Sick chicks abandoned.

Mrs Clutterbuck

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 25, 2011
Auckland, New Zealand
So it's real hot here in NZ and Mumma hen has abandoned her chicks...she seemed to stay in the coop for a couple of days afer they all hatched and were relocated to the coop. I questioned if they were leaving but made the assumption they were. Now I fear that she kept them all in the nest not feeding or watering them. So 5 of her chicks were dead and I have 3 left...they were cold and barely moving...i have them in a double boiler with tepid water...was about to incubate them, but i'm worried about dehydration. Help please...I have had little success in rehabing these types of situations and I would appreciate your tips!


11 Years
Mar 7, 2011
Finger Lakes, NY
Most important - keep them warm - first week around 90F and reduce by 5 degrees each week. They need water - if you have something like Sav-a-chik electrolyte powder that would be great, if not a little sugar water to start them off. You will need to dip their beaks in it so they get the idea. They will need chick starter food - I would suggest making a porridge consistency mash with it for them - that way they should get re-hydrated fairly quickly.
Sometimes Momma Chicken does a rotten job of being a Mom - now it's up to you!

Pasty butt can be a problem, especially if they get too hot. you need to check their bums fairly frequently, if it's pasted you will have to remove the poop. Q-tip, fingernail etc. with some mild soap and water - don't get the chick soaking wet, not good.
Once you have them warm, eating and drinking should follow quickly, please keep us posted on your progress!

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