I am shaking as I type this. I was just hand feeding the chicks with the plan of photographing them for an update to the blog. I always feed from youngest to oldest first. I had fed the itty bitty, (yes he is still hanging in there, but so small), then #5, then #4. I then pulled #1, 2, & 3 out as I usually do to feed them together as they are so funny and they beg like crazy and cry for me. They are all very bonded to each other as well.
I take turns feeding them each a little at a time. I had just given #3 (female) some food and was going back to one of the boys when she ran to me. She tripped on the towel (her nail got stuck) and fell on her tummy. I guess it forced some of the food in her crop into her air passage way. All of a sudden she was choking. I was horrified. I tried to open her beak and clear her air passage, but she was struggling to take in air and was really just pulling formula into her lungs. When a chick aspirates it happens so quickly and there is little that can be done. She started to pass out. I was shaking so badly telling her to stay with me. She died within seconds. I am still in shock.
Sometimes if a chick is being hand fed and a bit of food goes down wrong they will shake their head, and bring it up an out. I think since she tripped too much formula went into the air passage and she was probably already opening up her beak to breath in and make that begging sound when she started to choke. I have been going over an over it. This is the WORST thing that can happen to a breeder when they are hand feeding. I feel so responsible for her death, but there was nothing I could do.
She was actually the funniest chick. She had huge big round eyes which I found endearing. She really loved me stroking her and scratching her tiny neck and face. I just loved her as I have found that females tend to make very good pets. They get very attached to their owners and are very loyal, but people always tend to gravitate to the males because their coloring is more vibrant.
I had also noticed this morning before I fed her that she was going to be a Turquoise. This just made me sadder as she would have been my first Turquoise chick that I bred. I have such a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. I am still shaking. I can't believe I lost her. It makes me want to quit doing this.