Advice Raising Single Chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sunnyducks, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chirping

    May 1, 2016
    Hello all

    I'd be grateful for any advice on how best to raise a single chick. I can't have a rooster here - bought a young laying Polish bantam who had been running with a Houdan roo. A week later she laid her first (for me) egg - curiosity got the better of me and I wondered whether the egg could still be fertile from her time with the Houdan. I'm now on Day 16 with a little wriggler doing well inside the incubator, due to hatch Monday/Tuesday. I've raised quite a few chicks from purchased eggs, but they've always had nest mates to cosy up to. What is the best way of keeping this one warm and happy til it's old enough to go outside (summer here). Thank you in advance.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockwit Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It would save a lot of hassle, on your part, to buy a couple of day old chicks as company for it. I've never raised a single chick, so I can't give you any advice on that.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I would never advise raising a single chick. As Ken says, get it some buddies. Then, I'd brood them in the coop with a heating pad cave brooder. You can read an article by clicking on the link in my signature (written by Blooie). If you've not yet read any of her excellent material, you're in for a treat. This lady truly needs to write a book.
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Summer? Other side of the world from 'US' late summer?
    Can you buy some day old chicks there?
    Do you have other chickens?
    Sectioning off an area in the coop or using a dog crate or something with a heat pad,
    the other birds might provide some company and stop the incessant cheeping that single chicks often emit.

  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Well, aside from buying it some buddies, your best bet to raise this chick so it will be accepted by the adult chickens (you don't mention how many in your flock or how old they are, which would help) and not be beat up when you introduce it as full grown would be to brood it alongside the rest of the flock.

    This will serve two purposes. One is to keep it from being lonely and driving you nuts with its demands for attention. The other is to imprint the chick on the flock and the flock on the chick. It will be accepted as a member from the start, reducing the stress if integration. In fact, you would be able to let it mingle with the adults as early as two weeks as long as you provide a panic room setup for it with food and water.

    I recommend providing the chick, once it hatches, with a heating pad cave which would resemble a broody hen in type of heat source as well as keep it regulated on natural day/night light patterns and not affect the rest of the flock with unnecessary bombardment of light.

    See the article linked below on outdoor brooding for more info and photos if a panic room setup.
  6. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

    Sep 13, 2015
    I would HIGHLEY suggest getting it some more buddies! We had a single chicken for a short amount of time when our first flock got ambushed by dogs ...but she was unhappy and lonely (she was an older bird at that time), she perked right up once we got her friends.
  7. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chirping

    May 1, 2016
    @FeatherMtnFarms @aart @azygous @CTKen @lazy gardener

    Thank you to all of you for your replies. My main problem was finding buddies; I'm in Oz, we are still late summer with temps in the mid 30sC, and most sensible people turned off their incubators at Christmas. No hatcheries around here. However, just Sunday I was put in touch with someone who had a few Isa Browns for sale. Managed to get 2x 3 day old chicks which are currently in the brooder awaiting the arrival of a Polish bantam sibling. Irony is that I am now at the end of Day 21 with no sign of pipping :( I'll keep going and hope for the best.

    Azygous, thank you very much for the links you sent me. I did hatch my last lot in an outside shed in early spring when it was quite chilly at night. I have abandoned heat lamps as they scare me, so I raised them with a semi mama-hen idea - haven't been able to find anything by small reptile heat pads with no temperature control. I improvised with an upturned cardboard box standing on cardboard on the heat pad, and a good layer of straw. I enclosed the lot in a big kiddy playpen lined with small diameter chicken wire, floor covered with a tarp and straw. It worked wonderfully.

    This time I'm doing it in my silkie shed, set up so they can see and communicate with the older flock but be protected from them until they find their feet. And I'll be putting pop holes so they can dive back in for cover. I'm using a shady, breezy corrugated iron shed and I'll post photos of what I've done to construct a safe area for the chicks, in case it's food for thought for anyone else.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    Snow Flamingo and aart like this.

  8. Snow Flamingo

    Snow Flamingo Chirping

    Aug 26, 2017
    Edinboro, PA
    Hello Sunnyducks, i know your post is older, but did you ever get an answer to raising a single chick? Not this post, but one I saw previously. I will be getting a bantam buff Orpington who will be about 4 - 6 weeks old. I've raised chicks before, but in groups and outside. This little girl will be an inside pet (with outside time of course). Do you have any suggestions?
    Medical issues prevent me from having outdoor animals anymore, so this is my compromise.
    Any tips you could share would be appreciated.
    Thank you! Kris.

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