weak chick responding well to force feeding

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kayjuggler, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. kayjuggler

    kayjuggler Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2008
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    This could go in the hatching or emergencies section but I thought I'd put it here. This may help someone else to hear how I have helped a weak chick. The chick pipped and had zipped through more than half the circumference of the egg and then no progress for about 30 hours. I helped pull back some shell and membrane that was beginning to shrink wrap around the chick despite high humidity in the incubator. I returned the chick still in the egg into the incubator and it completed hatching. However, it was weak and peeping loudly for two days. We witnessed it drinking but not eating. Chick was wobbly, eyes closed, looked like it was going to die. I got on here and read about force feeding sick birds. I picked up electrolytes to add to the water and mxed hardboiled egg yolk with the electrolyte water to make a egg yolk "gruel". I then used a tiny syrnige to drop tiny amount of the mixture into the chicks beak (which I had to force open). I did this one evening and the loud peeping ceased. Next am, chick looked better and gave it to more of these feeds through the day. I couldn't get to it again that evening but by the next am, chick is scurrying around the brooder and eating on its own. I will post pics in a little while and update to let readers know if the progess continues. I didn't expect this to go this well this quickly so I thought I would share.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    Looking forward to seeing the pics. I hope the chick continues to get stronger and stronger. [​IMG]
     
  3. geepy

    geepy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    Keep up the good work. Sounds like the chick will make it. [​IMG]
     
  4. navychick

    navychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great News!
     
  5. kayjuggler

    kayjuggler Out Of The Brooder

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    Chick on day 2.

    [​IMG]

    Chick tonight, day 5. You can see that it is smaller than it's siblings but the little critter is bouncing around with eyes bright and pushing it's siblings out of the way to get under the heatlamp. They are all columbian cochins except for one showgirl silkie.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We didn't name it yet. I didn't want my 10 yo daughter to get attached to it before I knew if it would live. Still not sure about this little one but I'm thinking it's name is Tink. Here's the only one we have named at this point, the showgirl silkie: Elvis.
    [​IMG]

    Eggs were from Shelleyb1969 and were carefully packaged. Most of the shipped eggs were fertile and developed. We would have had more hatch if we hadn't had some temp fluctuations. They started pipping 2 days early so I think the temps were too high and they didn't have enough time to sit off the turner. Perhaps the high temps had something to do with this chicks' hatching difficulty. Will post updates.
     
  6. kayjuggler

    kayjuggler Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2008
    Maryland
    Update on Tink, Elvis and the crew.

    Tink, the cochin I helped to hatch out and force fed for about 36 hours is doing great. You can see the tiny size in the picture of them all at the feeder. Just sharing the info and the cuteness!


    [​IMG]


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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww, what a heartwarming story, and what a bunch of cuties! Your showgirl is hysterically cute.
     
  8. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pacific Northwest
    So glad to hear the little guy pulled through [​IMG]
     
  9. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Thank you for thinking to post this.

    I am having a similar issue but the with a shipped chick. I had some to the conclusion I needed to force feed cause I made a slurry of egg yolk yesterday and she didn't drink it like the sugar water. I searched yesterday for weak chick sick chick *(not sure she is sick)* and weeded through so many posts about older chicken. Today force feed it popped right up.

    If you can edit your original post to how thick you made the slurry than this is a perfect thread with perfect timing for me. I'm so glad you posted.
     
  10. kayjuggler

    kayjuggler Out Of The Brooder

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    Maryland
    The slurry was pretty thick....I was concerned about the chick aspirating it into it's lungs...breathing it in instead of swallowing. Actually, as soon as you add the water to the egg yolk, it will thin out initially and then start to thicken again. I would have to keep adding water. Then, I pulled up the slurry into a tiny syringe (without a needle). I think it was technically an insulin syringe. And, then I would have to pry open its beak (second person helpful here) and force a tiny amount...crumble size amount into its beak..then let go of the beak and let it swallow, repeat 4-5 times for a feeding. I would try to palpate its crop to see if it seemed to expand and I would stop with just this little bit. Then do it again a few hours later. It seemed to only take about 4-6 of these sessions over about a day and a half before it began clearly eating on its own. Good luck!
     

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