Lonesome hand reared chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ali Adnan, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Ali Adnan

    Ali Adnan New Egg

    Sep 3, 2009
    My little black hen is a grumpy little thing. She is one of those that squawks like a nutter whenever you go within 3 metres of her (nothing new, she's always been like it).

    She sat on 7 eggs, 4 hatched ok and are now 2 weeks old, 1 never hatched (looked to be 2/3rds grown) and 1 hatched late. She kicked it out on the first day. I put it back in with her that night, but next morning, it was outside on its own.

    I live in a rural village in South West Turkey, so the day temps are 35-40 C, which helps in that we dont have much of a problem keeping them warm!

    The lonesome chick was hardly moving. Dived in to the pen and rescued it. Kept it in a large plastic fruit crate (I have a citrus fruit orchard), lined with newspaper, some dried olive tree leaves and a bit of dry soil to scratch around in. Plus some chick feed and water.

    Fed the little chap some water by hand every 30 minutes for 2 days and was amazed to see it recover. At first, it couldn't even lift its head. That was 9 days ago. It (now called Kevin), is running around chirping like mad. Eats a bit of food, loves crumbled baby biscuits (my son is 19 months).

    What to do next...?

    Can I ever reintroduce him to his clan? Or will the mum just peck him to death?

    Is it true he has to be almost fully grown before being allowed to wander free (we have 7000m2) with the others?

    What about food, larger pen etc etc?

    Use a 75w bulb over his crate at night, so never below 28C - seems quite comfy in there as I put a mop head in there too, as a surrogate mum!

    Any advice? Thanks in advance.
  2. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    You're in Turkey? That is too cool. Love the internet!
    Anyway, once the chicks feathers come in, you could mix him with the rest of the flock. By that time he will not need the extra heat from the lamp and he should be fast enough to get away from anyone trying to pick on him. I would keep an eye on him for a few days to make sure he's not getting bullied.
  3. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    HI Ali,

    I have had a similar situation here, my hen only hatched one chick and she was fine with it, but I was concerned about it being alone, so I bought some other chicks, 2 were the same breed and colour as the hatched one, and 2 were similar but were white and the hen started to pick on them both. She is fine with the ones that are the same colour.

    I removed the white ones from her and brought them indoors. Now they are 3 weeks old and they are getting their feathers.

    I have taken them outside in the daytime to let them play with the other chicks, but the hen is still picking on them and they freeze absolutely still when she starts on them. I have to stay and watch them.

    For now they live in a crate indoors, but I am hoping I can get them all mixing together soon.

    I hope you have better luck, and maybe if it is a he, then he will soon be able to take care of himself.
  4. BlueEngineFarm

    BlueEngineFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 1, 2009
    Have had the same problem. I tried several times unsuccesfully to reintroduce. So we just built the small one its own place and it turned into a rooster! Still has it's own place. When I got 30 more chicks to add to my 16 original hens they couldn't even band together to stay with the big ones at 6 weeks. So we just kept them apart until they were close to the same size- now you'd never know they aren't all the same age.

    Hope you have better luck. I have one chick that hatched a week ago and a bunch in the incubator- hoping it works to add it to them.

    I love the idea of a mophead surrogate!
  5. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008

    I did the same thing with my 2, I gave them a mop head duster to cuddle under and put a hot water bottle wrapped in a cloth behind it and they snuggle in there every night. Now I leave the bottle cold, but they are indoors and seem to be doing fine.

    They fly all over the place every morning.
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I had a solo duckling hatch. I put a mirror and a turkey-feather duster in the brooder. It happily "talked" the "other duckling" and snuggled under the feather duster when it was sleepy.

    Once it got a little bigger, I put it in an outdoor brooder with a mild-mannered slightly older duck and kept them together until they were feathered out. Then I introduced them to the "big ducks".

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by