Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chick Update: May 17, 2012

As of this morning, the chick count is down to 11 chicks.

The last one to hatch had something wrong with it, as I mentioned in my last chick update. It could not sit up at all, even when I set it up. I think it was paralyzed or something.  Its feathers did not fluff out nearly as much as the other chicks and it was missing feathers as well. I put that one down on Monday, rather than have it suffer any longer.

The second death was the weaker, less coordinated of the two that have what I believe to be Wry Neck. I gave this chick vitamins a couple times a day, and dipped his beak in the water multiple times a day. Still, he didn't make it.  I had read about elaborate means of trying to save chicks, involving blending lettuce and other foods up and force feeding them....and I considered it, but decided it to be unwise in our situation. If these chicks work out for us as dual-purpose birds, I don't want to be breeding birds that I know have this gene--and especially not ones that aren't able to pull out of it on their own.  At any rate, I think this particular chick was having difficulty in swallowing, and I am not sure he would have been able to eat the food, even if I did force it on him.

At the end of the day, this leaves us with 11 chicks. The remaining chicks all look to be healthy and strong. The one that has Wry Neck (or whatever it might be) is fully able to eat, drink, and run around with the rest of them. For now, I am just going to let nature run its course and see how it does and whether it corrects itself. If it's a roo, we will likely have him for dinner once he's grown enough...same if it's a hen and we don't want her eggs to be mingled in with our other hatching eggs.

Time will tell.

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