R my new chicks "Mushy" or is it a genetic or humidity issue? Help!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bantyshanty, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

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    Hi to all the hatchers who have way more experience than me.

    I would really appreciate some opinions on these chicks They're going to be culled tonight if they don't & can't improve. However, If a could find a vet to diagnose and mend them, I would take them. My DH says that's not likely.

    I have two day-old chicks who hatched a little puffy or swollen on their bottoms. They can't walk right. They paddle their legs out forward (not splayed), with wings flapping. to try to get on their feet. Their bottoms are like a baby's diapered butt. They weigh them down. One has his legs band-aid taped as if he were spraddle legged. His legs are fine, but this doesn't help him. He s drunk more water than the other chick, and so his bottom is bigger. He has discomfort.

    Here's a reprint of the question I emailed a 4-H poultry specialist.

    THE MOST STRIKING SYMPTOMS ARE: 1-NO PEE/POO 2- HEAT INTOLERANCE, EVIDENCED BY LOTS OF PANTING & THIRST

    They will not take crumbles. The less swollen one wants too. They are not weak.


    Swollen chick details:


    There were 7 silkie bantam eggs incubated. 6 pipped, 5 hatched, 1 never pipped. Of the 5 that pipped 3 are perfectly "normal". They run, tweet, eat, poop, play.
    The first one and the fourth one that hatched are the large-bottomed ones. The bottom is heavy & feels somewhat puffy, like a baby wearing diapers under clothes, or the testes on a male hamster or rat. The navel is completely closed on both, but the dark (silkie) skin is taut from umbilical region down to vent. They have different mothers, the same dad. Some other symptoms and notable traits are as follows:

    1--aversion to heat --not comfortable at incubator (95F) or brooder (88F) temps. They pant until removed. They are comfortable at 70-75 F ...our bedroom & kitchen areas.

    2-- little thirst, no appetite.

    3-- lack of or inability to pass fluids. They don't pee or poop. Unfortunately, the first hatched is now very swollen, because I've been feeding water with an eyedropper.
    The second hatched is moderately swollen & has had little fluid.

    4--Both the swollen chicks have amazingly plush chick down. They're prettier than the healthy chicks, with more fully feathered feet. The down is thicker, rather than longer, all over including on the neck & head.


    My Hovabator Genesis had an egg turner and was kept
    99.5 -100.5 F days 1 - 18. Humidity was
    48-55% days 1-18.
    After I took them out of the turner on day 19, I had a problem getting the temp back to 99.5.
    So the incubator temp was
    98.5 -99.3 the last 3 days. Humidity inside the incubator was
    70-75% throughout the day 19-20, rising after a few chicks hatched to 82% for the last half day. All chicks hatched on day 21.
    I opened the 'bator 3 times to remove chicks, each time less than 5 seconds, each 6 hours apart. I set a stopwatch:) so I know

    Swollen chick one hatched at 6 am of 12/10/09. Two more chicks hatched at noon. Swollen chick two hatched at 10 pm.
    One more chick hatched at midnight. I have used humidifiers in the incubator room to keep the humidity 50-70% in the room.
    I have good ventilation in the 'bator, with 4 extra holes in the styrofoam lid.


    Thanks for the help!!!!
     
  2. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Are their vents open or stuck closed?
     
  3. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

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    Thank you The Warden for answering!

    The vents are open. Dry & clean. They look normal. Something is putting pressure on them from the inside, I think? , to not allow anything out. They came out of the egg clean & beautiful, with no stickiness, blood, umbilical goo. Nothing. They had good, swift, vigorous hatches, too. Great job zipping & such.
     
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    It's normal to not eat or drink for a day or two. That's why chicks can be shipped, as they can live off the yolk for 3 days. Are you sure that it is swelling? I would just give them a day or two and see how it goes.
     
  5. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

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    Yes, I'm sure they are (were) swollen up. About twice the size in bck of their hatch mates.

    Update PM Dec11, '09.

    Swelling of chicks was completely down in abdomen by morning. Head feathers still puffy. I've pretty much decided it's omphalitis a.k.a. "mushy chick", due to the presence of belly button stump on third which hatched. This new chick was from eggs from a different breeder, same 'bator. They were set one day apart.

    My symptoms were different in that two out of three had closed umbilical areas, All couldn't tolerte heat wile swollen, and they were slightly thirsty.

    Now that the swelling is down, they are weaker, are sleepy, and prefer warmth. Two of three have eaten & drunk 7 pooped. One has been lethargic today, one is very hyper. All can walk. All have gotten molasses water, Poly Vi Sol, and an herbal children's glycerin tincture as an antibiotic. Two are cheaping their heads off still, one is quiet.


    Anyone have experience with survivors of omphalitis, and can they tell me about the progression of symptoms? I would appreciate it.
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    That was going to be my guess. The not tolerating heat means they likely have a fever from infection and are already producing enough heat as is. Have you hatched before in that incubator and how did you clean it? Despite not following every bit of advice on here about cleaning I haven't had that problem come up.
     
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Wish I could see some pics.
     
  8. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

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    Hi,
    Thanks to everyone who responded. To answer the recent questions, I disinfected the 'bator with hot chlorine bleach water (1:10) submersed (with weights on top) for 45 minutes. All the styrofoam, plastic, and tray were disinfected. The motor surface was wiped down, etc.
    However I had one mail-order batch of eggs in with the other two which had "dirty" eggs. Two looked disgusting and ten looked nice. I threw out the disgusting eggs, but the bacteria remained on the clean looking eggs, I guess. Only one of 12 hatched. They all shared the 'bator for a week, before I got another. I will never buy eggs from this hobbyist- breeder again due to this problem. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I wish I had taken pics the day the little ones were swollen. They looked like a high-end chick stuffed animal (look up "Hansa" or "Steiff" plush chick). Really puffy with all over subcutanesous edema & swollen abdomen. Super cute, but scary.

    A happy ending (?) today:

    After I nursed these little puffy peeps for three days continuously, during which time I worked from home, virtually ignored my kid & dogs, held all the chicks in a baby sling for hours & gave them eyedropper medicine every three hours, these little guys Weeble, Wobble & Cushion were all up eating dry crumbles and drinking this morning. I put in a little cooked crumbles & they fought each other for it. They're bopping around now this afternoon and playing with a parakeet mirror toy. So happy!!!! I guess it paid off, they beat the germs!
     
  9. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Congrats, and I love the names.
     

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