Bringing home a solitairy 5 week old chick to big girl flock.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by blondiebee181, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Okay so here's the scoop,

    My grandparents have had chickens for about 2 years now and this summer grandma wanted to expand her flock of 3 hens (one of which hatched a chick recently) She lives in the sticks, so it's easy for her to find a neighbor on the next bluff hatching chicks so she gets her chicks from this lady...anyhoo...this summer the lady (Kelly) gave her 4-5 barred rock chicks and 2 specialty chicks that came to her in a bunch from ANOTHER hatcher...the specialty chicks, I BELIEVE from grandma's description on the phone are either light brahmas or cochins because she claims they have feathery feet. Long story short, she finally caught her shepherd dog, Tilly killing off chickens!!! She has killed like 3 now. Grandma was very upset at her dog who very suddenly seems to have picked up this nasty habit...anyway, the dog killed 1 of the 2 special chicks and so the other is lonely. The barred rocks are older about 10 weeks and grandma doesn't want this lonely little chick bullied, nor does she have the time to look after a lonely little chick because they are in the midst of building their new house.

    So she called me this morning and offered her to me and I have room in my little backyard flock for her/him....the chick was given straight-run I think so there is not much knowing until it crows or lays, especially if it is a Brahma....they don't have much of a comb right? Now when I raised my batch of chicks 2 springs ago, 5 weeks was about the point I started kicking them outside, but it's different with this little one because she is the only one...I have integrated poultry into my flock before...10 week old ducklings and one hen I adopted who was older than my chickens at the time...but never a single youngling...ANY advice will be appreciated.

    I am thinking I will bring her home today, and make her a small separate pen but attatch it to my main hen run on the outside...then I will let her play in the makeshift pen where all the big girls can get a good look at her. At night at least for the first couple of nights, I will bring her in. Then I will proceed to supervised free time where all the hens are in the yard. My main concern is what to do with her at night. I don't have any separate structures really and I hear this theory you can slip a new bird in with the flock at night when they are all in bed, is that true? Help me out guys! I'll post a pic of her later.
  2. jhelms2196

    jhelms2196 New Egg

    Aug 9, 2013
    May find one of the older girls'll take a liking to her, taking her under her wing so to speak
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd be very leery of trying to introduce a single chick that age to older hens. I'd plan to keep her separate until she's a lot older, myself. I've found under 16 weeks really increases my chances of dead chicks [​IMG]
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    No personal experience but I've read that nightime thing too but I've also read it ending badly sometimes where they all wake up and peck it and in that small space she has nowhere to hide and they can very badly hurt them. If be very wary of doing that without close supervision with something so little.

    We waited till our younger were a similar size to the existing doing as you said with the seperate run for two weeks then free ranging them
  5. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Thanks guys...yeah I'm keeping it all in's easier having a single one in the house that long rather than 5 or 6 lol....also what are some good ideas for curbing her lonliness while I have to be away during the day? I am thinking of putting a radio in there...she likes 80's hairband music...[​IMG]...gotta go get some chick feed and figure out a small temp run for her...I think she is about old enough to be put out at least for most of the's hot here...what do ya think?
  6. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Oh and here are some pics of her/him...


    Little feather quills coming in on it's feet...


    Anyone got a good idea on breed or gender? I was thinking blue cochin...or some mix of that...
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    The night time thing has always worked well for me, however, I'm not putting a lone small chick into an existing flock.

    Is there any way of getting another 5 week-ish old chick for this one?

    When I integrated my hatchlings into the existing flock at 8 weeks, I had had them in a run separated by chicken wire so they could see each other for a week, and they integrated as a group. There is safety in numbers for the smaller birds. They huddle together and watch each others backs. They also had my broody Silkie watching over them (she had hatched them). She gets NO respect from the flock, but she would stand no quarter with any hen bullying her babies. And the bodies huddling as one kept the other birds from picking too much on them (just a peck here or there to establish I'm boss and you're not).

    The little guy(s) should have hiding places from the bigger hens if they get annoyed with the littler ones. And keep a watchful eye out.

    Remove any chicken that is truly nasty to the smaller ones; or you'll never get the smaller ones integrated and they will live in fear of their lives. Not good for growing up healthy poultry.

    Good luck
    Lady of McCamley
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  8. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Yeah I have built a separate wire pen that is attached along one side to my chicken run where she'll spend most of her days until she's bigger... But the bigger girls will be able to see her so hopefully that'll help. I won't be able to get another chick, so hopefully she can stay strong but I will do the best I can.
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2! Even as an adult bird, or at least once it has reached the same size, integrating just one new bird can be a real nightmare. I have done it in the past, I will not ever do it again, chickens are so brutal. It's too much stress for the new bird and a big headache for me too. I would not put this youngster within reach of your older birds until it is the same size, the potential for harm is great. I've had lone new hens attacked and scalped, imagine what they could do to a chick. There is no "staying strong" for a chick this size when faced with full sized hens. If they attack, which is common, it won't have a chance.

    You would do best to go very slow with integration. Keep the new bird in it's own pen until it's near the same size. That will give everybody plenty of time to get used to seeing it around before they share space. The less serious fighting and pecking you have at the actual integration the better your prospects that they will accept her. Sometimes once they get it in their tiny little brains to attack they just can't get past it. Maybe at night it could sleep in a dog crate?

    Oh and judging by that pink comb and those little pink wattles....I think you might have a little rooster there.

  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chicken Obsessed

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    Someone gave me a single hatch, read using a mirror, stuffed animal/feather duster helps with the loneliness, radio works too. Gave me time to locate another chick close in age, they both love to snuggle in the feather duster & look at themselves in the mirror. They're about 2wks old now but mismatched, Orpington & Silkie, they were close in size but not anymore. Someday will need to intergrate them with my 2 month old 6-Pack (2 Orpingtons, 3 Wynadottes, 1 Ameraucana), that should prove very interesting.

    Your chick's so cute, not sure what breed but looking like a male (sorry), I could be wrong. Good luck

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