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Raising feral chick advice?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I need advice for how to raise a chick that was hatched in the wild. My daughter and I were feeding a feral mamma hen and her babies in the back of a parking lot this afternoon. They were super cute and I was just letting my little girl sprinkle the bread ends from the loaf of bread we had just bought, sitting on the curb and having a peaceful moment to enjoy the cute babies. Someone circled the back of the lot by us and ran them over, just to be mean I think. Well the momma hen died and so did one of the chicks, most of the babies ran off into the bushes but one of the babies just stood there so I scooped it up, tried to find the others but couldn't catch any of them. We brought the one we could catch home and it peeped and peeped as loud as it could for a few hours and only recently fell asleep. I feel awful for it. My other pullets are about 25 weeks old so I can't put the chick in with them but she seems very lonely and distressed. I need advice on what to do for it as I'm still fairly new to chickens and I've never raised a chick that had bonded with its mom instead of people. It's skittish and wouldn't drink from a bowl or eat mashed hard boiled egg. I dunked its beak into the water but eventually got it to drink droplets from my finger. Tomorrow I'm going to get some more chick starter and keep the heatlamp on for it in the brooder for tonight. What else can/should I do?
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is what the chick looks like, if anyone knows what kind it is or what I can expect it to grow into. If it helps, I live on Oahu and there are tons of feral chickens always milling around.



post #3 of 9
One thing I’d do is go back and try to get some of the others if they are truly feral and that is legal. Chickens are social animals and really do better with others. I’m not sure of the best way to get more but it just might involve more bread crumbs. A fish net may come in handy. In your climate they have a reasonable chance of raising themselves in the wild. They are remarkably self-sufficient but a broody hen to help teach them really helps.

Raise that chick just like you would any other. It is scared right now and they don’t like any change anyway. But it should calm down in a few days. If you are patient with it, you can tame it. They are adaptable.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 9

I don't have any advice at all, but that is just the saddest thing.  I really don't understand some people.  :(

post #5 of 9

My advice would be to return the chick where you saw them when the hen was killed, if you can locate them. Don't turn the chick loose all by itself.

 

I had guessed you are in the islands because it's notorious for its feral chicken flocks, which happen to do very well for themselves because of the temperate climate. That chick is between two and three weeks old, so it may not even need the heat lamp as long as your house is around 70-75.

 

You could try to catch some more of its mates and bring them home, but I'd be concerned about bringing home diseases to my flock.

post #6 of 9

Put a mirror in the cage and a stuffed animal.  I would really try to get another chick that size.  Good luck and thanks for saving the little one.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, thank you for all the advice! I put in a little mirror and a small stuffed cow in there this morning and it seemed to help a little. The chick stayed right up against the mirror all day and slept against the stuffed animal for a while. On my way to the feed store I stopped in the parking lot that we got her from and didn't see any of the other chicks but I did notice some feral cats that I hadn't noticed yesterday. Hopefully they joined another hen and her babies but I have a feeling they may have been eaten sad.png when we got to the feed store they just so happened to have baby chicks so we bought one and some chick starter. I'm not sure it's the best solution but neither of them are loudly peeping right now. They're actually sleeping together next to the stuffed cow and mirror. We may ultimately have to find another home for them because I'm not sure I can fit another two chickens in our current coop but I run a gardening club at the school I teach at so maybe I can convince our principal to let me build a coop in the garden for them. I love teaching the kids about growing food crops in our tropical climate and we donate all of the vegetables to a group called Aloha Harvest, who helps connect the fresh foods with underprivileged people in need. I bet they would accept egg donations too smile.png

Again, thank you everyone for all the great tips!
post #8 of 9

Your very welcome.  I'm glad you got the little chick a friend.  Chickens do much better when you have more then one.  I think the kids would enjoy having chickens at the school.  I hope the principle lets you build the coop.  Good luck with the babies and thanks again for saving the little one.  

post #9 of 9

I wish you the best with your chickies.  Our children are our future.  I also hope that your principal sees the benefit of this plan.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
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