Friday, July 20, 2012

More chicks, soon

Remember the "half chick" that was struggling to get out of his shell last Monday?

Well he had a dickens of a time. He tried and tried, but couldn't make any progress. Gradually throughout the day we picked off pieces of the shell and tried to give him a helping hand.

As the day went on and he made no additional progress, I finally eased the shell open and he came spilling out, exhausted.

We let him dry off in the incubator, and then moved him into the brood box with the other chicks. He just didn't have the energy to stand, however, and his legs were swollen and misshapen. We fully expected him to die.

But to our surprise, he survived! In fact, I can't even tell which chick was the late-comer at this point, meaning he's blending in just fine with the rest.

We did lose another (darker) chick, but that's not unexpected. In all broods, it's not uncommon to lose about 10% of newborn chicks.

Here's Major, investigating the peeping noise.

Meanwhile, we got another batch of eggs going. I cleaned out the incubator...

...and collected 32 eggs, much fresher than the last batch and hopefully more viable.

Into the incubator they went. That was yesterday.

Then this morning I added another four eggs, for a total of 36.

We'll see what happens in three weeks!

Meanwhile, this little guy was sleeping so soundly he looked dead (which, I assure you, he wasn't).



  1. How way-trey-totally cool is that?! I wanna do that. When do you move them outside?

    Just Me

  2. One of my favorite things with our chicks is watching them fall asleep...they'll be standing up and then slowly fall over on their faces, lay there with their eyes closed for 5 or 6 minutes or until another chick steps on them, then they'll lift their heads, shake them, and get up like nothing happened...
    Xa Lynn

  3. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)July 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Isn't nature amazing? I love to see the struggle for life and then make it against all odds. That chick is a real champ. Say, that's a good name for him/her! Oops, forgot! If you are gonna eat 'em - you can't name 'em.
    Just added 'Lavern' & 'Shirley' to my coop. Should be getting eggs from them in another 8 weeks.
    Keep us posted with pics. Just love the little critters!

  4. I can see how this incubation thing could become addictive! Not sure my family would be able to stand me if I took this on as a project. I get a little kooky just tending to chicks bought at the hardware store. Looking forward to future posts. :)

  5. I was coming to ask about chick 15.5! I was always sure when my chicks were sleeping they were dead! lol

  6. Patrice,
    Congratulations on the babies!!! So how many did you actually end up with? As for your comment about at 10% die off rate for chicks, try putting the natural apple cider vinegar in their water. About a tablespoon per gallon should do it, I don't ever measure, just a "dallop". That should cut your 'die off' down to about nothing. Just don't forget that it has to be the natural apple cider vinegar with 'the mother' in it. I have done this with our chicks and had amazing success. Good luck and have a great day

  7. The first time we had baby chicks and saw them sleeping we thought they were dead. Very scary. Watching chicks hatch is so much fun and rewarding.