard as metal - my husband even went and got the drill (and no we didn't use it)

    As long as he is peeping strong I will leave him be - I just want him to open his little eyes...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  2. hatchcrazzzy

    hatchcrazzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2007
    kemp texas
    siometimes it takes 24 hours or longer i would leave it alone as long as it sounds strong help only if you have to
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Once part of the shell is gone it is hard for them to hatch. The moisture is gone from within and they have no support against which to turn themselves. If the chick does not progress in 6 or so more hours you might consider getting it out of there. I had to do just that day before yesterday. My baby had been under a broody but she kept leaving the egg uncovered and it was pipped for over 24 hours. Nothing had changed and I knew it was dry. I brought in inside and set up the incubator real quick and left it alone for the day and night but I went ahead and helped it all the way out in the end. The internal membrane was dry as cardboard and encasing the chick. There was not way it could have moved around to finish the hatch. Once the shell is open it is extremely difficult to keep it from getting to dry to continue to hatch. Even placing it on a damp towel did not work. Good Luck.
  4. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I ended up helping it out the rest of the way because it had gotten one leg out and kept trying to use it to push which of course didn't work. Its yolk was completely absorbed, but its has a roughish umbilical area. It is still curled up with the one leg sticking straight out so I am still monitoring it.

    I'd feel so much better if it would open it's eyes.

    Could they be stuck shut from the goopy membrane?
  5. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Ok this chick is trying to behave normal but can't seem to uncurl its neck.

    Did I read somewhere that could be caused by a vitamin defiecency?

    I did give him some poly-vi-sol.

    Also - do chickens have one eyelid or two like a cat?
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I noticed if there's anything on their eyelids they won't attempt to open them. Try wiping them off with a damp warm paper towel.

    Some chicks will have stiff necks from the hatching muscle used to break the shell being tight. This muscle goes away as they age. I have one right now that hatched out with that problem. It kept flipping over backward, can't move it's neck very well, and it's feet were all curled. It's whole body felt stiff when I flipped it over. During the past few hours since hatching it has slowly gained more ability to move and hasn't gotten stuck on it's back in the past 30mins. It's wobbling around with the other 2 pretty well. Just give it time. Especially since you helped it hatch instead of it going through the normal motions.
  7. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    When it takes a good while to hatch sometimes they take a while to get their land legs. The one I helped out, seemed to be very wobbly even after it was completely dried off. I left it with a mommy hen and by the morning it is fine.

    I agree about the warm water possibly on a q-tip to clean the eye area. I would see how it is doing by this morning before giving to much in the way of vitamins straight. You might try some vitamin and electrolytes in the water and just dip its beak in the water several times during the day. The baby does not need anything in the way of nutrients yet. It will be fine with the yolk just absorbed for up to three days. I hope your little one is up and about this morning and show no sign of the struggle it had. Sometimes the things you mentioned are the reason it did not complete the hatch to start with.

    The hard part of helping a chick is knowing that they may not have hatched due to a weakness or infirmity that prevented it from completing the task of hatching by itself. In some cases they are just not going to be ok and will possibly not make.
  8. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    PBJ- How's the chick this morning? I have had others that were "slow waking up" and those were the ones that had difficulty hatching. I think it will be fine with time.

    The only one I had that was hatched under a broody was very reluctant to open it's eyes. The hen kept tossing it out of the nest and even though we brought it in and put it in the brooder, it died within 12 hours. Must have been something wrong that we couldn't see. Now, I'm not sayin' that's going to happen to yours!!

    I agree that if there is anything around their eyes, they won't even try to open them.
  9. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    He is still alive and stronger, but has some definate obstacles to overcome. It looks like he is blind in at least one eye, and has kind of a club foot. He does hold himself up and walk around now, he likes to try and keep with the other chicks. So far they don't seem to mind him. In fact he will often fall asleep resting on one of their backs and they will just stand there. I was gone most of the day so did not get to observe if he can find the water at all on his own. I also think he has some difficulty swallowing well. When I dip his beak he will drink but if I dip it too soon again, its like he blows bubbles back out. He reminds me of a child with cerebal palsy. The kids have named him "Charlie" from Ray Charles since last night he would bob his head from side to side as he tried to gain his balance. Here are some pics of him.

    His "good side"
    Stronger muscle control, the eye looks better - might have sight.


    His "weak side"

    From the top - you can see the right side of his body even looks smaller:


    Here is how he often sleeps:


    In this picture you can see how his foot on the right side is wonky:


    The yellow on his beak is dried yolk that I picked off after the pics.
    He still never opens his eyes...
  10. Hooterville

    Hooterville Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did you try wiping his eyes with a damp cloth? I had to do that to several chicks that were shipped to me--they looked just like yours.
    I had to do it several times as they would just goo up again--not really thick or heavy goo, just like sleep in their eyes. I was gentle but I did rub it a bit. Then they would pop open and the chick would just seem so excited to see again!

    Try it and see if it helps.

    Also, my one chickie hatched out yesterday with a club-looking foot. Today it has taken shape and she's walking around just fine.

    [​IMG] Hope yours does too!

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