What is wrong with my chicks!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by busylizzie, May 21, 2010.

  1. busylizzie

    busylizzie Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    I have been trying to hatch some bantam orpingtons for about 3 months now
    I have incubated 24 eggs (4 separate batches incubated from ebay.....2 different sellers)
    and so far I have had 1 hatch normally and is a bouncing 10 week old pullet.
    5 hatched with difficulty and died after 2-3 days after becoming increasingly
    weak, not able to lift heads, after day 1 not opening eyes and seemingly bottom
    heavy (feet appeared to be out at front somehow), 16 were clear or blood rings
    during incubation and currently I have 2 x day old chicks who seem to be going
    the same way as the one who died.....

    I have successfully incubated other breeds in between these failed hatches and cleaned
    the incubators carefully after each use....what is going wrong...i can't find any info on
    these symptoms - here is a video of one of the current chicks....i really want it to live
    as it is so fiesty currently!


    Anyone got any ideas of what is happening and how to help?

  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have no idea what is actually going on.

    Are the chicks eating and drinking - more than once, as seen by you? How soon after hatching are they eating/drinking?

    Do you have any PolyViSol vitamins? (Infanct liquid) If so I would give the chicks a drop along their beaks twice a day for a bit, see if that helps.

    Looks like the chick cannot stand up on its feet - is this what you are seeing also?

    Another thing just thought of - your feed, is it fine enough? For my new hatch bantams, I have to crumble the crumbles between my fingers, making it finer so they can eat.
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    The first thing I think of is to consider the quality of the genetic stock. I know that one of the symptoms of inbreeding is low hatch rate and failure to thrive.

    Getting eggs from ebay can be a dicey proposition. I'd try to get eggs from a local breeder, someone you can visit and see the quality of the stock, as well as someone who keeps track of genetic lines and can assure you that the eggs come from unrelated parents.
  4. busylizzie

    busylizzie Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Thanks for the replies

    Elmo - yes I think that the genetics of these chicks might be questionable as my incubation has been pretty
    successful in the past and it is only these chicks which I struggle with [​IMG] Unfortunately, they are very rare
    so I have not found any local sellers as yet.....will keep looking.

    Horsefeatherz - The chicks only drink if I drop water on to their beaks and no they don't eat [​IMG] The one in the
    video only hatched 12 hours ago.

    Update: the final one to hatch died on hatching so I have the one in the video left.....I have strapped its legs
    up to try and realign its leg position.....i will give the vitamins in the morning aswell and cross my fingers that
    it makes it [​IMG]
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Dip your finger into water and then the chick feed and offer to the chicks. I have had many start eating this way that would not "normally". Another thing I do is sprinkle some feed on the papertowels in the brooder. They seem to be attracted to the feed on the towel.

    If you have fingernails - I fill my nail with a drop of water and offer that way - putting my nail up to their beaks. They also seem naturally attracted to nails - so I will tap at the food with my nail - like mom does with her beak. I also add shiny marbles or rocks to my water dish, plus tap with my nails again. (I do not like dipping their beaks into the water as I am always afraid they will asperate)

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