Christmas hatch, and now not quite a baby anymore.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Keeber, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Keeber

    Keeber Out Of The Brooder

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    My little chick isn't quite so little anymore, but I still have it in the basement brooder box. I have a silkie that seems to always be broody. I think she carries rocks into the nesting box to sit on. The last time I introduced new members to my flock, I had to put ceramic nest eggs into my laying box to convince the new hens to stop laying everywhere but! Any who, I must have missed a real egg that had gotten a little dirty. On Christmas morning, I went out to feed my chickens and kept hearing a peep, peep. I find an egg chick that has partially hatched. Having brooded a batch of store bought chicks, I carried this egg into the basement, put it in the brooder, and hung my lamp. Now, almost 7 weeks later, I have a feathered out bird. My question is whether I can put this one out with my flock yet, or even into my chicken tractor that is nearby. We have had a few night down into the upper 30s still and since we have had a fairly mild winter so far, I wouldn't be surprised if we get snow in March. At the time it hatched, I had 5 roosters, and really feared that one of them would kill the chick. I'm now down to one rooster as the others have found new flocks.

    I fully understand that it's probably best to hatch multiples at one time, however I only have the one. Any opinions, or experiences anyone would like to share?
     
  2. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My climate is colder than yours and my chicks have been outside without heat for a few weeks and they're 12 weeks old. I did offer supplemental heat one night where it dipped into the teens but nobody used it. You could try to acclimatize her by having her in the tractor and increasing her time outdoors over a week or two.

    I wouldn't introduce her to the others until she is closer to 14-16 weeks old. I've got another thread going about my own integration problems with my young ones and the gist of it is this-

    If you cannot brood them in the coop and start allowing integration at 2-3 weeks old then wait until they're 14-16 weeks. Especially if it is just one chick. I've had my 3 12 week old chicks in the coop for 2-3 weeks and I had to pull one out due to being pecked to the point of bleeding. Integration with a single chick will likely be easier if that chick is the same size as the other chickens.

    If you have a tractor available I would go that route. Good luck!
     
  3. Keeber

    Keeber Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    Thank you for the information. I think I will at least a couple more weeks before putting it outside. I am hoping for it to be a hen, but its got little buttons on its hocks, so who knows.
     
  4. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fingers crossed for a hen!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Can you put it in the coop but separated by wire so it everyone can get used to each other?
    How did you raise a lone chick inside for 7 weeks?
    That can be quite a challenge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Here's the thing. A single chick is going to be at a disadvantage so it really shouldn't be allowed to mingle with the adults until it's full size. However, if you wait another two or three months to introduce it to the flock, it's going to be a full size stranger and will be at a disadvantage.

    So, what I recommend is to do what aart suggests and move it into the coop or run, wherever the chickens spend most of their time, and let it become one of the flock by proximity over the next few months until it reaches full size.

    This will involve hardening it off to acclimate it to cooler temps, and creating a safe pen in the run for it to spend its daytime hours, and a safe area in the coop for it to sleep until it gets bigger and can safely roost.

    There is another option. After the chick is with the flock for a few weeks, you may decide to open entrances from its safe pen so it can explore the run and go back inside the safe pen if it gets overwhelmed by the pecking order. If you do this before the chick is fully grown, it could expedite integration and make it less stressful for the chick in the long run.
     
  7. Keeber

    Keeber Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm guessing one chick being raised by itself is quite difficult? Blind luck I guess. I spend a good deal of time with it in the evenings working in my shop. Water is changed 3 times a day, shavings every two days, and always has feed. Or are you talking about all the bird talk. I have an uncle that used to deliver chicks for the commercial growers around here. He had a sole chick left behind on one trip home. He could handle the whole bus load, but he said the sounds from one solitary chick was unbearable.
     
  8. Keeber

    Keeber Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    I have my swing set tractor/coop combination that I can put it in. It will only be a foot or so away in the day time, Not sure I could partition a spot in the main coop for it. Something to think about though.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. Keeber

    Keeber Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2015
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    My Coop
    The baby is really quiet once I get the lights off in the evening. Just a soft murmur if anything.
     

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