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Can I raise one chick alone?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My broody momma hatched one chick this am. This is her third time and they  usually don't last the day, so we've taken this one from her. Chick seems to eat and drink well, but looks very bored and wants my constant companionship. Can chickens be raised alone or should I quickly place an order for 4-5 more babies to raise with her? The thought of keeping one in the house, and loving on it all the time, sounds like fun, but I don't want him/her to be bored when I have to work (part-time) and my kids are in school. What's best for this baby?

51 Broilers, 32 Hens, 1 Happy Rooster - oh, and 2 cats and 1 lab, besides the 3 mongrel children (JK - love my boys!)
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51 Broilers, 32 Hens, 1 Happy Rooster - oh, and 2 cats and 1 lab, besides the 3 mongrel children (JK - love my boys!)
Reply
post #2 of 5

Best of the best would be at least one other chick. I have a solo chick right now, 1 week old today. He has a stuffed monkey for snuggling with and I go in and talk to him/hold him a lot. I have eggs hatching Nov. 11th and they will join him once they are steady on their feet. I tried to find more chicks but it didn't happen. He listens to TV/radio during the day also, but I let natural daylight be the control.

He is a bit spoiled, because I feel sorry for the little guy. He's a bantam Columbian Cochin. The worst I can imagine is that he's going to be bonded to humans more than to other chickens. Luckily, the soon to be hatched can help with that.

Here's the brooder setup for just him - I'll go bigger once the others hatch. He between the monkey's arm and leg.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/14937_img_3209.jpg

And here he is at 1 day old.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/14937_img_3213_2.jpg

Check your local Craig's List for chicks his age, try all you chicken buddies, too. I couldn't find any, but a feather duster or a stuffed animal comforts them. And the radio/TV gets them used to outside sounds coming in, plus frequent visits with humans.

Introducing one chicken to a flock is very difficult. Time and patience. Wait until the chick is as big as the adults, perhaps separating by a fence or in a cage for a couple weeks first.

ETA, I did call My Pet Chicken for some more chicks but they are winding down on hatching for this year and couldn't ship until the others would be hatching. They do have some available to ship on Nov. 8th, and I can honestly say that I have never had such good customer service on the phone like I did with them!


Edited by ranchhand - 11/3/10 at 11:19am

Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

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Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

Reply
post #3 of 5

It can be done, and I have done it before on accident with bad hatches, but the result isn't really ideal if the ultimate goal is to have this bird outside with a flock, especially a free range flock. The first time I had a lone chick, it was lone for 2 weeks before I could find a friend in February. It was a he and took a bit to figure out what to do with the other chicks about his age, but he was young and did learn pretty quick. However, I did also have a lone chick who was lone for the first 8 weeks of life living in a kennel inside the house. He was attached to humans and knew the indoor lifestyle. I brood outside back home and they start to range at a few weeks old. This apartment bird however, would cry all the time for attention, but when it came to joining his kind, he did not fair too well. He didn't know how to submit or deal with the others and ended up hiding in the bumpers of cars, in the cat house, under sheds, anything that was like his kennel and one day just disappeared while free ranging. He just never fit in with the flock of younger birds back home. But I have a pretty rough and tumble flock of birds and the lone chicks have always been silkies. It will just take more time to integrate them to the flock.

Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Luckily I live within driving distance of Mt Healthy Hatcheries! I just brought home 4 Rhode Island Red and 5 Golden Comets. I'm soooo in love! Now my little BO baby doesn't have to grow up as an outcast!celebrate

51 Broilers, 32 Hens, 1 Happy Rooster - oh, and 2 cats and 1 lab, besides the 3 mongrel children (JK - love my boys!)
Reply
51 Broilers, 32 Hens, 1 Happy Rooster - oh, and 2 cats and 1 lab, besides the 3 mongrel children (JK - love my boys!)
Reply
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiya 

Luckily I live within driving distance of Mt Healthy Hatcheries! I just brought home 4 Rhode Island Red and 5 Golden Comets. I'm soooo in love! Now my little BO baby doesn't have to grow up as an outcast!celebrate


Do they have good healthy chicks?  My local feed store told me that's who they deal with and will have chicks from them in the spring.....I've got 8 chicks being sent soon from a fellow BYCer (they go into the hatcher tomorrow ya ) but depending on what happens, I may want more come spring....

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