Thursday, May 5, 2011
Weak Border Chick
Usually when I hand feed, I leave the chick in the nest and giggle the nest or gently touch the top of the chick's head or under the chin and like magic the chick will open up for easy feeding.
This Border chick , however, was so weak that no matter what it would not beg me or mom to feed it. I expect the chick to start begging by the time it is 4 hours old. So in this case where the chick will not willfully open up, I had to place it on its back in my hand and pry the mouth open to get the feeding started. Chicks will still swallow even when they will not open up. Usually a couple of the forced feedings and it will be strong enough to open up to mom or me in the nest.
Note its bad yellowish skin color.
After being full, I wash the vent with warm water to encourage it to expel fecal material and then place it back in the nest.
So why was this chick that weak? Well, I normally candled eggs but this nest was due on Monday and two eggs were obviously infertile so I broke them, the next egg was partially developed dead chick and instead of candling and water testing the last egg, I broke the shell and oh no a live chick and blood...Seeing blood, I expected to find a dead chick when I check the nest 4 hours later but it had finished hatching but a little premature. Luckily the yolk was absorbed...