A blind chick and a sick chick.

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Our chicks have been hatching the past few days. I fact, the first to hatch were three days early! Has any one had that happen before?(Those first ones are perfectly healthy by the way.) The problems we had were with two that hatched yesterday(the 20th day). One chick seemed week and then went into spasms before it finally "gave up the ghost". I noticed it had some litter in its beak. We are useing pine bedding for litter. Could this be a problem? All the others seem to be fine though. Do any of you have better suggestions for bedding? The other chick was born blind. It also died today. Was there anything we could have done for it? Besides those two, we are really enjoying watching the little guys (and girls) hatch and then run around in there brooder. None of us can get over how CUTE they are (once they fluff out that is,lol). We are kind of new at hatching chicks. Having only done it once before a while back, so any advice would be helpful and much appriciated. Jo

-- Joella from Austin (joruth83@msn.com), May 04, 2001


You can cover the bedding with newspaper the first few days. That might help. I use pine shavings too. It is not unusual to lose a few each time. I have never had all of my chicks live. Always lose a few for whatever reason. I have 14 right now & I also can't get over how cute they are! Have fun!!

-- Wendy (weiskids@yahoo.com), May 05, 2001.

One sign of the heat being too high is early hatches. Things like sun comming thru a window and hitting the incubator could raise the heat. Also, the first chicks hatching causes the heat to go up some. We hatched out thousands and we always lost some here and there. I would put a wet rag inside the incubator to keep the humidity up during hatching. The worst was chicks getting stuck in the shells because the humidity got too low, from opening and getting the chicks out.

I would take them out, use a blow dryer and put them in the brooder. I didn't like the way they knocked the other eggs all over the place, and made a mess inside of the incubator. I would let them sleep on newspaper, usually they slept for a day, and then moved them to a brooder with cat litter, the all natural clay kind only. I had 4 areas made from cinder blocks on cement for the "stages". The day olds will stand there and pick on the just born ones if you don't separate them. You can also just put a small box inside the booder under the light somewhat for the brand new ones to rest a while, and keep them safe from the others.

-- Cindy in KY (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), May 05, 2001.

Thanks so much for all your help.

-- Joella (joruth@msn.com), May 25, 2001.

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