Last week our baby chicks hatched! This is the third set of chicks that our hen, Brown Town, had hatched. She is an excellent mama hen. However, sometimes chicks are born with deformities. Last year we lost two chicks right after they hatched due to their intestines not forming correctly. We learned that mama hen had too many eggs under her and the eggs were not rotated enough thus the deformity.
A day after one of the chicks hatched, hubby noticed that it was not doing well. He placed it under a heat lamp indoors right before he took the boys to karate. When I came home from work, I found the little chick on the brink of death. It didn’t even have enough strength to open it’s eyes. I used a medicine dropper and gave the chick water mixed with Save-A-Chick. The electrolytes on heat lamp revived this little chick! Thirty minutes later, it was able to open it’s eyes and it was peeping away.
The deformity that this chick has is with it’s leg. It is slightly rotated which makes it hard for it to walk. Now that it is strong enough, it has figured out how to maneuver around the nesting box to find food, water and mama hen. It took a couple of days of care with this special needs chick to ensure it was going to be able to fend for itself. We would bring it to the house to warm up and make sure it was getting water and food. It even had a nice nap in my sweatshirt pocket one morning followed by an adventure on our dog Princess Leia’s back!
If you are raising chicks, I highly recommend a heat lamp even if you have a mama hen. The chicks do not need a heat lamp if mama hen is attending to them. However, you never know when you are going to need to supplement care. I also highly recommend Save-A-Chick. It’s inexpensive to keep on hand for when you need it. I also check on the chicks frequently during their first few days just to make sure they are all eating and drinking as need be.
Baby chicks are so much fun to watch! Very entertaining and cute!
For more on raising chickens, make sure to checkout my previous raising chickens posts.