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Is it ok if a hen hatches only one chick?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FlyingByTheSeatOfMyPants, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. FlyingByTheSeatOfMyPants

    FlyingByTheSeatOfMyPants In the Brooder

    May 14, 2009
    The Jersey Shore

    My kids have a mixed flock of backyard chickens, and one of them, an exceptionally small black Cochin bantam, has been broody since early June. We kept trying to break her of it (we have no rooster) and have been completely unsuccessful. In July, we brought home a few fertile eggs for her to try, and they were all duds. She kept on setting even when we took them from her. After months of this, she seemed to be wasting away, so we tried again. It's been breaking our hearts to see how badly she wants to be a mom, so we tried again. A local farmer gave us three fertile bantam Cochin eggs and we we put them under her 19 days ago. After we candled them, we saw that one was clear ( we tossed it) and two seemed to be developing. Tonight, we heard one of them peeping and tapping from inside the egg. So exciting! However, what do we do if the other doesn't hatch? Is it ok for a chick to be an "only"?

    We're grateful for any advice!

  2. juliechick

    juliechick Transplanted Hillbilly

    Jun 27, 2008
    Southeast AR
    It will be fine! The chick and Mamma will have each other. Hopefully though, they both will hatch. Let us know what happens.
  3. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    Yes one chick will be fine. Momma will be happy too.
  4. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    A big Texas size [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    It's horribly lonely for a single chick when they aren't being brooded with another bird, but being brooded by a momma is just fine for both of them!

    You can fatten her up by feeding her oatmeal cooked thick and allowed to harden (cut into little pieces) and they love yogurt- I added a bunch of honey for extra calories. Mine wasted away, too, and it was impossible to get her to eat much even after hatch because she was always using it as a demonstration opportunity for her chicks. Put lots of treats in front of her brooding area so that she can eat when the chick is under her, asleep. She may actually get some in that way!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  6. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida! Glad you joined! Best of luck with your new chick. [​IMG]
  7. FlyingByTheSeatOfMyPants

    FlyingByTheSeatOfMyPants In the Brooder

    May 14, 2009
    The Jersey Shore
    Thanks, all, for your helpful advice! We did indeed get only one chick. We finally took the other dud egg away. Hopefully this will encourage Mama to get up a bit more often. She's a wonderful mother and is fussing like crazy over her precious baby. Mama's a black cochin and baby's a barred cochin. We've been having some success feeding mother and baby hard boiled egg along with chick starter and mama's been eating some scratch grain along with the egg. She's been subsisting on tomatoes, and peaches (she won't drink water, but the baby will) and I also fed her cooked brown rice. I'll try the cooked oatmeal and yogurt and honey, too.

    They've been brooding in a cage in my laundry room with regular trips outside. We took the mama and baby outside for a bit yesterday and today. She seems fine with the temp. I'm very concerned about how the other hens in the yard will react to Daisy's chick. Daisy was a high ranking hen, but she's lost a lot of standing by being so out of it all summer. Any suggestions about how and when to introduce her and the chick to the others? We've got mixed flock (actually two separate flocks, two coops, but they do run around together in the same yard on a daily basis) -- one coop houses bantam feather foots and the other, three Easter Eggers and a standard Cochin. The bantams completely rule the yard.

    My kids named the chick Chrysanthemum. All of our feather foots have flower names.

    I'm trying to get a photo from my uploads onto this message, but I forgot how to do it!

  8. chicksalot

    chicksalot Songster

    Sep 20, 2008
    That 'only chick-child' will be so well taken care of...good luck & enjoy! (by the way...love your name-flyingbtheseetofmypants-but does this refer to the chickens or life in general? lol) [​IMG]
  9. happytxchick

    happytxchick Egg Song Acre

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sulphur Springs, TX
    I don't have the answer you are looking for, but I will follow this thread as I am interested to know the answer myself. Congrats on baby Chryssy and Daisy...love the names!

    Please do post a pic.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    My experience was that Head Honcho Luna was like a dragon when anyone got near her or her brood- the others learned really fast that she'd keep their tail feathers as they ran away if they dared.

    When she finally told the chicks they were on their own at 7 weeks, everyone was afraid of her and she made it back in very well. She has a haughty independent attitude now- "I made chicks- you didn't!"

    Give them a bit so the chick is steady on its feet. Keep putting protein in front of Momma, so she doesn't use her muscle as a source.

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