Found baby chick! What do I do??


In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
My boyfriend found an orphaned baby chick in the middle of the road, he searched everywhere for the mother or other chicks and didn't find any so he brought it home. We've found someone who can take it in and raise it properly who will come and take it tomorrow, but for now how do I care for it?

I don't know anything about chickens and I do not have the correct equipment. For now he is in a cardboard box with towels and a hot water bottle, and i draped a Tshirt over it so he can snuggle underneath it. There is a shallow water bowl and some bread crumbs. I tried to make him drink earlier but he didn't like that at all. He has stopped peeping since I put the Tshirt in but I don't know if that's a good sign.

Is there anything else I should/shouldn't do? Are there any foods that could be better for him that would be normally found in my kitchen? And is there a better way to keep him warm? I keep changing the water bottle so it stays warm but I'm worried about how to keep him warm overnight. Please help!


5 Years
Apr 23, 2017
White House, TN
Hi SHlifi, Yes what Granny said is spot on, sounds like you're doin great so far. But if you have a heating pad w/o auto shutoff on it put it in the box(form a lil cave out of it) that's best or set up a light that provides some heat. And hang in there:thumbsup


In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
Thank you so much! I'm just really scared it won't make it for some reason, although he seems pretty strong. We had a desk light on but it's very bright and he starts peeping, and we have to keep him in our room to keep the dogs away so we changed to the water bottle.


10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
Southern Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like you're doing all that you can, very good. But do you have a heating pad to put under at least 1/2 of the box (I know not everyone keeps one of those lying around)? I wonder if it has any feathers yet, if it does have at least some, then probably doesn't need the 95 degrees that a newly born chick would need. It it's all fuzzy, then put something in the water dish like glass marbles (or something that won't poison the water), so a young chick wouldn't fall in & have a hard time getting out. How nice that you found someone to take it tomorrow. You sound like a nice couple of animal lovers. Best wishes.


9 Years
Dec 24, 2010
Alaska interior
What you are doing so far is good. If you can keep the box in a warm area the hot water bottle should be enough or place the heating pad with a thick layer of towels over it in the box. If there is room in the box the chick with move closer or further away from the heat as needed. Do take the bread crumbs out as suggested above but leave the water. You can very gently tip its beak into the water a few times to give it the idea that that is where the water is. Keep the cover on to hold heat in. Chicks generally will peep when they are awake. When they are asleep and comfy they will settle down upright with their body covering their feet.

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 26, 2013
madison Indiana
not finding much on safe to feed items. No dairy, most things they need to be eating grit first. Your looking for fine ground protein if that helps . gatoraid watered down 50/50 whole ground oats, bugs, I am actually wondering about some hamburger meat chopped fine maybe... Anyone else ?

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