Abnormal Chick Hatch

topic posted Tue, May 11, 2004 - 5:46 PM by  Megan
I was asked to post this about the hatch of chicks I got. It didnt go as well as I hoped, I had 13 eggs and only 6 hatched.
The incubator I used was terrible. Also 2 of the baby chicks are abnormal. They have both legs but can only use 1 of them. The 2 are healthy and hoping around feeding well, a little smaller, but good. I looked at a few sites for abnormalities and there are a few different explanations, temp too high, too low or hens not fed properly. I made the mistake of getting eggs from a neighbor, I wanted some new color to the chickens, those are the chicks that have problems. All in all, the babies are fun to have, they are already getting their feathers and are very fiesty. For 6 baby chicks they can pound down the food. They are in the office here, and are a ball to watch. Sorry I have no pictures of them at this time...Megan
posted by:
New York
  • Unsu...

    Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

    Thu, May 13, 2004 - 10:47 AM
    I figured that eggs that got too chilled simply wouldn't hatch. But it seems that a matter of just a few degrees difference can cause malformed chicks. When the little Sebright mama sat on eggs this winter, she eventually discarde all but two. They both hatched, but one was malformed and still had a large yolk attached covered with blood vessels. It died in a few hours. The other one, Chicklet, is all grown up now, a little black banty. And a rooster, dammit!
    • Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

      Fri, May 14, 2004 - 4:14 AM
      This was sent to me from the birdvet online:
      This is a fairly classic symptom of calcium deficiency. Calcium is involved in nerve and muscle function and when there isn't enough the bird cannot support its own weight. Bone deformities will also appear. To be honest there is little you can do about the currently affected birds except to give then CalciBoost. This will stop the problem getting worse but won't make it any better. Nesting birds can be straightened out at this age but these chicks are far too active to be splinted.

      Prevention is the answer and in this case it means giving CalciBoost to the adult birds and also to the chicks when they hatch. This will have the added benefit of more eggs, stronger hens and stronger chicks.
      I would add CalciBoost to their pellets/crumbs/human scraps as this is cheaper and far more reliable than adding it to water. Dose rate is one teaspoonful per ten pounds of bird bodyweight five days a week when any birds are laying and once a week when nothing is laying. It will do no harm to give CalciBoost five days a week to non-layers except the damage to your bank account!
      This product is readily available by mail order in the USA:

      I hope this helps

      Malcolm Green
      The Birdcare Company
  • Unsu...

    Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

    Sat, May 15, 2004 - 2:43 AM
    6 out of 13 is not bad. Some breeds only hatch 1/4 of the eggs at best (Aracaunas for example).

    Deformed legs at birth is a classic sign of a temperature problem during incubation. Don't feel bad - getting that tempreature right is really hard unless you live in an aera that has the same temperature all the time, or you can afford an expensive incubator that regulates real good and automatically turns the eggs.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

      Sat, May 15, 2004 - 7:42 AM

      Do you have purebred Aracaunas? The kind with the feathery earlobes andthat lay dark blue eggs?
      • Unsu...

        Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

        Thu, May 27, 2004 - 3:07 PM
        No - the term Araucauna in the US almost always means Ameraraucana. The hatch rates for pure Chilean Aracaunas are much worse - they are the frailest chickens alive. The folks who raise the original breed usually go way out of their way to let you know it. But the blue eggs are cool, though they are more of a powder blue aren't they.
        • Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

          Thu, May 27, 2004 - 6:57 PM
          Im horrible at chicken breeds, I have a book but cant find it, I have chickens that lay dark green eggs. They have feathers on their legs all the way down towards their feet. They are my favorite. I will keep searching for the book to find the breed name..ugggggg..The chicks are still doing fine even though they are disabled. They are not growing fast like the others, they are much smaller......
          • Unsu...

            Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

            Thu, May 27, 2004 - 7:01 PM
            Do you have a digital camera? I'd love to see pics of your chickens.
            • Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

              Sat, May 29, 2004 - 6:28 AM
              I do have a digital camera, but unfortunately one of my lovely dogs ate the disk so I am unable to load it onto this computer. I have to get a new disk. Hopefully soon.
              • Unsu...

                Re: Abnormal Chick Hatch

                Sat, May 29, 2004 - 7:52 AM
                I'm both sympathetic and empathetic. My bull terrier, Tucker, went through a period when he had a taste for connector cables. We had to buy a new printer, even though the old one was fine, because we couldn't get the right cable anywhere. (HP SUCKS).

                It was a hassle, but nothing as heartbreaking as the time my cat killed my old B&W StyleWriter by sleeping on it every chance she got. Oh that was a wonderful printer, a real workhorse. Alas, alas...
          • Unsu...

            dark green eggs

            Thu, May 27, 2004 - 9:55 PM
            Some Americaunas have the feathered legs - it's a recessive gene.

            Check out this neat guy - he has created a brand new breed he calls Seney which are descended from Americaunas but are more meaty and have the leg feathers heavy as part of the breed:

            • Unsu...

              Re: dark green eggs

              Fri, May 28, 2004 - 8:56 AM

              That Seney link was very interesting. My chickens suffered a late breakfast because I got so involved in it. I especially like the speckled egg. Very cool how this guy has taken an autodidactic approach to some pretty intensive genetic stuff.


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