Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tenderkat, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster


    I will be getting some hens this spring to start my first backyard flock. I have just been offered a free baby chicken. She was born with what appears to be a club foot, or possibly some type of injury suffered while hatching? She is having trouble getting around, and the owner is concerned that the other 21 chicks will kill her. She doesn't have the heart to cull the chick, because she thinks maybe the injured chick might grow out of it or somehow adapt if given the right care. She is desperately trying to find a home for this poor chick ASAP. Would this be a bad idea to take in this chick to try and foster it's health? It would be my first chicken, and although I have been doing a ton of reading on raising chickens, I have no practical hands on experience. I'm hoping that some of you experienced chicken lovers might steer me towards the right decision. I would love to help this little girl out, but perhaps this a hopeless condition, or one that demands someone with more experience. Any and all ideas are strongly welcomed. Thanks so much!!


  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Katherine, when you get your birds, will they be chicks or started birds (14 ish weeks old)? If they are babies the injured can grow up with them. If starters you may run into the same problem the current owner is having. Keep in mind also that chickens are flock birds and will not do well alone long term. If is short term you can use a mirror and stuff aniimal in the brooder. They are easily fooled [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Feel free to ask my anything you want - If I know I will share.
  3. Hellvagirl

    Hellvagirl In the Brooder

    May 4, 2008
    We had a RIR roo hatch that appeared to have a stiff leg.When he'd walk it was like he had a peg leg.We waited & didnt really have the heart to cull him.He outgrew it & gets around just fine now.
  4. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster

    debiraymond -

    I am hoping to obtain some young started birds, and also some older hens to provide a retirement home for them. So, if I wait till this chick is older and of stronger health before I get the other hens, might this chick be able to keep the other birds off of her?

    I've also read some stories regarding rescued battery hens who have all sorts of unfortunate disabilities and somehow manage to cope just fine when finally in a healthy, natural environment.

    I really want to provide a safe home for this hen. Will this hen make it alone, (with a stuffed friend and mirror) until she is considered a started hen as well? Then I can unite her with some hens of the same age.

    Thanks again...........Katherine.

  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I do know that some have survived alone and many have not. If you can get one more chick that is enough. They will bond as they are young. Battery hens have had lives of hell so anything outside a cage is heaven to them. As for her joining an older flock, she can when she is the same size. Just remember to gothrough an intro period, where they are seperated by visible to each other. They need to get used to seeing the new family member before she joins them. A couple weeks should do it.
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Perhaps the owner has one more chick who is a little smaller or weaker than the others? They don't always catch up.... Agree, two is SO much better than one, and two is enough.
  7. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster

    Good news!! I spoke with the woman who has the bum chick, and I will be picking it up on Friday. She has also agreed to throw in another of her chicks for free. I asked her about the breed, and she said that there are two possibilities for the father, either an Aracona or a Jungle fowl, and the mom could be an Aracona or a Rhode Island red. I'll have to look these up to find out more about these types of chickens. She is also pretty confident that both chicks she gives me are pullets, and if not she will take them back when they're older and exchange for a couple hens. I am so excited, now I need to go out and get my feed and other supplies and set up a brooder. Yeah..................Chicks, I'm getting some Chicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster

    Hhhmmm..........Are Araconas the same as Araucanas?
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:Yes they are and CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!! Now I KNOW that chick will be ok, with a buddy!!! [​IMG]

  10. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster

    Okay, so I'm getting really antsy..............

    I've yet to see this chick with the injured foot/leg, so I really have no idea what it looks like or what to expect! I stayed up too late last night reading a ton of posts regarding other's chicks with injured leg and feet issues, and I think I frazzled my brain with TMI.

    Perhaps this chick has splayed legs, I guess I know to tape them. But some of the other conditions I came across just seem so scary to me. I'm going to the feed store tomorrow, prior to getting this chick. Some of the posts suggested getting some Poly-Vi-Sol, in the case of nutritional deficiences that may cause these malformations. Should I pick some of this up, just in case?

    Also, I came across all these other illnesses and afflictions that can affect these poor little creatures. Are there really that many things that can go wrong?

    The two chicks I will be getting are around a week old. Any suggestions on proper feed, should I just use chick starter? I'm sure the current owner will give many recommendations as well, but I really want to insure the best scenario to get this little girl well and healthy, as well as the extra companion chick that will be joining her.

    You know, I've read all the chick starting and care basics, and I have every possible county library chicken care book checked out, but now that it's finally happening, I'm a bit scared. Not in a bad, cold feet, back-out kind of way. Probably just in a new Mom kind of way. And I'm getting an injured baby to boot. I'm probably just overtired from my 3 hour date with the BYC forum last night;)

    I guess I'll just keep breathing until I get the chick, bring her home, and check out exactly what's going on with her foot/leg. Then I can possibly post a pic of the injury for you guys to check out, and I'll also have a better description than 'club foot' to be able to access her condition with.

    Thank you all so much for your help, encouragement, and guidance, I'll update tomorrow.

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