what causes a chick to hatch looking premature?


12 Years
Dec 27, 2007
Wheatfield, NY near NiagFalls
I've been wondering this since my hatch last week. The chick hatched out last of the bunch, hatched by itself with no intervention, but wasn't 'right'. It died that night. Just seemed premature, it never opened its eyes (must have had them, but never opened them), never got its feet, still had the cord and a red mass attached, and basically just laid there and breathed. So I'm curious, if it was strong enough to hatch, why didn't it live? Was it actually premature, as it appeared?
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I would like to know as well. You decribed one of mine from my last hatch. We ended up putting it down because I just could not stand to watch it suffer so.

Mine also seemed to have a crooked neck. It never could strieghten(sp) it out.
No, they didn't hatch early. I have the Hova 1588 that stayed at 100 for the whole incubation. They hatched near the end of day 21, right on schedule, really. I had 6 others hatch out perfectly, no problems, very clean. This was the only one out of the hatch that was like this.
Check your thermometer

There are other possible causes tho .....

Possible infection in egg
Too low temp
... ironic
Chilling during incubation
Temp spike during incubation
Poor parent stock
Rough handling .....
Genetically weak egg

If it happens only occasionally, and the rest of the hatch is fine then it's just *one of those thangs*

Sad but inevitable
Thanks! I thought as much. I don't really have any of the issues listed that I know of. My thermom/hygrom is quite accurate, it's one I use in the lab and I calibrated it with two others. Generally reads spot on. The rest of the hatch was excellent, so I figured if there was an actual problem with temp or something, the others would have not fared as well. It was only the one that hatched poorly. My therm. has memory and it really stayed at 100 for just about the whole incubation (besides opening the lid every now and then). No hot spikes at all. I'm thinking it was just a weak egg or something. Is that not common, then? If they are strong enough to hatch, do they generally do well and survive?
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Is that not common, then? If they are strong enough to hatch, do they generally do well and survive?

It's not uncommon.

Any chick dying within the first 2 weeks after hatching could very easily be caused by pre-incubation issues.

Look at the problems with the McMurray chicks if ya need proof.​

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