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Weak day-old chick. Need encouragement/advise

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CindyJean, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. CindyJean

    CindyJean Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2007
    Pittsboro, NC
    I decided to hatch out the eggs my hen deserted using the electric skillet method. Within 10 minutes one little chick pecked a hole in its egg and eventually got out the egg over a five hour period with help. I knew I shouldn't help, but I was afraid it would die if I left it overnight - the skillet method is not too good for regulating temperature! I was very careful not to break any blood vessels. (That was about 24 hours ago. The chick was so weak I thought it would die, but it didn't and I slept sitting up with it in my hands last night and it made it through the night.
    It wants to sleep all the time, but rallies when disturbed. Every so often I put some drops of water on it's beak and it drinks. I have also ground chick meal very fine and added it to the water. The chick can stand very briefly or move itself away from the heat lamp when it wants, but basically - it sleeps. How am I doing? Is there anything more I can do?
    How often should I give it water - and how much should I try to feed it and how is that done? It doesn't do either on it's own, but does peck around a little at it's feathers or "nothing" on the paper towel.
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Good job in rescuing the baby. It sounds like you are doing fine. Their basic need for the first 2-3 days is warmth (and they prefer company). They don't need food/water for 3 days, so don't rush that. The first day the chicks do lay around a lot (and even some the 2nd day), so I wouldn't worry much about that. The new world is confusing to them at first and it's best to let them rest. I am sure your chick is just exhausted from the hatching experience and will come around soon. They take a day or so to get their legs under them well, so just make sure it doesn't spend time on its back. Let us know how he's coming along. Any other chicks expected?

    Jody
     
  3. CindyJean

    CindyJean Out Of The Brooder

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    You don't know how much your post means to me. I've been worrying quite a bit. He/she is the only new chick, but he had a visit from his sibling - a four day old runt - earlier today. As soon as he is "up and running" I'll bring the sib back. It was just too active for him, although it could hardly stand up itself : )
    My hen hatched out 9 babies, abandoned the nest, then hatched out one more a few days later (the runt) and the rest of the eggs were finally completely abandoned.
    I have the abandoned, just about to hatch eggs in a bowl in my house. Maybe I should try hatching them out too. Hm.
    About half the time I carry the baby in my shirt and he seems quite happy that way.
     
  4. CindyJean

    CindyJean Out Of The Brooder

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    An Update:

    I am happy to report that the chick has started pecking at food. Every hour he improves. I never realized how traumatic hatching is for chicks. I thought they popped out, dried off and went off to chase bugs. Another thing that surprised me was how sparse their feathers look and how fluffy all those stringy little wisps get when they dry. I thought I'd hatched a hairless chicken...
    This evening I put the smallest chick from the barnyard coop in the "incubator" with him and they are already buddies, in sync with eating and sleeping. It's the same chick I tried this morning, but now the new chick is ready. He really perked up when his buddy arrived. It will be nice to have them rely on each other while I get a good night's sleep [​IMG]
     
  5. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    That sounds great cindy. You're a good chicken mama! IT is very interesting to see how important socialization is for animals of all kinds.
     
  6. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Oh, great news CindyJean!! [​IMG]
    You're a terrific chickie mom!! [​IMG]
     
  7. CindyJean

    CindyJean Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! (taking a bow). I'd like to take credit, BUT, actually, this chick made it from egg to fluff-hood thanks to the forum
    [​IMG]
     
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I am so happy to hear things are looking up for your little chick. Good job in mothering her and getting her a friend. [​IMG]

    Jody
     
  9. Juliechickens

    Juliechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Cindy,,,I just read your post after I posted mine! We seem to have the same symptoms! My silkie chick is also a day old and looking and acting the same as yours. Has anything you've done helped??? I don't know what to do.......
    Julie
     
  10. CindyJean

    CindyJean Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2007
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    Julie, there is a post from the moderator that said what was going on sounded natural, but I don't know the situation of your chick. I kept mine warm and held it in a cupped hand against my chest a lot, gave it drops of water, some with tiny amounts of sugar and mixed with the finest tiny particles from chick feed. But I was told the chick did not need the supplements the first few days. From trying to raise baby birds, I think it can kill then if they get too much forced on them.
    Good luck with your chick. I hope you have a happy ending as I did.
     

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