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  1. #1
    The Nichols''s Avatar
    The Nichols' is offline Seedling
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    Default New chick advice needed. First time hatching!

    Hi guys,

    Need a bit of advice for a first time hatcher. Had a very broody hen so, as we got a cockerel when we got the girls with the intention of raising clutches for the table, we thought we'd take advantage of nature and get her to sit on 7 eggs.

    Today is day 22, we've had 2 succesful births (yay!!!), 3 complete failures and two somewhere in between. It's these 2 that are giving us some concern.

    After the second birth, mum got off the eggs and no matter how many times we put her back on, she moved to a corner where the chicks followed leaving 2 eggs with very cracked shells which got cold. We thought we'd lost them so put them in the airing cupboard on a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and an hour later, both seemed to be starting up again.

    Now they're out, both seem to have bits on their bums that look like the red of a baboons backside. After some blood (other fluid?) loss, they seem solid though I haven't touched because I don't want to cause any pain.

    I've done a search here because I thought it could be prolapse. From what we've read here and on other forums (and the pictures on Google should come with a disclaimer!) we don't think it's intenstine.

    Can other grapes let me know if this is a problem with new chicks? I know it could part of the egg sac or a sticky mess where they're tried to poo. Is the poo likely for 4 hour old chicks?

    They seem rather lively, are moving around and cheeping (still in the airing cupboard so doubt H will get a lot of sleep tonight ) so we are reluctant to cull at this time. At least without getting some advice from people with more experience than us. We have two rather in depth books on chicken keeping bought because they say about raising chicks and neither of them has anything on this!

  2. #2
    Suechooks's Avatar
    Suechooks is offline Early Fruiter
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    I'm no expert - only just had my first hatch - but the hen was probably right. It doesn't sound good but honestly I have no idea what it is. Sorry. Will the hen accept them now they've hatched? Have more experience with dogs and puppies and the bitch generally rejects pups with problems even if they're not obvious to us.
    Hope they're ok for you. I expect someone experienced will be along soon to give you advice.

  3. #3
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    Were they taking a long time to hatch? Did you have to help them out? Hens instinctively know when chicks are not going to make it and leave slow or dead eggs to concentrate on the successfully hatched. Without seeing the chick I cannot say for sure what the "red bit" is but if there was any blood loss it is not a good sign. All I can suggest is now it is dark you can stuff them under the hen with the other chicks and see what is what in the morning. Under the hen is the best place for them. She will keep them at the correct temperature and she will not move off them in the dark. Unfortunately if the chicks are cheeping loudly it is a sign that not all is well. Happy chicks generally don't make much sound. They cheep when they are stressed or need something (food/water/more heat/less heat).

    Hope this helps and they come through the night ok. If they are up and about come morning then chances are they will be ok. Only time will tell I'm afraid.

  4. #4
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    indeed a wait and see, however, when ours hatch for the first few hours their bums are normally red as they absorb the last of the yolk sac. if the bits hanging out are thin stringy yellow affiars then that could also just be the remnants of the chord that connected them to the egg.

    chicks hatched without a mum can cry a lot as if they are calling to her. dont give up, let mum have a go but dont be too surprised if they dont make it as they didnt have the best start. if they make it past day 4, then they are going to make it as after about 3 days they use up all the absorbed yolk and need to have fed. if they are with you after day 4 they have learnt to eat and drink and you are pretty much ok then.

  5. #5
    petal's Avatar
    petal is offline Early Fruiter
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    unless the stuff by the 'umbilical' retracts, in my experience they are gonners, sorry. We always cull chicks that are not 100% healthy now, before you get attached. pop them under the hen, she will know whats best and will reject them if they are not good enough, like she has done already.

  6. #6
    The Nichols''s Avatar
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    Well, they all survived the night and were out with mum eating chick crumb so will keep an eye on them and hope for the best.

    Thanks everyone.

  7. #7
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    Fingers crossed for them
    My girls found their way into my heart and now they nest there

  8. #8
    The Nichols''s Avatar
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    Well, good news. All four have made it past the 2 week mark. It's amazing how easy it is to spot the size difference between the ones born on the Saturday and the ones on the Sunday. All look very healthy. Thanks everyone for your advice.


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