Lone Chick

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I have been juggling four broody hens and their egg clutches and in the process of trying to control it all I missed an egg. What I mean is, one batch of eggs hatched 7 days ago, another is due in about 13 days, but one single egg hatched last night. One hen stopped being broody when all of her eggs failed. The other three are now raising the chicks that hatched 7 days ago out in the coop. So the single egg I had in an incubator in the house since there was no broody left for egg-sitting.

Problem being now I have a single chick who is lonely and peeping like crazy. She is only about 8 hours old. My thought was that perhaps tomorrow night (when she is 30+ hours old) or maybe the night after, slipping her in with one of the mama hens sitting on the chicks out in the coop. Or maybe that is too early and I should wait until she is more than a week old?

I am afraid, of course, that either she won't be accepted, might get harmed since she will be a full week younger, or at worst one of the mama hens might kill her. But it also feels like maybe sooner is better than later? What should I do? Thanks!
 

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I should add that one of the three mama hens out in the coop is very aggressive. She has one black chick. The other two mamas have been together the whole time, and they have one black chick and five brown.

The aggressive hen will allow the black chick and even nests with her sometimes. But she is aggressive and mean to the brown ones and even has tossed one of them while I tried to get her away as I was cleaning the coop. This baby chick is brown, so I am definitely not putting it with her, but still. It does add another little layer of worry since they sort of share a brooder area in the coop divided by a net but they can get to each other if they go around it (it is very small unfortunately and I have no way of keeping them completely separated).
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,018
11,474
596
USA
It's been enouhg days that you probably already did something, but...

Could you take one hen that was raising chicks, put her in a different pen at night, and put the singleton chick under her? If she accepts it, you might be able to put her back with the others in a few days, because by then she would protect the chick if needed.
 

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