Lone chick not doing well


Spear Gunnin' Coons
12 Years
Feb 17, 2007
I ended up raising a lone chick which I have never done before. I wondered how it would do with real chickens and I have found out. A couple of days ago I put the chick out in the barn in a coop with a very gentle roo and 4 low on the pecking order hens. The chick is almost 3 months old and is a standard RIR. The chickens it is in with are banty cochins. The chick is actually bigger than the cochins. I could see the fear in the chicks eyes. I stayed out with it for quite some time trying to acclimate it to the new coop. A few hours after leaving it the first time I went back out to check on it. It was huddled in the corner with the waterer. It was soaking wet so I dried it with a towel. The roo does not bother it at all but one of the hens has taken a disliking to it and chases it all over the place. I have found that if I go out and call the chick it runs to me and I guard it so it can eat and drink. I am trying to help it make friends with the lone silkie in the same pen. The silkie does not roost with the other birds and if I can get the chick to hang out with the silkie, maybe she can help it to get through the nights cuddled together. The silkie is willing but the chick is afraid. This is going to be a long road to travel with this lone chick. If anyone has any suggestions that might help this chick or has had any experience intoducing a lone chick to real chickens, I sure could use the help.
Ooooh... poor chick. I think given time and patience it will make a friend either with the Silkie or one of the other chickens. They all seem to find a place eventually. Maybe you could just keep her as a house chicken Gayle!

Best of luck with her... I'm sure it will remedy itself
my mille fleur roo was a lone chick. It was quite diffecult to re-integrate him into the flock. I kept him in a small cage inside the much bigger cage that the other mottled hens and roos were in. I kept him like that for about two weeks. Then I put the roos away, and caged up half the hens, just to throw the flock dynamics off for a bit, and let him out to be with the hens, and when the pecking would start, I would pull him, change out the hens, try him with the new pair, or trio of hens. Bit by bit he learned how to be top roo. I never left him to "figure it out on his own" because he was too valuable to me, irreplaceable really. I would say it took about a month, but for me it was worth it. I waited until he was around six months old to re introduce. He was in view and earshot, just feet away, so he was used to looking at them, but learning his chicken lessons came slowly and strongly supervised at first. Sometimes i would put a submissive hen in his cage with him, then two , then take them out, next day put another one... just stuff like that. He got pecked and dominated by some of the hens, but eventually he got the hang of it, especially when he got a bit heavier than they were.
onthespot, I had it in a brooder in the barn for a few days so it could get use to being around chickens. I had just set up all my breeding pens and figured that all the chickens had to get use to new quarters and new chickens and figured a chick wouldn't get bothered because all the grown birds were working out the new pecking order. The chick was no threat to any of the other birds. I went out a few hours ago and found it cuddled up with the waterer again. It was wet and cold. I put it in my jacket and it fell asleep. Against my better judgement, I brought it back in the house and put it in a brooder with some heat. It ate and drank and had a good nap and then was ready to tell me all about it's horrrible adventure. Maybe I will try bringing the silkie in and put it with the chick. At least if they become friends it should be easier to put the chick back in the coop. Thanks for the information and glad your Millie made it through it's ordeal.
Yea I would put it and the Silkie together for awhile, then they at least have each other when you mix them with the flock. They then stick together and I find harassed a little less because of the strength in numbers theory I guess.....
I'm doing the same currently with a new hen I got from a BYC member. Good luck!

I have read that introducing more than one new one at a time is best. I agree that you should put the silkie and the baby together for a time, away from the rest. Let the two of them bond, then put them together into the pen with the rest.
Ok, I brought the silkie in this evening after dark. After the chick dried off real good I turned the heat off so they are both in the dark brooder not making any noise. Maybe wakeing up in the morning together will make it easier for them to be friends. Thanks for the advice and I will let you know how it goes.
After quarantine...I put the new chickens next to the coop in a fenced off area where they can all see each other, but not fight. After a few days, open the fence. 75% of the time, this works.

The other 25% of the time, I put my mean birds into the side coop and put the new birds in the permanent coop. After 2 days of this I hang a cabbage in the in coop and let them all loose together. No cabbage = fights. Cabbage = eating together and they're all friends.

I don't pretend to understand. It's my Uncle Arnie's recipe for success. (Of course this is the same man who had a flock of banty roosters and used to sit on the porch and laugh hysterically when they attacked us kids).

I also agree--MUCH easier to introduce 2 chicks rather than 1.
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