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#86115 - 03/24/05 06:51 PM new hatch eyes are closed

Hi - I have chicks hatching in the incubator. So far everyone appears healthy, except two of the chicks have eyes that are not open. On has one open, the other both are closed. Is there something I can do, or will this correct itself?

#86116 - 03/24/05 07:47 PM Re: new hatch eyes are closed
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Let them sleep, it is HARD work getting out of that shell. They are TIRED, and while some babies come out of the shell and start eating before they are dry, others aren't very active and eat very little for 2 or 3 days, sleeping much of the time. Watch, but don't worry. CJR

#86117 - 03/26/05 11:24 AM Re: new hatch eyes are closed
Greta S. Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 232
Loc: California
I agree with CJR smile

#86118 - 04/10/05 07:21 PM Re: new hatch eyes are closed

Good avice from those above. Most of the time, the stuck eye is from too much albumin left over from the egg. The chicks are supossed to be "wet" from humidity, not albumin. The albumin acts like glue. If too much albumin is "left-over" the chicks will pip, and then get stuck when the albumin starts to dry. If they hatch, sometimes it covers their eyes. When you take chicks out that are like this, simpy take a wet paper towel and blot the eyes; removing the goo that is sticking the eyes shut.

Now, with the above said, there is a "bad" gene that causes "sticky eye," It acts recessive. If you have to keep wetting the eye to keep it unstuck, then the eye is weeping and then the "weep" turns to glue. The gene may even be a gene that is letting the chick be non-resistant to some sort of viral or bacterial infection. In the case where you have to keep helping the chick, then you have to put it down. I know, I am probably getting a reputation for putting down chicks at the drop of a hat. But the simple fact is that chicks like this certainly pass this trait along. I have helped chicks to adulthood and they never stopped that darned eye weeping. Once I started culling for this trait, my problems dwindled to nearly none now.

By now you know which way your chick went. Good luck with it. Fortunately, most of the time it is not the bad gene and cleaning it will fix it.

#86119 - 04/11/05 06:41 AM Re: new hatch eyes are closed
Rack Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 384
Loc: Virginia
I had two chicks with eyes closed. They seemed more premature than the others. For 3 hours I dipped their beeks in sugar water approx. every 10 to 15 minutes. One lived and was fine the other didn't make it, but lived longer than I think she otherwise would have.
What I learned was trying to save a premature chick is not always appropriate since I think it's natures way. It just seemed to stretch out the time that they would die. I did save one however so I think it's up to the individual.

#86120 - 04/11/05 12:13 PM Re: new hatch eyes are closed

I hatched out a polish chick last spring that I named Gerty. Gerty never opened her eyes and so could not see. She was also a bit on the slow side even as chickens go. She was great though, she'd ride on my head and come when I called and my turkeys had some weird death wish for her. Unfortinately she was week and died by the fall, but she was a hell of a pet until then.


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