Off Balance Chick

by Anna
(Lacombe, LA)

Lucky in a seat to keep him/her up right.

Lucky in a seat to keep him/her up right.


I just hatched some chicks from my chickens I raised. We hatched them in an incubator and 2 hatched and are doing fine, but one chick broke the shell but couldn't get out without our help.

It’s been 3 days and it can’t walk at all. We have to hand feed it. The Feet don’t look like they’re formed correctly. One of the toes feels like its just cartilage. What is wrong with it?

Sometimes there’s a weak chick in a clutch and it may not be strong enough to survive, especially if it was to weak to break out of the shell on it’s own.

There may have been a lack of nutrients for that egg and chick to form normally. Something else that happens during the hatching of a chick is that its body functions, brain messages to nerves and muscle coordination are aligned and help it change from life in the shell to life outside.

A new chick’s bones are very tiny and weak and rely on good nutrition after hatching to grow and strengthen.

It’s possible this chick cannot survive and go on to live a normal life, that is was doomed from the beginning inside the egg.

Continuing to feed it is good and doing some physical therapy, exercising legs and feet, helping it to form the connections between brain and nerves and muscles may be able to get it on its feet and functioning.

Generally, when a chick is too weak to hatch normally, there is something seriously wrong with it. When assisting a chick to hatch there can be blood loss that make it even weaker.

You may be trying to help it fight a losing battle, or you may be able to help it past this. There can be internal problems as well as the physical ones you can see, that would prevent this chick from growing normally and having a healthy life.

I know this isn’t the best news, but these things happen, and we can’t always succeed in helping.

Making sure your breeding stock is on a good breeder feed can help with healthier clutches, but sometimes there are genetic factors in play that can’t be seen or prevented.

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Off Balance or Paralized chick
by: Joe

yes , i am currently in this situation keeping a watch over him all night until someone else can help the little fella/girl stay fed and watered.

the "left" leg is just kinda like rubber and "the chick" has hardly no strength but i am doing the best of my ability.

Thank you for the information.

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