Friday, April 17, 2009
Hatching Two Days After Siblings
Size Disadvantage Can Be a Disaster!
Three of these chicks hatched on the 13th day of incubation but the fourth chick hatched on the 15th day. In the top photo, notice the size difference of the small chick in the lower left corner compared to the stuffed chick on the top of the photo and the other two chicks are just as big as he is! The hen has been feeding so well that a two day advantage is too much for this chick to deal with. It is bound to get left out for feeding, might die, be trampled, or become a runt of the clutch, as it is just so much smaller than its siblings.
The best thing for this small chick is to foster it to a nest with newly hatched chicks its size. Before I transferred it, I gave it a complete hair cut. The second photo shows the normal baby fuzz on the small chicks head. The bottom photo shows it after my hair cut! Even after five days when the chick will likely be ready for banding, I will still be able to identify it and record its correct parents!