Trying to save runt of the litter chick


9 Years
Dec 22, 2010
I just finished a great hatch with 29 out of 33 eggs hatching and I have 28 very happy and healthy chicks. But one seems to be the runt and he is going on 3 days old. He is quite weak. He hatched with some of his yolk not fully absorbed (the only one to do that from the entire hatch) and it looks as though some of his umbilical cord did not get fully absorbed either as he is a bit bloody back there and it is slowly crusting over and drying out. The little guy was born with all kinds of goo on his head making the feathers all crusty. He will also not open his eyes. I have tried to gently wash his head every morning and night for the past 2 days and he will open his eyes shortly but end up keeping them closed again. Pupils seem to be working. I also don’t seem to be able to get the goo off as it will get crusty again as it dries. He also does not have much of a swallowing reflex when trying to get him to eat some egg yolks and drink water. Is there any help for this little guy? I was going to try and force feed him egg yolks this afternoon as he is running out of his reserves and getting weaker. He does have a strong will to live so I will try everything I can before I have to end his suffering. Any ideas what may have caused this and what can be done? Thank you all!
I know it's hard, but if he can't swallow well, there's probably not much you can do. You could try giving it some Polyvisol (without iron) from the pharmacy (it's a liquid vitamin drop designed for human babies that sometimes helps chicks) and see if that gives him the energy to bounce back.
I had to euthanize the little guy yesterday. He was going downhill so fast it seemed like the most humane thing to do.
Thank you. It was real hard at first but seeing how quickly I ended his suffering made me feel good. He now doesn't have to worry about getting his head washed twice a day anymore. poor little guy. RIP.

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