Can a single chick be successfully reared?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 22, 2008
Henryville, Quebec

I'm new to the board, and new to chicken keeping. I have already successfully raised a wild sparrow chick some years ago. I can do what's needed, but precocial chicks are a different animal.

My husband and I were at a pet store yesterday, and we saw a single chick. It seemed healthy and active, but it had no heat source, and was just in a box on the floor.

Needless to say, we bought her.

So I have her set up in a small animal pen, with lighting, heat, food, etc. I talked to some people in chat yesterday, and they helped me fine tune things.

The thing I'm worried about is she's alone. I know precocial chicks need company, but I can't be there every moment of the day. I also don't know any places where I can get her a buddy. Chickens in general seem to be hard to come by around here. And I don't have tons of cash to spend on ordering and shipping chicks.

Would anyone have any suggestions to help her? I've just turned a radio on in her room, and I think it's helped her a bit since she's being more vocal since I've done that. I'll put a mirror in there later too. Beyond that, I can't think of what else might help her.

She's not doomed is she?

I've raised single chicks without a problem they do seem rather lonely but they do alright. The mirror is a great thing and really helps.

It would be best though if you could find her a friend even if there is a fe weeks age difference.

Check the buy and sell board on the forum and see if there is anyone near you that has chicks and would be willing to give/sell you one or two.
Shes not doomed, but they seem more content with buddies.. Where you at maybe someone on here is close and could hook you up with a friend or TWO or...... Sorry I jumped into enabler mode for a minute there,

I'm about an hour south of Montreal, Canada. Very hard to find chicken/chicks around here. No worries about enabling. I've already got 4 mature layers on order from the local co-op. I'll be getting them in April.

I had every intention of getting chickens once we bought a house, which we did last summer. I have several other small farm type activities planned, though thankfully for the moment, no other animal plans, beyond getting a dog eventually.

I'm obviously very worried for her. This will likely be the last time I try raising a chick on my own, asI'd prefer to have a hen do it for me.
Just want to make sure I'm not killing this one slowly. But other than the socialization factor, she seems to be doing alright, I think anyway.

Thanks for the advice. Happy Easter!
I was raising a single injured chick alone. At 3-4 weeks old she seemed so alone, dispite my cuddling and mothering daily. I had everything she could want or need it seemed. But still lonely. I couldn't risk putting her back with the flock as I was afraid they would zero in on her broken injured leg, so I got her a couple playmates. Now true, they are about three weeks younger than she is, but at least they do provide some entertainment and companionship 24/7. She holds herself aloof, and doens't intermingle much with the week old chicks, but it's something. And I hope it is a beginnings of a new family flock, just the three of them, you know, family of sorts.
Welcome to the forum!
I was in a similar situation as you. I had a broody only hatch one egg out of three and she ended up trying to kill the one she hatched.
It was her first time hatching so I chalk it up to that.
At any rate, I posted my story on here and someone in my area happened to just hatch some chicks. They were two weeks older than Noodle but I picked up two. Noodle was much happier once Drumstick and Giblet came home.
I suggest trying to find a little friend, but in the mean time, put a mirror and stuffy toy in there for the little one to cuddle with.
Good luck, and keep us updated!
Start breeding chickens up there make it easy to find em' up there start a trend make an extra $1 or2 start a local hachery, all u need is a roo or artifificially fertalize your girls!
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My house chicken Pepper was raised alone. He has turned out to be such a neat bird, although because he was not raised around other chickens he does not have a lot of "Chicken sense". He really does not like hens and would rather be with the dog then his own kind. He does how ever know his name and comes from anywhere in the yard when you call him, pecks at the door to come in and knows where his "apartment" is.
Havf un!
I have a 2 day old chick separated by itself now because of leg issues (weak legs). I put a mirror in with the little fella. He's still been chirping loudly though.

Last year, I had one that hatched out by herself in a bad hatch, and she had leg issues too. I went & bought a Buff Orpington (pullet) chick from the feed store to be with her. I picked out the smallest Buff Orp chick in the bunch. The Buff Orp. chick did not pick on her, they chirped & talked loudly together. The little chcick with weak legs got better in about 3 days. Those two are still close friends over a year later.
I :)have a silkie just over a week old and he/she has a chicken run character that she cuddles up to. I did place a mirror inside the brooder but she /he refused to go anywhere near it!

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