How to raise a baby runt?

Oct 29, 2018
I have five four week old chicks and one of them is a runt she’s about a quarter of the size of the others. I have recently found out that the other chicks have been bullying her I know that there has to be a pecking order but she’s so small and they peck her wings so there’s bits of feather missing they also stand on her, she falls to the side when she stands so I want to try and raise her myself. How would I go about this? Or should I leave her with the other chooks? If I do raise her how should I reintroduce her? Oh and she’s a columbine Wyandotte.


Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
Edgewood, KY
I would just leave her with others and monitor behavior. I would put my finger in and separate chicks if caught one pecking the other and redirect them to something else. Encourage the chick to eat/drink and watch to make sure others allow her. They usually shape up and start getting along well. Intervene if you see one standing on her and redirect they will learn not to do those things. Babies really don’t care where they stand and some don’t care if one walks over the others to get around, they are pretty docile and I don’t consider this picking on one just babies being babies. I put a peck n play ball that was cheap from My Pet Chicken to alleviate boredom and give them something to peck at. You can put chick greens in it as well. Chicks love this and you find less pecking of each other. TSC has them as well. They are lots of fun.


Crossing the Road
9 Years
Jun 23, 2013
The Big Island/Hawaii
2x Melky, very good advice

Do you have a picture of your brooder set up?
Where are you located?
Have you read about the heating pad instead of heat lamp/light? MHP thread by Blooie

You could split the brooder with a clear plastic or hardware wire, therefore the single chick is not separated from the others but safe. Make sure each side has food & water, warmth. The side with the single chick put a cuddly stuffed animal (eyes, buttons, tassels strings removed) for comfort.

Or if you choose to raise a single chick, you may get alot of chirping. Again a cuddly stuffed animal for comfort, I've used a feather duster but some say the chick can strangle themselves. Chickens are social creatures, a mirror (reflection) will make like others are in there. Soothing back ground music or noise, food & water, warmth.

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
Welcome! She needs to be with other chicks, not be alone. If you have more space, and at least two feeders and waterers, and things for them to do, she will have a better chance of being part of the group and not injured.
Could she be a bantam?
If she's actually a standard chick who's very very small, likely there's something wrong with her that's hindering her growth. These things happen, and 'failure to thrive' chicks are sad but part of having birds.
I hope she does well for you!

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