Washing a new baby chick?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ENGEC35, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. ENGEC35

    ENGEC35 In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2018
    is a new baby chick supposed to poop all over the incubator?

    I have only been waiting for the chick to dry and stand steady on her feet before I taker her out of the incubator.

    She hatched on Friday at 3am.so as of tonight, 3am, It will have been 72 hours.

    She dried off after about 10 hours but she was consistently falling, so we left her in the incubator hoping for her to steady

    Then another hatched, she got soaked from that, and she is still wet now.

    The problem is that inside of the incubator is now so filthy.

    Another chick died seemingly for no reason, and I just read It could be from the droppings contaminating the area inside the tank.

    Can I wash this chick?

    He’s not dry completely yet, but I feel that I should pull him out of the incubator ASAP.

    There are 5 Unhatched eggs, but I think they never will. Today is day 27.

    Theres also the other chick dead, which we just found.

    I want to take out my chick, wash him, put him in the brooder and get rid of the other eggs and dead chick
  2. Alabama Fly

    Alabama Fly Songster

    May 18, 2017
    I have often washed baby chicks.i turn the bathroom faucet on warm and holding their little head out of the way I proceed to wash them. After, I lay them on their backs and blow dry them completely. Using my hand to judge how close to hold the blow dryer and moving it continuously untill they are fluffy. I've noticed that dirty or sticky chicks often fail to thrive, they seem uncomfortable and act totally different when they are clean and dry. Just be careful with the blow dryer, don't get too close. Hope this helps
    ENGEC35 likes this.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Yes, I would immediately get this chick out of the bator and get him cleaned up. Chicks have yolk reserves to get them through the first 48 hours without food. However, IMO, that does not mean that they should go 48 hours without food. He may not be gaining strength b/c his hatch was delayed, if I'm reading your time line correctly. Delayed hatch and poor hatch rate points to possibility of poor temp control in the bator. How did you calibrate your thermometer and hygrometer, and what did you use for your incubation temp and humidity? Did your bator have a fan? How many eggs hatched, and what day did they hatch on?
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  4. ENGEC35

    ENGEC35 In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2018
    Shipped eggs, 10% hatch rate, but I believe most of the chicks were late deaths, in the last week.

    12 eggs to start
    2 arrived cracked, discarded
    10 set in the incubator; after resting in the egg carton in a box in my bedroom for 48 hours

    We set the temp to 37.5 on the incubator but we never had anything else to measure the humidity or the temp.

    We added water to one ring in the incubator as the instructions read, and left the eggs alone.

    Candling on days 7 & 10 showed viability in 7 eggs (embryos all moving, some eggs I was unable to see an air cell at all, so I left them alone)

    Candling on day 13 showed the air cells more clearly, and also still showed me that 3 eggs may be infertile; we cracked them, no life, discarded

    Day 13 we bought a hygrometer and read 75%-90% over 6 hours that we let it read.

    We ran the incubator completely dry from then on and measured humidity at 30-40% for a few days

    On Day 16, I started removing the eggs from the incubator for a half hour twice a day and setting them on the floor on top of a blanket that was covering a pillow. I read this would help the eggs lose humidity and help the air cells. I also started sticking the end of a pencil in the lid of the incubator, just to keep it cracked a little as we had no vents in ours. This brought humidity to 10-20% on average, which was better to correct the air cell I read.

    On Day 18, we candled again and seemingly, all 7 were ready for lock-down... here's where I dropped an egg. 10 inches, onto a wooden tabletop. Her shell cracked all around one side, but the membrane was not damaged so we left her in the incubator and hoped for the best.

    We went into Lock-down on Day 18 and only opened the incubator after the first hatchling made it out, on Day 25. The second hatched on Day 26.

    The second one also died on day 27. He had been stuck in his shell, 48 hours after pip we did an assisted hatch and helped him out. When I put him back in the incubator after the assist, it was with a piece of shell stuck to the back of his head and with his right wing pretty much glued to his head by the membrane. Later that night I used a dropper to drop warm water on the stuck areas while he was inside the incubator, and within 5 minutes he freed himself.

    By this time, the first chick had been hatched for 36 hours, and had begun to defecate inside the incubator, and the second chick actually hatched with feces inside the shell with him, so within minutes, our incubator was covered in chick feces and urine.

    I made a mistake here.

    I had read so many things about leaving the chicks alone once they hatch and not removing them from the incubator until they are at least fully dried, so they dont catch a chill and die. I read that they will tumble around and seem to hurt the eggs, but that they wouldnt.

    It grossed me out to see the incubator and the little chicks getting covered in the filth, but I genuinely thought they couldnt come out until they were dry :(

    This I think is why our second hatchling passed on.

    After I saw that the second passed, I immediately readied filtered water at the right temp.

    When the water was 99-100 degrees, and the brooder was ready, I removed my living chick and soaked him in the warm water for about 20 minutes. Never going over her head.

    She seems so clean and fluffy and happy now.

    It amazed me, in the brooder (with a towel also) she dried and fluffed completely in only an hour or two!

    SO why did I wait all weekend?

    I feel if I would have removed the chicks sooner, washed them both, and dried them myself instead of waiting for the incubator to do it, they'd both be here now and not just the one.

    Anyway, based on this information, I'd say my next attempt will be with some serious temperature and humidity regulation.

    I am excited to try again, now that I have experienced it, I feel much more confident that I can have a very successful hatch.

    My lone survivor chick has a bum left leg though.

    He didnt hatch with a bum leg, so I think it may be a recent injury, but is there anything I can do to help?

    It seems that it is stuck at a 90 degree angle-- where the other leg can extend completely straight, her leg does not go past 90 degrees.

    Thanks so much!
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    For your next go-round. I suggest:

    If you have not already done so, read all of "Hatching Eggs 101" in the learning center. Then:

    Get that bator sterilized. Then run it for a few days without eggs. Use water bottles to approximate the volume of eggs you will be setting. During that time, check the temp throughout the box with a calibrated thermometer. You will be amazed to find that, even in bators with fans, there can be a fair amount of discrepancy between high and low temps in the box. I use this time to add extra vents, air baffles and such to help equalize the temp. After all that, I still rotate my eggs through warm/cool zones every day. I hand turn in 2 home made bators.

    I use a digital or mercury bulb as my gold standard. (Medical grade thermometers have a guaranteed accuracy rate usually to .2*F) I set it in a cup or bowl of 100*F water so it does not touch the bottom or sides. I add the bulb type thermometer I intend to calibrate, wait for all thermometers to equalize, then compare the readings. You will then know how accurate your thermometers are.

    To calibrate your hygrometer, you can do the salt test. As you demonstrated by your handling of the eggs, humidity is a tool which is used to ensure that your air cells grow at the right rate so the chick can successfully hatch.

    If you had a fan, your hatching temp should have been 99.5. I actually use 100* with very good results. If no fan, the temp measured at egg surface should be 102*. Again, I have excellent hatch rate at this temp with still air.

    Finally, before committing to shipped eggs. Do a test hatch with local eggs that have not been subjected to shipping, and that do not cost an arm and a leg.

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