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2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice appreciated

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Wessel Gordon
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2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:07 am

Hi everyone

I checked my breeding pair's nest this morning and discovered one dead chick, one barely alive and two eggs. Needless to say I pulled the living chick for hand-rearing. The dead chick seems to have never been fed.

My problem is the following: I only heard the sound of chicks on Saturday so at most the chick I rescued can't be more than 3-4 days old at most. I have handreared IRN chicks before but they were all older so I'm unsure how to proceed.

I do have handrearing formula and after retrieving the chick from the nest I fed it as much as it was willing to take. I also phoned an experienced breeder that gave me the following advice.

1. Keep the chick warm at all cost. He suggested I pull out the plug of the microwave oven and put the chick inside it wrapped in a towel on top of a warm water bottle to keep it out of drafts.
2. Feed the chick at least every 2 hours day and night till I get a feel for how much the chick digest within that timespan.

Is there anything he or I overlooked?

Kind regards,

Wessel

MissK
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by MissK » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:00 am

I would use a rubbermaid type tub - somebody's going to need that microwave sooner or later......
-MissK

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:03 am

The breeder I telephoned has an incubator he said I could borrow if he doesn't need it in a few days. In the meantime I'm trying my best.

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:02 pm

The chick is eating OK'is...what has me worried is that it hasn't passed anything out the other end since I started feeding it. I tried to clean it's rear with gauze dampened with lukewarm water but it didn't seem to help. I will check again in 2 hours when the next feeding is due.

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:44 am

So far so good.

The chick survived it's first night away from it's parents and is doing well, although it didn't pass any food all the way through it's system. It was a bit lethargic this morning but it was screaming at the top of it's little lungs when I started the last feed.

MissK
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:20 am

Wessel, it does need to poop, right? Is the right amount of water in the food? Breeders? Why no poop?
-MissK

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:00 am

MissK

I phoned an experienced breeder first thing this morning and he said to just keep doing what I'm doing after I gave him more or less a step-by-step breakdown of my feeding ritual.

Since then the bird has pooped some...not much, admittedly, but definitely something. I have a theory about the lack of poop for the first 18 hours or so but I might be wrong so please correct any errors in my logic: the chick has been starved by the mom in the nest (crop completely empty when pulled from nest) so when nutrients came into it's system the body instinctively digested as much of it as possible in an effort to survive. Being on a strict 2-hourly feeding schedule things have normalized so the digestive tract is starting to act the way it was designed to.

Needless to say I'm keeping one and a half eye on the chick at all times.

Wessel

MissK
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:16 pm

I couldn't begin to talk about birds but we do know, for mammels, the quality of the food and how well it's digested affect poop quantity and quality. More efficient digestion = less poop. Maybe your formula is just that good? But there should be some poop of some kind, so I'm glad to hear you finally got some! Doubly relieved you have a breeder in your pocket, that's for sure.

I don't know about your theory, but I do know that we need food coming in to stimulate poop going out.

Glad your chickie is still making it.
-MissK

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:39 am

Quick update:

The chick passed over the rainbow bridge at 6 am this morning. I'm heartbroken but I know that will pass and these past two days will count as added experience if it needs to be repeated.

MissK
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by MissK » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:14 am

I'm sorry Wessel. I know you did your best.
-MissK

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:30 am

I did my best. Just sad that it was sitting on my lap when it died. Then again there's always a risk of losing babies even if the mom takes care of them.

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:40 am

Quick update...again.

This morning I retrieved the sibling of the chick that died so I'm back to feeding a chick at 2 hour intervals.

Wessel Gordon
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:31 am

Just spoke to my breeder friend. He has an unused incubator (apparently similar to those used for premature/weak babies) that I can borrow. We're going to pick it up tomorrow. Hopefully with that the odds are a lot higher of pulling this baby through.

Wessel Gordon
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: South Africa
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Re: 2-3 Day old chick being handreared - Any advice apprecia

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:47 am

Just lost the second baby. I'm getting to the point where I'm about to give up with that breeding pair.

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