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...


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Your post's of the various little "problems" that pop up are excellent and very informative. All too often when we read articles about fanciers we only read about their success, but it is from failures or near failures that we learn the most.

I too have had that awful experience of chipping an egg to find a chick nor quite ready to hatch, as you say, as long as the egg yolk is absorbed, all should be well.

Keep up the good work and hope the Border chick thrives!

Anonymous said...

Did your weak Border Chick survive?
Just curious.


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

I have a America Singer that has been having a health problem. He used to be quite a singer but stopped singing about two months ago. Lately he seems very disoriented and off balance. A few times when I was tending my birds I saw him fall off the perch and looked like he was having seizures with his head twisted and feet up in the air. Then he'll get up and go on with his usual activities.

Two days ago I used ivermectin solution, but didn't make any difference. He still seems very off balance.

Have you ever heard birds having such reactions? Is there any cure? Can you recommend anything at all that I should do?


Linda Hogan said...

Neurological symptoms which are mild such as head twirling and star gazing may be stress induced by imbalance may be due to a number of things including vitamin E and selenium deficiency, inbreeding, poisons, starvation or infection with atoxoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis or even virus such as paramyxovirus.
Mortality is high.
I would use KD powder and also get some orlux fertility vitamins.

Linda Hogan said...

Unfortunately, the weak chick only lived about three days, the color did improve but it was only on the morning of the third day that it opened its mouth freely for me and then mother bird also fed it for the first time that morning as she had the same problem I did, it just would not beg. Chicks that do not be are either sick or starving. When they are starving, they start begging after a couple of feeding. Since this chick did not, I think it was ill.
I have tried to get bird room help for years and as fate would have it, on his third day, two ladies worked a few hours cleaning in the bird room. Evidently the activity caused momma border to sit a little tighter than normal and in spite of the protective plastic eggs, he was so weak the he got positioned on the nest floor next to the eggs and was smashed..
I try to avoid any cage cleaning during breeding season but the opportunity to have help was just too much for me. The weak border chick and one other Stafford chick were the only newborns and the Stafford chick was unaffected by the activity.
Since last week, I have lots hatching including Mario's chicks and so I told the cleaning ladies we would have to wait for a month or six weeks before starting again as I do not want to risk losing babies..

Anonymous said...

Years ago I had a finch that was having problems like that even though my finch cost me eight dollars I took him to the vet and he came to the conclusion that my female was low in iron. I got the iron supplements and she was fine in a week or so. also I had a canary years ago that it had the same problem turned out she had a big tumor under her wing which was causing her to be off balance and couldn't fly. That was a very sad day because there's nothing you can do about it I had to have a sleep I don't know if anybody ever had to have a bird put to sleep it's just heartbreaking.