Feed a Wild Chick or Not? Advice, Please

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by Tame Emu Guy, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps


    Advice, please:

    I have a healthy six-month-old wild chick roaming about here at my farmhouse in Western Australia (Planet Rothschildi). It was with its dad and its one other sibling until just three days ago. Then it turned up alone.

    It’s important to not have too many tame emus here in the long run – they fight unendingly. This chick has shared its dad’s ration for the three months it’s been here.

    My question is: do I cut this chick some slack because it’s so young, and isn’t ready to go it alone?

    Or . . . is it able to fend for itself (certainly seems that way), and should not be further ‘imprinted’ here by being fed?

    Guys, I’m as vulnerable to a chick’s cuteness as the next bird-lover; but the ‘dynamic’ here is a long-term one, and the chick will be better off to be ‘cut loose’ as soon as it can fend for itself.

    Does anyone have any knowledge about when a chick is usually ‘self-sufficient’?

    Supreme Emu
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Well.. considering it had been sharing it's dad's ration.. it has already imprinted on your property as a source of food..

    i would say the damage has been done and I would go ahead and feed it.. (but I'm like that)

    It's quite possible that it just got separated from it's dad (and knows you have food available there).. and as soon as dad shows back up (or maybe sooner) it will be on it's way

    Ultimately the decision is yours.. but since it already knows your place is a food source I would continue giving it food.. maybe just a significantly smaller portion to encourage it to forage elsewhere
  3. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gee, Yinepu. You've read my mind. I wanted to keep the post short, so I omitted the notion that it -- somehow?? -- did get lost, and that dad will be back.

    Except . . . I don't think that's right. If Eric is alive and well, and with the other chick, then they'd surely come back here. I don't think Eric has met with misfortune (at least 'human misfortune.' There's always wire. I hate wire.). I think Eric has pushed Alpha out of the nest, so to speak.

    Anyone else have ideas?

    One option is to feed Alpha for, say, a week, in case Eric turns up, then stop feeding it.

    Supreme Emu
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    maybe try decreasing the amount of feed per day....
  5. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know . . . it’s odd that I’m in Oz and ‘you’ are all ‘over there’ and no one here cares about emus and you do . . . and you’re over there.

    The farmhouse is a delight to me every minute of every day, and I quite like the isolation – but it makes the gathering of info a hard task. So, your help is vital to me. If I have ever seemed like a fusspot, that’s the reason.

    I can’t get to a vet (can’t afford a vet!). No one here is interested. I know nothing about any birds except what I’ve learned about ratites.

    When Greedy had that tick, I sat here, thinking she was just gonna topple over dead. (One other bird did.) BYC guys were absolutely the only ‘connection’ I had.

    Yeh, Yinepu. Decreasing his food is a good idea.

  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I think its a little young to be on its own....id feed it since it has already has established your farm as a.food source and a safe place. Hopefully Eric and.the sibling will return. I read once about wild song birds dieing after people no longer fed them in the bird feeders after supplying them food there for years....they relied on that ration. So...sucker that I am...id feed it for fear it would starve....
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  7. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickenzoo and Yinepu, thank you kindly for your advice. It was the knowledge of people more experienced with chicks that I was seeking.

    I will follow your advice and-not-but Alpha Chick seems to be doing mighty well on his own. Wouldn’t it be informative to know the circumstances of the ‘split’?

    Alpha chick is thankful It says, ‘Cheep!!’ to you.


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