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Is it possible to add ONE baby chick???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Due to HOA & city ordinances I can only increase my flock by one this year. Does anyone have any experience with raising a baby chick solo? I'd prefer this method so I can bond-I have my major layers (six 8 month olds: 2 leghorns, 1 barred rock, 1 RIR, 2 ameracaunas) so this chick addition will be one chosen purely for docile "pet" nature.
post #2 of 6

I've done it a couple times out of necessity when only one hatched.

There are a couple problems with it. As a flock animal they don't fare well alone regardless of age. You can hand raise it but they'll make a fuss looking for the other chicks and be very needy of attention. Then they are a little weird as they grow and won't take to the other birds.

IMHO, your best bet would be if one of your other birds goes broody this spring. Then after a couple weeks, stick the new baby under the hen at night and she'll raise it, protect it from the others and by the time she weans it, it will be accepted as a flock member.

Even if you get an adult pullet, it will have a problem being accepted into an established flock. That is especially true of an extremely docile breed.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I guess since I've never done any type of breeding or hatching that scares me :-) I have questions! Put the baby chick straight from buying it out there? Do you raise it any time in the brooder? I'd worry about no quarantine time. Do you put baby there just at night? Leave her during the day?
It definitely interest me, but I'm starting to think I may be forced to stay with just my current flock :-(
Sadly, I've found a hen obsession I didn't know I had!
post #4 of 6

Stay with the current number in your flock. Adding a single adult chicken borders on the impossible. Adding a single baby chick is lunacy.

 

Sorry about the hyperbole, but I'm trying to tell you it won't work.

 

Try to understand the psychology of chickens. They derive their self confidence from being part of a group, and later, the flock. Baby chicks are sort of like a hive, being they all cling to one another for comfort, safety, and self confidence. A single chick is deprived of all of that. There is just no way to substitute any of it.

 

Try to be patient. Chickens have a pretty short turnover. There will come an opportunity to add two or three new chicks to your flock in another year or two, I would be willing to bet.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayfrontHens View Post

I guess since I've never done any type of breeding or hatching that scares me :-) I have questions! Put the baby chick straight from buying it out there? Do you raise it any time in the brooder? I'd worry about no quarantine time. Do you put baby there just at night? Leave her during the day?
It definitely interest me, but I'm starting to think I may be forced to stay with just my current flock :-(
Sadly, I've found a hen obsession I didn't know I had!

IF a hen goes broody, the eggs will hatch in 3 weeks if fertile. After a couple weeks, you can fool them to thinking they hatched something by sliding a chick under the hen at night. Just check back after a couple 20 minute intervals to make sure it isn't running around the coop somewhere. Day to 3 day old chicks work well. The older the chick, the less likely it will be to take to the hen. A broody hen at the right term will gladly accept a chick at night.

Quarantine isn't as necessary with babies because few diseases are passed on vertically (through the egg).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

Stay with the current number in your flock. Adding a single adult chicken borders on the impossible. Adding a single baby chick is lunacy.

 

Sorry about the hyperbole, but I'm trying to tell you it won't work.

 

Try to understand the psychology of chickens. They derive their self confidence from being part of a group, and later, the flock. Baby chicks are sort of like a hive, being they all cling to one another for comfort, safety, and self confidence. A single chick is deprived of all of that. There is just no way to substitute any of it.

 

Try to be patient. Chickens have a pretty short turnover. There will come an opportunity to add two or three new chicks to your flock in another year or two, I would be willing to bet.


All true.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
That's what my gut is telling me so thanks for the confirmation! I think I AM brooding so I'm just anxious to have little cute chicks all again :-) I appreciate the advice & will follow.
It's taken a while & my girls have finally found a rhythm amongst themselves & all is well. I was outside with them today & realized I really don't want to jeopardize the harmony 😵
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