Abandoned/orphaned chicks

Stephh0701

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
138
278
119
Hawaii
My family was eating lunch yesterday on a restaurant porch and saw a couple little chicks chirping and hollering. We were there about an hr and half and they never stopped and no mommy ever came to collect them. As we walked past them on our way out one started following me and when I turned to him he let me pick him up. I grabbed the other and started looking for mommy and my son came across a huge amount of adult chicken feathers. I'm assuming the mommy got grabbed by a cat or something. We ended up taking the babies home, and they don't look or act more than a day old (yeaterday). They still have the egg tooth and looked very awkward trying to peck around (like they didnt quite know how to do it proficiently. I had to show them how to eat and drink. Anyway, all night they cheaped and chirped and cried... so my husband got the idea to put our silkie hen with them. I was a bit worried as shes only about 14 weeks and I didnt know if she would peck them (although shes bottom of the pecking order and I've never seen her peck I wasnt sure how'd she be around little ones). He put her with them and she looked really uncomfortable but the chicks ran under her and she just stood there. I sat with them about 30 minutes to make sure she didnt peck at them and she eventually sat on them and they've been nice and quite and happy and as of this afternoon new mama hen pecks at anyone who goes near those babies. She seems great with them but I'm wondering of I should worry since shes so young and never laid any eggs or has been with chicks like this. I'm also not 100% sure shes a she considering silkies are notoriously hard to sex, but she seems to be based off of her appearance... at least to my untrained eye
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CaliFarmsAR

Crowing
Apr 26, 2019
4,119
8,485
477
My family was eating lunch yesterday on a restaurant porch and saw a couple little chicks chirping and hollering. We were there about an hr and half and they never stopped and no mommy ever came to collect them. As we walked past them on our way out one started following me and when I turned to him he let me pick him up. I grabbed the other and started looking for mommy and my son came across a huge amount of adult chicken feathers. I'm assuming the mommy got grabbed by a cat or something. We ended up taking the babies home, and they don't look or act more than a day old (yeaterday). They still have the egg tooth and looked very awkward trying to peck around (like they didnt quite know how to do it proficiently. I had to show them how to eat and drink. Anyway, all night they cheaped and chirped and cried... so my husband got the idea to put our silkie hen with them. I was a bit worried as shes only about 14 weeks and I didnt know if she would peck them (although shes bottom of the pecking order and I've never seen her peck I wasnt sure how'd she be around little ones). He put her with them and she looked really uncomfortable but the chicks ran under her and she just stood there. I sat with them about 30 minutes to make sure she didnt peck at them and she eventually sat on them and they've been nice and quite and happy and as of this afternoon new mama hen pecks at anyone who goes near those babies. She seems great with them but I'm wondering of I should worry since shes so young and never laid any eggs or has been with chicks like this. I'm also not 100% sure shes a she considering silkies are notoriously hard to sex, but she seems to be based off of her appearance... at least to my untrained eye View attachment 1893340 View attachment 1893341 View attachment 1893342
That makes me sad but I'm happy you took them in!
 

Stephh0701

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
138
278
119
Hawaii
I was (and still am) really diligent at watching her with them... shes been fantastic but I know things happen sometimes. She's been so sweet though and even tried to show them how to peck at food since they still have an awkward time with it. She even calls them back to her when they arent under her and we approach the box and raises her wings to let them under as the run up. I'm a bit shocked she's taken to then so well but also really relieved because while we were talking about buying a few more laying chicks I wasn't at all ready for raising them yet and it seems she'll do most of the work. She's now been dubbed Beverly ("Bev" for short) after the mom from "The Goldbergs" by my husband as she's definitely a hover mother, even if they aren't her own hatchlings.
 

Chris-n-Kate

Songster
Mar 13, 2019
128
314
162
If your silkie turns out to be male would you update us on that? I saw someone comment on a blog about using roosters to raise baby chicks and that led me to researching but I can’t find much info except that capons have been used and one video claiming roosters do a better job adopting chicks.
 

Stephh0701

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
138
278
119
Hawaii
Chris-n-Kate I will definitely update! I can say that we live on an island that's overrun by chickens and whe used see this set of them everyday on the way to my husbands grandmothers house. Well one day the hen had 3 little chicks with her and the rooster was right there along with them buffering them away from the road. This went on a few weeks and then one day as we passed we noticed the hen was gone. I'm assuming she was eaten or run over since they frequented the side of Kam. Hwy (a little two lane hwy). Well low and behold the rooster kept on raising those babies. And now he's got 3 little hens that follow him around. We've seen him take on other roosters and a cat to protect them as they grew, so I know it's possible to get a good daddy "hen"
I just hope my silkie is a girl as I'd love to use her in the future as an adoptive mama... I love those little chicks, I just can't stand the raising processes
 
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