To cull or not to cull...

Laney

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
787
1
141
Spring Hope, NC
I have a white java chick. It hatched on March 5th. My daughter was upset because it was pipped for 24hrs but made no further progress despite the fact that it was cheeping urgently inside the shell.

Having had bad experiences helping chicks to hatch, I told her that I would only enlarge the pip, but not actually help the chick out of the shell. Unfortuantely for me, the shell was especially brittle and one little chip and 3/4 of the top of the shell popped off. I told my daughter that was it, and placed the egg back in the incubator where it was where the chick just popped right out within seconds.

After it had dried off for a few hours we placed it in the brooder with the other chicks that had been hatched for a day or so and went to bed. The next day we noticed it only had one eye...it turned out it was really only one eye open, but it took us two days to really notice that.

That next day we feather sexed all the other chicks but this one wasn't developed enough so we placed it back. We did notice it was very clumsy etc, but didn't really notice the eye was sealed. Later that night I noticed it, but it was so completely sealed that I thought it simply didn't have an eye at all.

The next day we feather sexed it, it was a girl, and took a really good look at the eye. It was not in fact missing. The eyelid was just fused shut by birthing gook or something. I don't know what because it was so smooth and had no crusting at all. Now that the eye is open, it does look yellow around the edges and it waters a bit. I clean off some crusting which is the same color as the birds feathers, so clear each night. It is a very tiny amount, and I am thinking it is simply eyes watering.

The reason I would think about culling though. It is still only about 1/2 the size of the other birds. It is in with mostly Delawares, one other Java and a Splash Orpington. I expect the Dellies to outgrow it, but it's still 1/2 the size of the other Java, including in feather growth. Not in a rooster vs hen kind of way either. It also will not stop running in circles and cheeping. Constantly circle circle circle, cheep cheep cheep. The only time it stops cheeping is when you pick it up and gently squeeze it.

I have started it on a vitamin and electrolyte solution in case it is a deficiency, other than that????

Laney
 

fiberart57

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
614
19
164
Colorado
I'm always in favor of giving the little ones a good shot. I have an adult Andalusian who was crippled from birth, and quite a bit smaller than the others at two weeks of age. I call her my Avian CP chick and she's doing fine and laying eggs. She still walks with a slight limp but other than that, she's good.

Good luck with the baby. She may grow with a little TLC.

Mary
 

KKatknap

Songster
10 Years
Nov 15, 2009
811
7
136
Albany, OR
I'd give her a shot, too. She may catch up to the others in time. I had one Wellie that was quite a bit smaller than her hatchmates, and now (at @9-10 weeks old) she's almost the same size. And she's quite a bit feistier, so her size isn't holding her back!
 

rancher hicks

Crowing
11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
17,685
900
476
Syracuse, NY
Anyone who knows me knows I'm not one to waste time on birds that may require alot of attention. If the chick is chirping there has to be a reason. Do you have a thermometer at chick level? It may be cold. Is it eating and drinking. The fact that it is smaller may be the start it had. What many don't realize is that sometimes even though a bird is eating and alive it's not getting "enough" to thrive due to the pecking order, which exists even in the brooder. Put the chick by itself and see how it does. What it closely and see if its' eating and drinking and pooping.
I only give you this advice since you chose to rescue it. Otherwise I wouldn't have done so.
 

Laney

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
787
1
141
Spring Hope, NC
Rancher, I'm not one for helping chicks out of the shell either. I have always found there to be a reason they can't or won't hatch on their own. It wasn't really my intention to do much more than enlarge the pip to calm my daughter down.

I suppose I spent too much time on the size of this chick, and not enough on how much the spinning and cheeping is bothering me. This chick is in a brooder with 14 other chicks. None of the others are peeping except when I walk by to get my attention. They don't sleep in one giant huddle etc. But I will check the temp. Ok, it's definitely OK in there. Areas ranging from 92* down to 80* and chicks enjoying all temps.

I know that as long as I make sure this little one is getting enough food and water it will grow and be fine. My main concern is that with it being clumsy, constantly spinning in circles and cheeping when nothing appears wrong that something is wrong in it's nervous system. If it is a vitamin deficiency that can be fixed with the addition of the vitamin and electrolyte solution then great, but if it is permanent damage?

The spinning is akin to a dog chasing it's tail. The cheeping is pretty much constant while all other chicks are fine, and even snuggle down to sleep in all different parts of the brooder. The stumbling could be attributed to the failure to thrive, as it is much like a day old chick would stumble, but when combined with the other problems it makes me wonder.

Laney
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,155
13,591
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Could it be that the chick is blind or sight impaired? I had a tiny black Ameraucana do the cheeping thing. She didn't understand how to eat and when we finally presented her with chopped boiled eggs and I tapped my finger in them, she began eating and literally singing. Poor thing was hungry and couldn't see well enough to figure out how to eat. She did catch on, but I can tell her depth perception is off by the way she pecks and misses quite a bit. It took feeding her separately for three or four days for her to understand how to eat the crumble in the feeder. If I was breeding, I would have culled her for her very tiny size and apparent sight problem, but we tried with her and she is growing fast and eating and drinking on her own now. The spinning thing may indeed be neurological, though. Hard to say.
 

Laney

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
787
1
141
Spring Hope, NC
Cyn,

Goodness knows I've got plenty of eggs.. I'll set one on to boil and see what happens. My daughter has such a sensitive heart. It is hard to harden her to the realities of life. If I can save this chick now that it is here I want to do it. I think though that she is learning why you shouldn't help a chick out of it's egg.

SawsAll has a similar problem with the same eye too, although she did much better and hatched on her own.


Laney
 

Laney

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
787
1
141
Spring Hope, NC
Ok, Boiled eggs done.

I took her (We're calling her Ivan the Crazy) out of the brooder and gave her a little dish of V&E water and boiled eggs chopped really fine. I just by chance used a dark brown bowl with a bright blue inside.

I had to keep dipping her beak into the water to get her to drink. She wanted nothing to do with the eggs no matter how many times I dipped her beak in them, or brought them up on the fork. Then I dropped some on the table. (Honey oak colored). She went to town. So I dropped some more. She even was grabbing the teeny tiney flea sized bits. I don't know what to think about her eye site. Sometimes it's like she can't see, others like she can. I had put crumbles on the table and she wouldn't touch them. Eggs in the bowl, nothing to do with them. Eggs on the fork, nope. Eggs dumped on the table? Now we're talking. So I let her keep gobbling. Then she wandered away from the eggs and I started to bring her back when she let me know that her bowels are working too.

The more food I got into her, the more her cheep changed to a songbird tone. She's still cheeping like crazy, just not in that needy baby tone. Eventually it changed back and I realized she was cold so I snuggled her a bit. When I put her down she went back to needy cheeping and I realized she was done with eating and drinking so I put her back in the brooder. I'll take her out again in a few hours before I go to bed and offer her more egg and water. I can deal with a slightly Kookoo chicken. Just not one that is hurting. She just now sung herself to sleep in a songbird tone.

Laney
 

joletabey

SDWD!!!!
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
4,266
10
221
western NC
Laney, I think she just needs a few days of the extra attention- I have had foals get off to a slow start, and with a little extra nurturing, they have caught up. If eating the egg made her sing, then I think she was hungry. Cyn had such good luck with Tiny, and think of Superchick! He was way behind in size for several weeks and was just catching up when he was fowly murdered.
big_smile.png
Maybe give your daughter the responsibility of cooking and feeding the egg and giving some extra love? We all have to learn the hard lessons of life, but sometimes it's OK to let your heart rule your head. Good luck!
 

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