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New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dragonfly299, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. dragonfly299

    dragonfly299 New Egg

    Apr 28, 2017
    My son found a baby chick when at a friends house and when the owners saw it said they were gonna just get rid of it as they have a controlled amount of chickens ( which I still don't understand what they meant by it) Anyways my husband felt bad for the baby and brought it home. We found out he was 1 day old. I put the baby in a box with wood and a heating lamp, food, water, and stuffed animal and now it's been almost a week. For all the threads I read, it is not healthy for a chicken to have just one but I don't think I can handle more than one. Is it anything I can do to alleviate the stress. He follows my son everywhere he goes and my son has grown very attached to the baby. Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Sneebsey

    Sneebsey Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 7, 2017
    Shropshire, UK
    Sometimes it can be illegal to have more than a certain amount of chickens, I've gathered. Luckily we live in the countryside so we've never had that issue, but in built up areas it can be an issue.

    Since chickens are social animals, it really is recommended to have even just one little friend for it (chicken math). Depending on which country you're in you may be able to find one fairly easily.

    Sounds like you're making a nice home for him; good luck!
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC. It seems that you have a rather tricky situation on your hands. What you have read about chickens being social animals is correct and yes, another chick would be a good idea (if you are caring for one chick, another does not mean any more work on your part). Having said that, what are you going to do if either the chick you have is a cockerel, or a second chick is a cockerel? Do you really want potentially 2 or maybe 1 cockerel? I'm guessing not.

    In your situation, I'd try and re-home the chick, where it will thrive (i.e. with another chicken keeper).

    I wish you all the best in whatever you decide.

  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under dragonfly299 [​IMG] Welcome!

    I agree with all of the above valid points. But, having said that, I have also heard of people keeping one chicken successfully, especially if it has been a lone chicken from Day 1. Just my 5 cents worth but I would warn your son that his little feathered friend may turn out to be a rooster [which I am guessing you could not keep] and that a home where he can range and crow will need to be found for him. Keeping that in mind, you could wait and see if your one chicken is in fact a girl and then get it a friend the same age; Ken is right in that taking care of one, two, three or four chickens is pretty much the same amount of work. It only starts to get more involved or technical when you get into large numbers, breeding pens etc.

    Please keep us to date and let us know how you go?
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Some folks with just one bird make them housepets. You could check out "people with house chickens." [​IMG]
  6. dragonfly299

    dragonfly299 New Egg

    Apr 28, 2017
    Thank you to all the replies. They have all help for a more rounded situation. In the area I live it is illegal to have roosters so we are planning to give it away if it's boy. I've also thought about getting another one but I'd rather wait to see what I have in hand first. I read a lot about how could we keep it as a house pet if it's a female and slowly been introducing the baby to my old toothless yorkie to see if they could keep each other company which seems to be going well just not comfortable enough for me to leave them unsupervised just yet.
    How old and what do I need to look for to identify the sex of the chick?
  7. Abriana

    Abriana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2017
    Chickens are really not hard to take care of, so you could buy two or three more. Chickens are flocking animals and so they like to be around other birds. The chick would enjoy some friends. If you can't buy any more, you could give the chick to a friend with chickens so that your son could go visit the chick, or you could buy a chicken diaper and keep it around the house. On another post, a woman said that she kept her chicken who was being treated meanly by the hens inside. If you do keep the chick inside, when she grows up or even now, you might want to take her out on supervised outings in the yard. Overall, i think it would be best if she had two or three more chick friends. Here is a book that is very good that can show you how to raise chickens: The Small-Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery. I love it and it is very informative. To identify the sex of the chick, you may have to wait until she is older and has feathers on her back. Roosters have sickle feathers, which are long and pointy, on their backs. You can look for those. Also roosters will have larger combs and wattles and will stand more erect and proudly than hens and walk with a bit of a strut, even as chicks.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  8. Cntry1958

    Cntry1958 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2017
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Sexing chicks is very hard to do and most of the time it may not be correct. There is Vent sexing, feather sexing and just waiting to see if the comb and waddles come in RED. This is in about 4 to 6 weeks. At 8 to 10 weeks if it begins to crow you know its a Roo. At about 8 weeks old you can take a picture of the chick and place it here on this link for others to let you know what sex it maybe. https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this Do you know what breed it is? Here is another link on how to raise baby chicks. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-your-baby-chicks

    When the owner said " they were going to get rid of the chick, and had a controlled amount of chickens" means they will either kill the chick usually by drowning it in a bucket of water. Or giving it away like your husband did in taking it. Controlled amount is usually what your allowed to have in your town or area( here we are allowed 4 hens on 1 acre of property and no Rooster. ) So he may be at his limit and his coop and run will only hold so many.

    I hope this gives you a better understanding of what he was saying. YOU may want to see if there was any more chicks before they are gone if you want to add a few more as its easy to feed and water up to 4 chicks as 1 .
  9. dragonfly299

    dragonfly299 New Egg

    Apr 28, 2017
    I don't really know what breed it is but I seriously suspect is a Barred Plymouth Rock after looking at pictures of them. There wasn't any more babies but I could buy them locally if needed. I still want to wait and see if it's a male or female as I will not be able to keep it if is a male. Thanks again
    1 person likes this.
  10. Cntry1958

    Cntry1958 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2017
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Its so cute thanks for sharing the picture with us.

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