I wrote a few weeks ago about getting a roughly week old rescue chick and got some good advice about trying to get another mom chicken to take her (thanks to all!).
We found her abandoned and roosters were trying to peck her to death. So we brought her to our very small cottage with three hunting cats. We could not get any other mama hen to take her and lets just say the last few weeks have been an adventure for us all.
The official baby chick story seems to be that they only imprint up to 72 hours. She had real but tiny wing feathers when we got her on May 13th and it said here that meant she was about a week old but she imprinted on me something fierce anyway. When I take a shower she has to sit on the tub or she has a complete fit. She's spends too much time riding on my shoulder so I can get basic stuff done.
I'm spending my days cleaning up chicken poop, arguing with amazon about why they never shipped my chicken supplies and planting little sprout gardens for her. She (I hope) is fun and there have been lots of rewarding cute moments but there are tons of things I need to get done in a chicken free state! Since I am her "mom" she has to go shopping etc. with me and has a complete melt down in her car carrier while I'm in the store. I feel like a crazy person toting a chick with me! I don't want to cause her the stress of having her mom disappear on her.
The cats have been banished to the other room and they are very sad.
We are renters. Our current landlord doesn't care if we have a chick in the house but I'm imagining when we try to move back to the states and I mention three cats and a chicken, we won't find a place to live! I need a plan but when I read the pet chicken forums there doesn't seem to be a path out of being a chicken mom.
I did find a little organic farm that will take her and said that even if she is a rooster they will keep him for breeding and not for meat, however, I have questions the farmer just didn't seem to think mattered.
Will the other chickens in his flock accept her or try to peck her to death? Is there a way to stop that?
She's been alone with a human nearly her entire life. Will she adjust and learn the way of the chicken?
Should I wait until she's six weeks old to try to send her to the farm or do it now at roughly 4 weeks?
Will she become despondent without me and fail to thrive?
Will she know when she doesn't need a mom anymore and just naturally pull away?
She's a good peck and scratcher but I cannot get her to take a dust bath in the sand I brought her, any tips?
I didn't have chicken feed at first, I fed her baby food because she wouldn't eat any of the grains I ground up for her. She's really a carnivore! I've been adding more chicken starter to her baby food each day trying to get her to the point where she will be off the baby food entirely. Once I've got her eating dry chicken starter, - a few more days maybe, could she then be ready for a farm?