Serama chicks are dying!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Silkies~Polishes, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Silkies~Polishes

    Silkies~Polishes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Okay so I'm feeling really frustrated right now. I had 4 fertile eggs a hen was laying on. I know it's not a huge loss but really frustrating since this is my first experience hatching eggs. Way to go mother nature. So first.
    A chick started to pip on Friday(23rd?) and a full 24 hours had gone(Saturday 24) and no progress at all had happens, just one spot where the chick first pipped but there was no other progress. I waited a couple more hours. It wasn't that I was impatient but I was worried, so I read online a little and decided to help it. I gently peeled the eggshell off, at some point it started to bleed a tiny bit and I got really freaked out so I stopped. A few minutes later I decided to try again. Well got the chick out but it died a couple hours later. Reading online I then figured out that the membrane shouldn't bleed. Was I wrong or would the chick have died anyway?
    On Monday I left for a trip. Pet sitter said the next day that one of the chicks hatched. So I come back from my trip yesterday(31st) and one chick had hatched. One egg was mysteriously gone. Very disappointed but we are having a huge rat problem(guilty, we've left feed out and they can get into the runs) and I blame the missing egg on thAt. Another egg simply did not hatch and I cracked it open and it looked like it had stopped developing at around day 18.
    The chick that did survive seemed healthy. She was running around with her mom in the run with another hen and a roo(seramas) and they all were gentle with her and didn't attack her when she came to eat with them. I was worried about rats getting her and so I moved her to a plastic bin and put a heat lamp over it. Mom didnt get upset which is weird since she was taking care of the chick. This exact same set up worked with my last batch of chicks I got in the mail. They are all alive and I moved to a bigger cage. This chick was in there over night, seemed fine. Checked on her this morning and she was sleeping under the lamp, seemed happy. Realized she had a bit of a poopy butt so I cleaned her up. After that I left to go do some errands for a few hours and come back and she's just dead. Sprawled out on her side.
    What do you guys think happened? Anything I can do in the future? In have another serama hen on eggs due in about a week. They are frizzle blue polish and golden lace serama cross. My chicks that died were full serama(black)
    Thanks so much for whatever info you can give me!! I really want to get my future batches right!!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  2. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    Sorry to hear about your little ones. You did what you thought was best. I have never hatched any so maybe some one who has can help with some advice.
  3. honeybunny

    honeybunny Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    I've learned this the hard way, but, never, ever, peel or touch the shell when the chick is hatching. The chick may have died anyways, but the chick will almost(just saying almost because I'm not sure, maybe a chick could survive, but I wouldn't say so) always die if you interfere with the hatching. I just thought I'd put this in, though you probably know this.

    Did you make sure the little chick knew how to eat and drink? If you removed her from the mom and the mom hadn't taught her then she might've gotten dehydrated. How close or far away was the heat lamp?
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I'm sorry to hear about your losses [​IMG] Maybe the chick was a bit too warm under the lamp?
    I think you should set some traps for your rats, if they can get into the coop... Those things breed like rabbits and once they discovered a good steady food supply you will have a problem soon. I had a similar situation with mice.

    It is possible to help a chick hatch without losing it, but you have to be careful. This thread explains step by step what to do and how:
    If intervention is necessary as a last resort
    I've helped many chicks and most of them did make it. I lost some due to my stupidity and impatience and some of them wasn't meant to live, they were too weak. Sometimes chicks lose their egg tooth when they start hatching, they are perfectly healthy, but don't have the tools to get out of the shell. If that's the case you can help and hatch a healthy, strong little chick who'll be only to happy for the help!
  5. Silkies~Polishes

    Silkies~Polishes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the sympathy everyone! :)
    After having that "helped" chick die I decided I will no longer help no matter what because if the chick isn't meant to live. It isn't meant to live. Then I won't feel guilty if I think I messed up like this one! So I agree with you
    I know the chick knew how to eat, since at feeding time she came to eat with the adults. Not sure about water, but the water level in her dish lowered overnight. But it could have been from other factors. I also had her take a couple gulps of water. But I didn't even think of that so at least I'll make sure they are eating and drinking in the future! I just put food and water and assumed it would take care of itself. I'm worried that's what it was now since she seemed perfectly healthy and now that I look back on it I wonder if she was dehydrated and I just didn't notice
    The heat lamp was maybe a foot and a half away? In the morning she was not panting or anything but was in the colder part of the cage so I raised the heat lamp a few inches assuming she was on the warm side. When I came back later and she was dead she had moved to the middle of the cage. A bit closer to heat lamp. Even though I am open to the fact, I don't think she could have gotten too hot or cold. Since I have had chicks in that same exact setup with no problems. But every chick is different, I don't know
    Yes I definitely need traps. The rats are already a problem. They at night I see like 2 running around on the deck, and when I came to get one of my chickens after dark, like 7 rats ran from the coop and under our playhouse next to the coop. I was so disgusted I want to throw up right now even though I have a pet rat! It's just they are so icky so many of them eating our chicken food. I'm thinking I'm going to put poison under the playhouse since I know they are all under there but it is kind of a bigger building so we can't move the playhouse of anything.
    Thanks for the link too! It was pretty helpful and I bookmarked it
  6. seramamama34

    seramamama34 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 8, 2016
    I think you just need to use your best judgement when helping. Listen to instincts. I just went through my first hatch. I had 2 eggs that pipped at the same time. over 13hrs in one hatched and one had only made the inital hole but couldnt move. I assisted and boy was he ready, Once the membrane peeled away he almost shot out of the egg. I am so thankful I helped it or it would not be here. If you ever see blood immidiatley put it back so it can clot and hopefully hatch. I reAD A rule of thumb is to never assist unless its been 12-24hrs from external pip. Something told me to help this time and again I am so glad I did!
  7. thornoelle

    thornoelle Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 16, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I just hatched serama eggs. Only 1 made it to hatch time and that one got stuck zipping. I very carefully helped hatch it and it is now doing great. You just never know for sure what is right but following your instincts and being informed is the best any of us can do. I'm sorry your little ones didn't make it. :hit[​IMG]
    Serama is the little yellow chick on the right.
  8. prizepete

    prizepete Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2015
    a breeder in my area does not use heat lamps on chicks, He has a theory that it "cooks" the chicks too much. I Think that is probably spot on, I am using the brinsea heat plate, I really like that, maybe try a heat plate designed for chickens to see if that changes things. I know its been a while but i wanted to make sure you got this problem taken care of

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