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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We hatched our very first chick this evening! We are so excited, but I'm concerned about what looks like an "umbilical cord" that was attached. & he's 2 hours old, but not walking yet. How soon do they walk? I'm AMAZED this chick hatched! It was our first incubation & the temps & humidity were unstable. Boy, did I learn a lot thought! I'm attaching a pic, any input would be much appreciated! :)
 

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If it is strong it will be fine. Sometime this happens and it will heal and go back inside. If the chick is weak it may die. Hatching is hard for a reason, it helps to weed out the weak chicks. Did you help it hatch or did it come out on its own?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It came out on its own! This morning it's not looking too wonderful. It's still alive, but laying on its side & he looks cold. Should I take him out & put him in the brooder??? Jeez...this is my daughter's first chick, this is hard!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I put him in the brooder. I just could leave him laying in the incubator. Still not looking too well. :-( I guess we just have to wait & see. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what I've done: we feed fermented feed, so I've given him some of the liquid from that. He seems to be a little stronger. We brought bio mom in, who had gone broody for a little while, but didn't complete the cycle. He's now under mama. I don't know if any of it will help, but it feels better than watching him suffer & if he's not going to make it, at least he'll be with his mama when the time comes. What an experience! Yikes, it's tough! I'm saying prayers & crossing fingers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, he's hanging in there. We're dropper feeding him fermented feed water every few hours & mama is keeping him warm. He just seems...off. Here's some pics. Can anybody tell me what's wrong with him?
 

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I don't have any helpful advice but I do want to wish you (and the chick) the best. I always tell myself not to get too emotionally involved because when you hatch out chicks you always lose one or two. I can't follow my own advice and end up in tears at least once each hatching season.
Good luck with the little fella. It can be an emotional rollercoaster with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you! This was our first hatch & I had such a tough time with temps & humidity, I didn't think I'd hatch a single chick! Then, this little guy hatched & I want him to make it so bad, it kills me! It's from my baby girl's show chickens for 4H & I really just want him to make it for her. I think she's willing to dropper feed him forever. Sigh. It's tough. Of course, now we have a broody hen that could have hatched the eggs (& Murphy's law states that that broody hen is his biomom!), but it's too late for that...we'll just wait & see. Whatever happens, I'm sure there's a lesson for all of us, even if its a sad one. :)
 

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Looks like star gazing...neurological disorder caused by egg positioning in the incubator/nutritional deficiency/injury, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
??? I had the egg in a turner, little end down. Is it something that can correct itself? My poor daughter, she is just so upset & every day s/he hangs on, I think it gets worse. Tough farming AND parenting time! :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I found some interesting reading about stargazing. I'm going to pick up some Polyvisol (without iron), Vit E & selenium & see if I can save this little guy. Hopefully, it's not too late. Thank you for all the advice & help!
 

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Sorry you and your daughter is having a hard time with this. This is a perfect time to teach her that life and death are both part of incubating and raising chicks/chickens. It happens. Sometimes its due to improper temps or humidity, or just simply bad genetics. Sometimes the chick can be helped sometimes it can't. When incubating we/you/ect are messing with nature. All thought it seems like an easy task there is more to it than just right temps and humidity. That's why broody mommas are the best way to go. When it comes to incubating practice makes perfect, just remember not all chicks will survive. Its survival of the fittest. I've had my share of incubating successes and may share of failures. It happens. I wish you luck on your next batch.

As for the stargazing. I personally cull when it comes to chicks and ducklings with disorders or deformities. It's hard but for my flock it needs to be done. I wish you luck with your chick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We should probably cull, but this is my daughter's chick & her choice. She wants the opportunity to help it. We've discussed options & pros & cons (mostly cons, unfortunately) of not culling him, but she really wants to do all she can for him. It's the first chick from her breeding pair of show birds. We obviously would not breed this little guy, even if he does make it, but we gave her the choice, now we have to respect it. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a very tough lesson for her, but one she's gotta learn. Tough on mommy, too. :-(
 

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??? I had the egg in a turner, little end down. Is it something that can correct itself? My poor daughter, she is just so upset & every day s/he hangs on, I think it gets worse. Tough farming AND parenting time! :-(
This is true. That's why I always cringe when someone wants chickens for pets because chickens come out of that shell and immediately start looking around for ways to die. They do not make the ideal pet but they are great livestock and farmers are tough folks who have a very practical outlook on livestock husbandry...all animals die and that's an accepted fact. Farmers can most often control the manner of their dying if they are vigilant and use good management practices.

One of these very valuable management methods is knowing why, when and how to cull to spare the animal any present or future suffering. That can be taught if you were brought up on a farm...if not, it can be learned and it is often the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I think we're taking the hard way. Sigh. But, I gave her the choice, I have to honor that or I should have just made the choice myself. We just started processing our owns chickens & I think that was what she envisioned for "the end". I explained it would be like going to sleep, so she's decided she only wants to give him a few more days, she doesn't want him to suffer. She's learning, & on her own terms. I think that's about all I can ask for. :)
 

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Yep! For kids, they always learn it best if they learn it themselves...even when it hurts. That's when it's hardest to let them learn the lessons, the ones you know will hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you! I'll keep everyone updated! I know you're all hanging on the edge of your seats!! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for all the advice & support. My daughter decided last night it was best to let him go. At 12 years old, she made a very difficult, selfless & painful decision & I'm so proud of her. Her little heart is broken, especially since this was her first chick, but I know she'll be ok. :) & we now have a broody hen, so hopefully more chicks to come. Thanks again, Chicken Forum has got to have some of the most caring, helpful people I've come across in a long time!
 
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