Integrating a Human Dependent Chick

AllyMae97

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2018
11
9
13
Hi guys ..

I've hesitated asking this for a while but now I'm desperate and overall just worried. Any feedback is welcome and needed.

I have raised a wild baby chick that was abandoned (pecked away) by her mom. Yes.. I said wild. Her flock is quite large and free ranging but not tamed or controlled. This chick has completely become dependant on me. I can not leave the room without her screaming and running after me. I can't even take a shower without being screamed at. She is almost 4.5 weeks old now and will literally do anything just to be close to me. By close, I mean physically on me. I took her in wanting the end goal to be reintroducing her to the flock. They are taken care of and fed, but not used as livestock or protected. There are plenty of babies being born and I'm sure a few are around her age. Problem is I have read 100 articles about reintroducing and have NO idea how I'm going to go about doing it... I can't think of how I'm going to leave her alone to begin with. Will the crying for me ever stop? What am I going to do about trying to get her back into society without her going comepeltly nuts? This is step one. I've seen the mother hens pushing their babies away around the age of 5 to 6 weeks and that's it. Step two... what's to stop her from charging at every human she sees? If she isn't dependent on me will she be less human crazy? I do not know if it is legal to keep them but I could explore possibly penning her up. Will this even be good???

If anyone has anything to add, please do. I'm at a complete loss on how to handle this situation. Have I doomed this poor thing?
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
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It will take time. Kind of like a dog that has separation anxiety. YOU need to be able to let go too.
Start with small periods of time. Don’t cave into her cry’s. Think about it a Mother Hen would stop giving attention to her chicks naturally.
As she gets older her hormones and development will make the others more attractive to her. Chickens are flock animals they need each other.
I don’t know your climate but to just put a house chicken out into winter would be cruel. She’s not acclaimed and she may not have the feathers necessary.
You’ll need to provide for her for a while outside. Who takes care of all those “wild” chickens? They must be getting feed and water somewhere.
If you feed and water your hen outside the others will come too.
If your intentions are to have her gradually become wild and have her walk away with the others perhaps that might happen.
Worst case you’ll have a pet chicken at your back doorstep. Best wishes
 

aart

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AllyMae97

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2018
11
9
13
It will take time. Kind of like a dog that has separation anxiety. YOU need to be able to let go too.
Start with small periods of time. Don’t cave into her cry’s. Think about it a Mother Hen would stop giving attention to her chicks naturally.
As she gets older her hormones and development will make the others more attractive to her. Chickens are flock animals they need each other.
I don’t know your climate but to just put a house chicken out into winter would be cruel. She’s not acclaimed and she may not have the feathers necessary.
You’ll need to provide for her for a while outside. Who takes care of all those “wild” chickens? They must be getting feed and water somewhere.
If you feed and water your hen outside the others will come too.
If your intentions are to have her gradually become wild and have her walk away with the others perhaps that might happen.
Worst case you’ll have a pet chicken at your back doorstep. Best wishes

I live in constant 80/90 degree weather in the tropics. Worst we get is 75 F and all of us act like it's winter when it gets that cold. Weather is the least of my concern. It does rain a lot (tropical rainforest) but it's a warm rain and obviously most of the chickens just run for shelter or just wait it out. The chickens are out in a national park environment getting whatever they can in the grass. Recently people have begun feeding them things like rice.

As for not giving into her cries, where should I be doing this in order not to give in? In the house? Outside? Should I leave her alone for a while?
 

AllyMae97

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2018
11
9
13
I live in constant 80/90 degree weather in the tropics. Worst we get is 75 F and all of us act like it's winter when it gets that cold. Weather is the least of my concern. It does rain a lot (tropical rainforest) but it's a warm rain and obviously most of the chickens just run for shelter or just wait it out. The chickens are out in a national park environment getting whatever they can in the grass. Recently people have begun feeding them things like rice.

As for not giving into her cries, where should I be doing this in order not to give in? In the house? Outside? Should I leave her alone for a while?

I have purchased feed a while ago and have actually considered feeding the hens to see if they'll warm up a bit to me. If I can "manage" a bit of the flock could this be better? They're not necessarily scared of humans they just don't like them. But they're constantly exposed to them. It's not really "wild" like I'm trying to get her used to some forest or middle of nowhere.
 

[email protected]

~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
5,547
19,908
707
Caliente Nevada
Well I hope that people are giving them cooked rice.
If your goal is to have her integrated into the other chickens if I were you this is what I’d do.
Set her up a cage outside. A very large one. Or build a pen. Provide shelter you could use a upside down box with a opening (think doghouse). Feed and water her there. Let her out with increasing lengths in time. Until she’s free to come and go at will. You may have to support and feed her like this for a very long time...perhaps always dunno. It will be up to her. Unless you gradually reduce her feed...which seems cruel.
The one lesson you could share with everyone is that when you take a bird out of it’s element you run the risk of having that responsibility for as long as the bird lives.
Best wishes
 

AllyMae97

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2018
11
9
13
Well I hope that people are giving them cooked rice.
If your goal is to have her integrated into the other chickens if I were you this is what I’d do.
Set her up a cage outside. A very large one. Or build a pen. Provide shelter you could use a upside down box with a opening (think doghouse). Feed and water her there. Let her out with increasing lengths in time. Until she’s free to come and go at will. You may have to support and feed her like this for a very long time...perhaps always dunno. It will be up to her. Unless you gradually reduce her feed...which seems cruel.
The one lesson you could share with everyone is that when you take a bird out of it’s element you run the risk of having that responsibility for as long as the bird lives.
Best wishes

Thank you for your guidance. I will try this out. Yes, it's cooked, haha.
 

AllyMae97

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2018
11
9
13
....to the wild flock?
Do you have a your own domestic flock?

More info on this chick:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/sudden-loss-of-leg-use.1280188/
The more I think about this 'sick chick' the more I'm convinced the sickness is why the mother rejected it....survival of the fittest.

That's a very good point. The saddest thing is that she pecked away all of her babies. I think one out of the five remains with her. Obviously I have one as well. It was a mess. Maybe I should have let nature be nature and go about it a different way. Or at least left her out there with some protection. But she was no more than a week old and I just couldn't bring myself to. She's really a sweetheart. The more I think about it, the more I realize putting her back in with her family but her still be friendly could actually be interesting.
 

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