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re introducing a feral chicken chick into the wild

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

hello everyone

 

I just joined.  I'm English but I have lived in Cayman for 10 months.  Before that I was 10 years in Bermuda so I'm used to seeing feral chickens all over the place. My neighbour found a near to death young chick in the bushes and has taken it in.  I think this is such an amazing thing to do as it's easy when things are so abundant for people to say "well it's just a chicken".  I'm a big animal lover and raised Chinese painted Quail in my 20s so told her to mill bird food (this guy is tiny)  she says he's now doing super well but I have looked on websites to see if she should find a hen with a brood of similar sized chicks and try to put him with them or wait till he/she is older and release into the wild but can't find anything.  i'm worried that the chick will be very imprinted on humans.  There's a huge stray dog problem here and would hate the little cutie to get eaten on it's first day in the real world.  I realise that this is probably not the kind of question you get but would appreciate help.  We are all sometimes just in need of a hand up and the universe repays the kind souls.  many thanks

post #2 of 6
Another hen is not likely to take chick in. I suggest rearing the chick to the juvenile stage where the head becomes covered in feathers. Then begin gradual reintroduction process where bird is allowed to free-range around a feeder. As the bird grows begin to wean it off the feeder gradually by reducing the amount of feed applied each day. Chick will expand its home range to compensate. You may have troubles with other chickens trying to to drive your charge off which may require some sort of intervention. Other complications may arise as well. Feral chickens in situations with minimal predator pressure likely have serious competition issues that will challenge your young bird. Growing up in a social group has advantages under those situations.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

hello thanks so much.  i didn't think releasing him young would be good.  He is still golden and very tiny.  how long do you think she needs to keep him before letting him out with a food source.  i'm thinking he can only be a few weeks old at most.  only a bout 7cm tall.

Thanks for you help

post #4 of 6
I assume it cannot fly at all yet. If correct it is less than 10 days post hatch. It will be a juvenile by 5 weeks post hatch although a single individual will have a very tough go at such an age. I would begin the free-range range keeping at 5 weeks although have supervision at first. Your situation may not be as predator free as many think especialy is gulls, cats or stray raptors present. Training chick may provide management advantages although may cause complications associated with bonding later where bird will want to stay with those that raised it. Look into using a creep feeder approach to protect the young birds feeder from mature birds that might be inclined to drive your charge off. They other birds will invest more in effort if they have a feeder worth defending.

Where will young bird roost?

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #5 of 6
When practical try posting a picture of bird to show wings. That will give a handle on its flight capacity and ability to stay warm. Generally chicks are good at staying with mother. Either chick has a health issue or something happened to mother. I would be prepared to provide supplemental heat.


What is will be used as a feed?

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

hello and thanks for all the great information.  I was going to tell my neighbour later after work but I saw her walking her dogs before work.  Unfortunately the little guy died in the night.  She did say the Mum left it and it was in bad shape when she found it.  I really appreciate you taking time out to answer my questions

 

warm regards

 

Marie

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