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Moving loan chicken.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Little back story first. Out of our first hatch only one chicken lived. There was no one around here that I could buy more from so he wouldn't be lonely. We have done our best to accommodate him and he is very friendly and has lots of play time so he isn't so lonely. He's also went out on warm days and interacted with the bigger chickens some but mostly they ignore him and walk away as they free range on 3 acres just about all day. We had him in a brooder in the house and he was doing great without the heat lamp. He is now 6 weeks old so we moved him out to the garage with a heat lamp as it's colder out there. He does jump out and then fluff out like he's cold so I move him back when I see this. Hes done pretty good with some nights getting down to 28-35. Now my question how do I add him to the group since he's the only one. I saw where I can add him in a dog crate but the problem I see is that he's the only one wouldn't he get very cold if he doesn't have any body heat to warm up to like the others? I'm afraid to put him just straight in there even if they do ignore him. Do I need to wait and see if our new hatches due in 2.5 weeks make it and add him to them and then move them all out at once or just go a head and make the move?
post #2 of 5

Your six-week old chick is already half grown. You don't mention how many adult chickens are in your flock, which would have been helpful. Do they have a run or is it strictly a free-range set up, as in do they go out from the coop each morning into the three acres?


Your chick will be much better off with the flock right now, and the sooner you put this chick with the others, the better for all.


The chick will need places to escape from the pecking order if the chickens are confined to a run. Lots of places and perches up high will be necessary for when the chick is chased and pecked, which it surely will be. You can toss some tree branches into the run or near the coop for it to hide behind and under.


I would simply place the chick on a perch with the others tonight after the adult flock has completely settled in for the night. The chick will awaken in the morning with the others, and they will be more likely to accept it.


You will need to keep an eye on things for a few days, and deal with any problems that arise. There really is no set formula for integrating a single chick other than providing plenty of escape places for it to evade the others.


And stop entertaining the idea of waiting and inserting this chick into a new batch of baby chicks. It will not work. Period. This chick will be less likely to be accepted by the flock the older it gets, and it will be much too big to be safe around babies.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have one rooster and 2 hens and they free range completely. No run just straight out of the coop. Ok I'll try to add him asap. This is my first deal with babies so I wasn't sure.
post #4 of 5

Add the chick at night. Don't simply turn it out with the others to free range. It likely will not survive. It needs to be confined to the safety of the coop for about a week or two with food and water so it can become imprinted on the coop. Once that has been accomplished, the chick will likely feel like leaving the coop to explore the outside, but it will probably stay pretty close to the coop until it gains self confidence.


You will need to provide food and water wherever the chick is going to be hanging out. The adults may discover the chick with the food inside the coop, so you need to have a safe haven inside the coop for the chick to use as a panic room, something with 5 x 7 inch openings the adults can't fit into. This needs to remain in place for another six weeks.


A dog crate with the door removed and hardware cloth stretched over the opening with an opening cut into it would be the most convenient way to provide this sanctuary. Place the food and water inside. The chick will choose to sleep in it or roost with the adults. Let it decide where to sleep.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Got it thanks!
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