1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Depressed/Traumatized Silkie Chick? :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hokankai, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Songster

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    My chicks were attacked by a hawk a couple of days ago. Two were taken, a cochin roo and a silkie, 6 are ok. The other cochins are fine, but my other silkie has been acting depressed lately. I got the two silkies from a breeder and they were hatched together. They would call for one another if I took them out separately and would stick to each other. Now my other silkie doesn't want to interact with me and prefers to roost/sleep all afternoon. I haven't even seen it eat today (but I'm not out there all the time). It also FREAKS out when I pick it up now, flapping and crying like I'm a hawk grabbing it [​IMG].

    Is there anything I can do for this little one? I'm in the middle of integrating more chicks and I don't want the silkie to get pushed around just because he's not feeling great.

  2. ChezPoulez

    ChezPoulez In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    Mill Valley, California
    I would try to spend some time with the chick hand feeding it. Soften chick starter with some hot water in tiny quantities so it's like cookie batter and hand feed. You might even use some cut up worms to tempt the chick. I've used either meal worms from the pet store or red worms from the bait shop. Rinse well, put in a baggie and freeze. Cut wormsicles into thin slices and hand feed when no longer icy. Nothing like a hand full of worms to make a best friend out of a chicken.

    I'm a big advocate of talking to your birds too. They learn your language quickly if you continue to call them with the same words and vocal tones. When the chick learns your voice it will be calm when it hears you in the yard. When I call my girls with treats I imitate a mother who calls her chicks when she finds bugs... she uses a more urgent and repetitive short syllable buk buk buk buk buk.

    Btw, when you walk up to a chick, you are a dark silhouette looming overhead, and their natural instinct is that this means danger, so it's no wonder your little one is in a panic. It saw what can happen with dark things overhead so perhaps now try to approach it in a way that isn't going to alarm the chick.

    Years ago I had numerous peafowl flying free. When one would cruise over the chicken yard the rooster would make his long low alarm call of brrrraaaaaawwwwwwwwk and all the hens would immediately call their chicks to run for cover. They can't discriminate a predator from anything else; it's the dark silhouette overhead they fear.

    In the meantime, hang 3' long red mylar bird repellent ribbons off of fence posts, branches etc. all over your yard. They will deter hawks, blue jays, and crows, which are all predators of chicks and eggs in nests. I've a pair of hawks nesting in a tall cedar a block over, but it's in full view of my yard and I watch the parents going back and forth to the nest. For good measure I've 3 large plastic owls on tall garden stakes stationed around the yard too. The wind catches the owls and they move in the wind and look life like. The owl is the natural enemy of the crow so I'm hoping the hawks won't want to land here either. So far they have both kept out of the yard.
  3. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    Maybe you should take it to the vet for a check up. It could have a puncture wound that you cannot see. It could have internal injuries.
  4. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    my neigbor had something similar happen but it was a roo and hen. The roo "disappeared" during the night and the hen was very very depressed for weeks after. I had a frizzle that did not play well with my other chicks that she took and was able to integrate them together and the silkie hen and frizzle r the best of friends now!
  5. hokankai

    hokankai Songster

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Quote:He would be dead by now if that were true, and he made it 15 feet away from the hawk so I doubt that's the case.

    Luckily, I moved them into a larger setup tonight and he was spunky and challenging the other two roos. I didn't see him eat, but I also didn't feel his crop before I went back up to the house so who knows [​IMG]

    I think I'll bring him in for some cuddles tomorrow and check to see how his appetite/activity levels are.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by