Loner Chick? or just normal chicken behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HazelCMAS, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. HazelCMAS

    HazelCMAS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Long Beach, MS
    I have 11 chicks in the brooder. One chick seems to always be by itself. Is usually the last to eat, the first to sleep, and when all the other chicks are dog piled on one end, this little one is at the other end of the brooder alone. The chick is a Polish(white or buff laced, not sure yet) it is smaller than the rest and while the other 10 chicks have most wing feathers and at least a half inch tail, this one has about half it's feathers and just started sprouting a little tail. I am concerned about this little chick. I haven't seen the others being mean to it or pecking it much.(no more than they peck each other) Should I be concerned or just keep watching?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Sounds like you have a slow developing chick, a runt. When one is slow like that it often is not as quick to hang with the rest of the brood. Even chicks have a pecking order. One like that is often a the bottom and so is trying to stay out of the others way. There is always concern with a chick like that. There are two management responses to it, leave it find its own way or make it a special project. If it is just a case of a slow development and can still catch up, or at least keep up enough to survive in the flock. Making it a project would assure it got enough to eat. Either way with eleven chicks I think putting a second feeder in there would help.
     
  3. HazelCMAS

    HazelCMAS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Long Beach, MS
    Thanks so much for your reply and advice. I was beginning to think this was a silly question to ask. I did as you suggested and put an additional feeder in the brooder. I have also been taking it out a couple times a day and giving a small dish of chick food mixed with a little water. Of course, the little thing is my 7yo daughter's favorite. It's more docile and gets startled less than the other chicks. Doesnt' seem to get caught up in the "sky is falling" mentality. I keep hoping it isn't a roo that we'll have to rehome, but my gut is telling me not to get my hopes up. I watched them closely today and the little white one was interacting more with a couple of the other chicks. One other polish and an easter egger have kind of befriended it. Maybe they are at the bottom of the pecking order right along with the runt. Gives new meaning to the phrase, "Friends in low places." LOL
     

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