I'm completely clueless... I could use help with my baby pullet

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by torianne149, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. torianne149

    torianne149 Hatching

    Apr 13, 2009
    Okay. I'm probably going to sound stupid. My boyfriend bought me a chick for easter and I hate to think of not being able to care for it properly. I've got it a lamp to keep it warm, I give it lots of food, clean the bedding and lots of water (but in a shallow dish so it won't drown and I keep it really clean). But I just have a few questions...

    First one being, how can you tell if it's a rooster or a hen?

    Then, it's got this bald spot on its neck and I keep finding down in it bedding... is that normal? I mean... is it losing down and starting to grow feathers? It doesn't have any feathers yet except on its wings.

    Also... is there anything I'm missing? I'm really trying to grow a healthy chicken and I'd hate to be doing it wrong...

    Sorry for silly questions, it's just that I don't know much about this. But I'd like to! I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    First of all could you post a picture so we can see the bald spot?

    You should be keeping the temperature around 95 degrees right now and lower it by 5 degrees a week.

    Chicks need company. It's not good to have only one.

    Where did your boyfriend get the chick. If it was at a feed store, what did the bin say? When they are little unless they are sex-links it can be difficult to tell what they are.
  3. Ckn woman

    Ckn woman In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2009
    First make sure you are feeding it chick starter feed. The bald spot could be from travel to the store. It will start to grow wings and feathers very quickly but not sure on all the down in its bedding. Make sure that you don't have it too hot. Hot temps can cause one to pick out feathers or down.The temp in their brooder should be about 95-100 degrees for the first week and then less 5 degrees a week there after. Your baby might be lonely, I think I read somewhere that they like being with more chicks. I hope this helps you some, I am by no means an expert but I have read alot on chicks since I got my little bundles of joy! Roo or hen not sure til about 6 to 8 weeks I think!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  4. You can tell if it's a roo or a hen by around 4-6 weeks, but without other chicks of the same breed to compare it to, it might be really difficult. I agree with the others, my brooder is cooler than that (about 85-87 degrees), but no one is piling, so in my case, it's what works. You should definetly get some more chicks to keep yours company.
    You can tell if your brooder is too hot if you see the chick panting. If she's panting, turn down the heat a couple degrees at a time until she stops. Also, during this transition of temps (if it's necessary) make sure she gets plenty of water!
    Good luck! Post some pictures and I bet BYC would be happy to help you guess the breed and sex (once s/he is older)!
  5. JenMT

    JenMT Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    I agree, you should get at least one more chick but I would try to make sure that this one is a female. Your current chick is bound to get lonely. Good luck to you and your new baby. [​IMG]
  6. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    You didn't say how old it was. Is it a day old chick? or is it older?
    Glad your baby chick has a carrying new mom.
    One thing you might do for it since it is alone is get an ostrich feather duster at walmart and hang it upside down in the box so she can nestle in the feathers to stay warm and safe like she would with a mommy hen.
  7. sunnibunny99

    sunnibunny99 Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    East Texas! :)
    What are you feeding it?

    If, after a few weeks, its comb looks a bit big, it may be a rooster [​IMG]

    If it turns out to be a girl though, you'll get an egg almost every day [​IMG] which is great, if you like eggs [​IMG]

    I would feed it starter chick food and make sure its water is very clean!

    If you have questions PM me! i have 14 chickens [​IMG]
  8. sunnibunny99

    sunnibunny99 Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    East Texas! :)
    good luck [​IMG]
  9. Oceanseve

    Oceanseve Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Guthrie, OK
    Post a pic and you will get a lot more help.
  10. torianne149

    torianne149 Hatching

    Apr 13, 2009
    Well if I could get it to hold still long enough for a decent picture of the bald spot.... I don't wanna squeeze it too hard or traumatize it or anything. I'm actually petrified that i'd scare it to death or something. Its sibling died about three days after we got them, that's why I only have one. But the other one was SO little and so helpless... it just didn't have much of a chance...

    I have no idea how old my chick is. I didn't buy it and my boyfriend didn't bother to look at any signs at the feed store (sigh...) All he knows is that it's a pullet. I'm beginning to think it's a male, as it's got this rather large ridge on the top of its beak. Is that a comb? Ugh, I hate to be ignorant...

    I don't know if we'd be able to get more chicks, as it was hard enough to be able to keep the one where we live.

    And I keep it warm in the box, with a lamp and all, and if he starts running around and avoiding the light, I move it up some until it's just kind of exploring, not huddling under it or running from it. And it always has clean water, I change it like every half hour to an hour. (I'm at home all day...) It's in a big enough box, I think. It's like 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 by 2 1/2. I'll try to get a decent picture if I can get my boyfriend to hold it still. I have one of when we first got it. And its poor little brother or sister that didn't make it. It was a pullet too, I think but it was black whereas this one's yellow/white. Its wing feathers are white.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by