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!


birdiepost said...

hey i find this hair trimming interesting, where did the idea come from?

Brian in savannah

leng said...

The haircut is a great idea!

Linda Hogan said...

Yes, the haircut really works. I tried putting dyes on them to mark them and even tried betadine but when banding time came around, I would wonder now which chick was the foster one? So I thought about it and decided I needed something that would not fade or rub off on the other chicks so I came up with the haircut idea!

I was concerned that mom would not want to feed if the fuzz was cut but when she feeds, the chick puts its head back and so she does not seem to care. I have done this for years now but now that I have Stafford's the crested ones are already bald on top and the Stafford hen feeds them just like her fuzzy ones!

I recently fostered a crested (bald) Stafford chick to a German roller hen and in this case I didn't need to trim its head!! And the adoptive mother seems to always feed it first!!