ETA 10/13/13 - ----------------------------------------------- I felt I was spamming the OH and Hatchalong thread enough with my news on Frankenchicky and Derpy, so here's their own update thread! Incase anyone is interested.. or wants to judge how poorly I care for these kids.. There is no guarantee that these two will make it more than a few days, so I advise not following if you aren't prepared for that outcome. First, introductions: Derpy is a Cornish bantam that hatched the evening of Oct 7. So as of right now, he/she/it (I'll use "she" generically from here on out for convenience) is 2 days old, from a bantam variety group of shipped eggs, most of which didn't hatch sadly. This little gal was special from second she hatched. I don't know what went wrong, but she has obvious neurological problems as her head shakes or bobs around and she can't stand up for very long without toppling over and rolling around. I don't have the heart to put her down just yet, as long as she has the will to live, and isn't starving/thirsting/etc. As of right now, she isn't eating, will drink when I "make" her, but acts like she has a hard time getting it down. Tomorrow, I will start trying to syringe feed her a special "Chicky Shake". If it doesn't go well and I feel she is suffering at all, I will put her down. Then there's Frankenchicky. She is (supposed to be..) a Coturnix/Japanese Quail, A&M, I believe. She hatched the morning of Oct 8, and is roughly a day and a half old as of writing this. She was one of 32 shipped eggs, 9 of which hatched. Frankenchicky was the last to hatch. After the left-overs were 3 days overdue, I started eggtopsies. Most were infertile or early quitters, a couple were fully developed, looked like Frankenchicky, and died probably trying to hatch out, and she herself was, to my surprise, still alive when I did an artificial-pip-check, so I zipped her just a little and saw right away that her beak was malformed like the other two, so I stuck her back in the incubator and let nature takes it's course...if she was strong enough, she would hatch; if she wasn't, it was best that way. Checked a few hours later and the tough little booger had hatched. It was then I noticed not only her beak was malformed. Her head is a bit small and odd..her beak is large in comparison, has an "underbite" (which I snipped to correct temporarily), and is slightly scissored..her toes were curled..her right wing seemed slightly gimpy..and most importantly, she had no eyes. (So, obviously, blind. It seems she can hear, at least). Ready for photos?... (tape shoes..took care of the curly toes!) I've heard that deformations like this can be caused by temperature being too high during early incubation. Considering two others looked like her, that would seem likely, but I know for a fact (and not judging by the wonky thermometer that came with the thing..) the temp in the Brinsea Mini she incubated in held pretty rock-solid and never went over 100. So it wouldn't be that that caused it. I don't know if the mother had some kind of deficiency..if something scrambled during shipping..or what. Can't fix it now, I guess. Anyways. I figured Frankenchicky wouldn't make it more than an hour, so I left her be. She made it. I didn't think she'd survive the night. She did. My bet now is that she won't make it a week, but we'll see..she's a fighter and has a strong will to live. She's actually doing better than Derpy in that she can stand and walk longer, but does still topple over and roll around, and will drink when I give her water. Still no eating, but we'll try the syringe "shake" tomorrow and see how that goes. I don't have the heart to put her down either until I determine that she is in pain, starving or thirsting, none of which she seems to be currently. Now, back to tonight's activities. This evening, I spent hours trying to devise ways for them to be able to stand/walk. Mostly for support so they didn't spend the majority of the day on their backs. I had a mess of pipe cleaners, felt, craft sticks, scissors, glue, kiddo's un-played-with toy cars and pieces I yanked off those cars. This is what I came up with for Derpy. I admit, it does look like some kind of torture devise, but she seems happier in it vs flopping around on her back, and she can actually walk in it when she wants. I've since cut out a bottom-hole in the felt sling so she can potty without making a mess of herself. For Frankenchicky, we had to try more contraptions to suit her. We tried a small-scale version of the Derpmobile, unsuccessfully. She just wanted to lie flat.. We tried a sled, unsuccessfully. It was a bit too heavy for her to maneuver. We tried a baby-walker-style..much better! We made some adjustments, and now we have the special kids nursery! (My homemade styrobator with the temp turned down just a titch. It's temporary until I come up with a larger special-needs-compatible brooder). I know some folks might think my impromptu wheelchairs are cruel, but they really do seem happier being able to move around and the devises are very temporary. Even if they don't serve the purpose of helping them learn to stand and walk, I will be removing them soon (within a day or two probably) so their little bodies don't get too accustomed to the devises. And some folks will probably think I'm cruel for not killing them right away, but as I've said, I don't have the heart to do it until it's absolutely necessary, and as long as they have the will to live. I'll care for them the best I can in the meantime. I'll be updating their progress in this thread if anyone cares to follow along. If not, that's fine, it's also just a kind of "keeping record" for me. Cookies all around if you read it all!