How do I introduce a chick to the flock that I hand raised alone?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by weesy68, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. weesy68

    weesy68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2009
    Stratford CT
    I have a six week old chick who I had to hand raise alone due to her silkie mommies abandoning her egg in favor of a chick that hatched two days before her. She has slept in my bathroom at night, and goes out in a cage in the garden during the day, and is allowed to roam with supervision. She has totally imprinted on me and thinks I'm mummy, gets very upset if she can't see or find me, and wants absolutely nothing to do with my other seven chickens. She is going to have to start sleeping outside soon, thanks to the delightful aroma that greets us every morning. How do I go about introducing her to the rest of the flock, and leaving her with them? At what age should I start having her sleep in their coop? Will they ever accept her? It's almost like she doesn't know how to really be a chicken, I feel so bad for her, especially as the other chick ended up with two caregivers, and she got stuck with me!

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Wow. You have quite a pickle here. Introducing single birds is a bad idea. Introducing single birds who have no idea they are birds is even worse. If you have the space for it I would separate out 1 to 2 of the most submissive birds from the established flock that are about the same size as the bird you want to integrate. You need to create a small flock for your loner. When you separate out some members of the established flock (for as little as a couple days) you are relegating them to "new bird" status (even if they are the dominant bird at the time of separation). If they can bond with your loner for a few weeks then you have a good chance of being able to reintroduce all the birds with some success. They will all get to share equally in the harassment the established flock is sure to dish out.

    I am going to include a link to my favorite write up on integration. It's a great read.https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    Good luck.
     
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    I have a 5 day old singleton the result of a very poor hatch from shipped eggs. It's not a situation I relish as the little blighter is already spoilt rotten and is carried around the place for long periods by my daughter.

    What I plan to do is to place this little chick in a small run pen where the others roam once s(he) is fully feathered. Once they are all used to seeing the chick (after 4-5 days) I will let my 2 big Brahma girls in (they are very placid). I have done this before when integrating 2's and 3's and it has worked very well. I'm hoping it will work with the singleton, too.

    Please let me know how you get on and what method you use.

    Sandie
     
  4. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Maine
    I just went through this same thing,hatched out one baby in a incubator and it inprinted on us especially dh,we tried everthing,I put it under a silkie mama who hatched chicks a week after Jadee (her or his name) was hatched thought sure this would work and the mama would have accepted Jadee but she was scared to death of the chickens,so we put her back in the house in her fish tank with her lamp and stuffed bear,we tried a few more times to put her in but did not work she would scream and go to the corner of the coop and try to dig her way out it was pitaful.So when she was a few weeks old we moved the fish tank out to the coop with a cover on it and left her out there and tried again to put her in with the other silkies no way she was terrified.She was out growing her fish tank so put her in a cage in the big girl coop and got two of the smallest silkie babies and put them in with her and she was afraid of them for a couple days but soon buddied up to them although she would not roost with them she stayed on her own small roost that dh make for her.I f I put her up with them and turned of the light at night time she had to stay but she never would roost with them on her own.Then came the time to put them all in with the other silkies and this time it worked but right away she would not go in at night so had to put her in and put her with the other ones that bunched togather,she is doing much better now but it was a challange.[​IMG]
     
  5. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her with dh in upper picture,her in her fish tank with her st[​IMG]uffed toy
     
  6. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Maine
    Her in the coop in her fish tank [​IMG]
     
  7. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jadee with her friends [​IMG]
     
  8. old geezer

    old geezer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]...she is gonna get beat up---my wild { dumb } suggestion,,,[​IMG],,,,build a smaller coop and run just for her and 1 other baby chik---i did that with a hen i had that was being constantly picked on , she an her sister are now really content:cd
     
  9. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Penny that is so cute with the toy.
     
  10. IroquoisEgg

    IroquoisEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love the pic of her with her stuffed animal. makes my heart pitter-pat! I can see how you've gotten into this situation. I have been there too, but tried so many different things, not sure what worked. My 2 are still loners, but the others pretty much leave them alone. I have 3 that I'm trying to integrate now, they are in the big coop, but kept inside their "teenager coop" which is a much smaller coop inside the big coop. I will keep them there for a week or so and try again. At first try as soon as they ventured outside the coop in the yard everybody was them like flies on-well you know...so I quickly scooped them up and returned them to safety. Where they continued to peep loudly and want out and make mama feel so bad! But I know it's for their safety. Keep us updated on your situation and good luck.
     

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