Can I raise a single chick?

Nika B

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
41
47
33
Hi!
I have a coop that has space for another chick, and I sadly had to rehome one of my chickens as it turned out to be a roo. I always wanted to have four chickens, and I now have the time to hand feed a baby chick and spend a ton of time with it until it is ready to be introduced to the flock (three hens, all docile, sweet, come up to me for pats and treats, never hurt a fly). I have also heard about chicken adoption, where you get an egg and stick it under a broody hen. None of my hens have ever gone broody (1.5 years old) but if I need to do something to get a hen to go broody and you think that would work better I am willing to try. Are there any species (ducks, geese, guineas) that would work better in a situation like this?
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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Trying to get a hen to go broody doesn't usually work very well.
You can put a nice clutch of fake eggs in the nestbox and see if one decides to sit on them, but it probably won't work.

If you're going to raise just one chick, I suggest you try to brood it outdoors, in a pen next to the adult's pen. That way it can be "with" them for company, but they cannot pick on it.

Here's an article about raising chicks in a brooder within the coop, and introducing them to the adults while they're still quite young:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/my-coop-brooder-and-integration.74591/
 

Nika B

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
41
47
33
Ok, thank you. I will continue to research, but do you think I could get my hands on a chickie from my feed store as it is getting near the end of the season. I know they always have just a few older ones left at the end, and usually, they end up getting either killed or taken home with the store owner for meat in the fall. If I did an older one, could I integrate it in at three or so weeks as the page said, or would that only work for multiple chicks so they can stick together? Thanks so much.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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Getting an older chick from the feed store is a great idea! It certainly might be possible.

But do be aware--feed stores sometimes get their chicks mixed up or mis-labelled, and I think the oldest chicks are the ones most likely to have that problem (because they've been there longer.)

Then again, with older chicks, you have a better chance of knowing if it's the wrong breed or sex. If it shows a bright red comb before it's gotten all its feathers, it's male!

Are you willing to eat chickens? Because raising several chickens and later butchering all but one is another way to avoid raising a single chick.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,014
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USA
Some hatcheries sell started pullets, too--they cost more money, but you can buy just one, be sure of the gender, and skip the brooder stage.

I don't know when they stop for the year, and sometimes you have to order several weeks before you get the chick, but it might be an option. (And I think the breed/gender is more likely to be correct from a hatchery than from a feed store.)
 

Chickenhappy8708

Songster
May 2, 2020
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Eastern Michigan
You can, but I don't think they will let you get just one, My Pet Chicken sells them, but I bet they are sold out. You might be able to get a retired battery hen, they usually have decreased laying at about 18 months (but they are laying monsters!) So you will still get lots of eggs, and it may be close in age to your hens.
 

BlueBaby

Chicken math has me!
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Mar 21, 2016
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Maricopa, AZ. (near Phoenix)
I am not willing to eat my chickens, however, your idea of getting a pullet is good. Can you get a pullet online?

Why don't you ask if anyone in your states thread near you has some that are available? Many people have been hatching from thier flock's this spring. I just sold a few of mine about a week ago, and just had another batch hatch a couple of day's ago myself, but I am over here in Arizona.
 

Binx5

In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2020
26
68
43
Loudoun County, VA
I am not willing to eat my chickens, however, your idea of getting a pullet is good. Can you get a pullet online?
You can but they’re expensive. We’re currently waiting on one from the Chick Hatchery. $40 for the bird + $40 Shipping and $40 small order fee. (We had raised only 2 chicks and one ended up being a roo. We were desperate for a similarly aged bird that we could get fast.)
 

MANNA-PRO

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