I have a broody hen who sat on some eggs and only managed to hatch out 1 of all the other eggs she sat on. Will the chick get lonely without any play mates? Should I get a few more chicks for the mother to adopt? Any advice is helpful, thank you!
I was told the baby would be fine because mom was there to keep it company and introduce to flock. My lone little chick didnt make it for other reasons but the advice came from someone on here with a lot of experience!
For two years in a row, my experienced broody has raised a single chick. (Due to poor hatch rate.) She supplied not only the guidance to her chick it required, but companionship as well through the first six weeks.
With the first chick, I was concerned how it would adjust to life as a single chick among twenty three adults. I shouldn't have wasted the time worrying. Under the focused care if my experienced broody, she developed all the self confidence she required to be a well adjusted member of the flock.
The present chick is just over two months old and is now on her own. While not quite as self confident as last year's chick, she's definitely holding her own. She has even made friends with a few of the older hens and smooshes up next to them in the dirt bath pit.
I liken this misguided concern about broody-raised single chicks to parents with a single child being overly concerned their child will be lonely and decide it needs a sibling when most single children are quite well adjusted and fine with their status. So are single broody-raised chicks.
That chick hatched a couple of days ago didn't it? If you are going to add chicks, do it now. It may or may not work, but the longer you wait the less likely it is to work. The clock is ticking.
As long as the chick is with the broody hen, it will be fine, not lonely at all. At some point the hen will wean it, abandon the chick and go to rejoin the rest of the flock. Sometimes with a single chick the hen and chick seem to form a bond and they never really separate. Sometimes the chick is left all alone to make its way with the flock. It will hang around the flock but sort of stay on the outskirts. A lot of that will depend on the personality of the other chickens and overall flock dynamics. During the day my juveniles often mix in with the adults quite well after the hen has weaned them. At night they usually sleep a certain distance away from the adults.
Will that chick be OK by itself? I'd be OK going that route. Chicken society can handle a lot of situations if we just let them.
Azygous, how does your single two month old handle the nights? Where does it sleep? Just curious.
My single is roosting in a coop with two other young adults. They hassle her on occasion, but she copes. Usually things are uneventful. She's still a little hesitant at going inside at roosting time, and hesitant at coming down off the perch come morning, but I assist sometimes. She competes well for time at the food dishes, and has a safe place to relax in during the day but spends only a fraction of her time there.