Advice on separating runt, please.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cyberwuzzle, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. cyberwuzzle

    cyberwuzzle In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2013
    Hi -- I have five RIR chicks about a month old. Three of them look like they'll be roosters, one is smaller and is likely a pullet, and the littlest one is less than half the size of the others. I'm worried about her. I don't want to separate her for a couple reasons, but she's one of my only girls and I don't want to lose her. The others don't seem to be denying her food, but they do trample her from time to time.

    I'm thinking of separating her with, perhaps, the other female and giving her high protein food. Good idea? This would leave the three suspected roosters together. We're not sure what we're doing with those guys.

    Also, since she's so small I worry about giving her food she can't digest. I guess if she's got grit, I should not be concerned about this? What kinds of food should I give her?
  2. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    Have a really good look at her beak. Our little one turned out to have a longer lower beak so wasn't getting as much food into her when eating which I think is why she was slower growing. I didn't notice it till she was about 12 weeks but then didn't think to look :)

    Oh and should add that size isn't everything. Our runt is pretty close to top of the pecking order So being with the big girls hasn't worried her.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  3. lupieloo

    lupieloo In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2013
    I have two small runts in my group of 15 RIRs, and they do just fine in with the big kids! They are 5-6 weeks old and they have never denied the small ones food ,and now that they are out in the coop they are catching up to the bigger ones. so I would just leave them together unless they were picking on the smaller one.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing 5 Years

    Jul 24, 2013
    I would separate her, with our without a buddy. Give her nutritious food, vitamins/probiotics in her water, and plenty of attention. She may or may not ever reach the same size as the other birds.

    I once had a runt chick that remained 5-weeks old in size until she was (I think--I don't really remember now) 12 weeks old. Then, she unexpectedly died. It was a pity, as she seemed to be happy and thriving until the day she died. At least I know that she was happy in her short life.

    Good luck with yours! I've found that the runts are always the sweetest. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I would probably only separate her if she is in danger of being injured. If you do decide to separate her I'd put her with the other suspected female, being alone is hard on them and you want her to thrive and grow, not be stressed out at suddenly being alone.

    I'd really only feed her chick starter and very little else. Maybe a little chopped hard boiled egg but I'd want her eating all the starter she wants.
  6. cyberwuzzle

    cyberwuzzle In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2013
    Thanks for the advice, all. She's hanging in and I haven't separated her yet. I put vitamins in their water and am offering more opportunities for food. I'm watching her closely, though.

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