Newbie Raising a Chick in my Apartment


5 Years
Apr 14, 2014

Hi guys 2 weeks ago on Monday i arrived home from work as i was getting out of my car i ran into a neighbor of mine who hatches eggs and sells the chicks. he showed me a small plastic bag with 2 chicks in it one dead and one still alive i asked him where hes going with them he said to throw them in the trash because one is dead and the other is dying. I was appalled that he would cold heartedly throw a creature that is still alive in the trash in the cold and in a place swarming with stray cats. i told him to give me the chick i figured its dying anyway so might as well just give it a nice warm quiet place to go peacefully.

I got a shoe box put a blanket in it and put the chick in and it turns out the chick has a crooked leg he cant use he only hops on one leg that's why he was throwing it away because nobody is going to buy it. It's been 3 weeks and the chick is doing great hes growing feathers and hes bigger than before and seems to be very happy. i am only feeding him special chick food and water and i was wondering at what age can i start feeding him other kinds of food like veggies and fruits maybe. is it still too early? Is it also okay to have a chick in my apartment hes in the shoe box in my room i put him on the balcony when im home and have time to watch him but other than that hes always in the shoe box. is that sanitary to have in a house?

i got him a bigger box today i will get it ready for him tonight and move him into it because he now can hop out of the shoe box. i feel bad i know they should be in a green field or farm running around but i don't know what else to do i don't know anyone who will take it and where i live animals aren't very much cared for so whoever i give it to u will most likely end up killing it.

If you have any advice for me about food or anything concerning how to better care for it please i need all the help i can get.
And one more thing out of curiosity i would really love to know which chicken breed he or she is and if its too early to tell if its a girl or boy

Thank you for your help.
Look like a girl, but it is kinda early to tell. I feed my little ones treats all the time, just make sure there is grit available. It might need to be put down if I has trouble walking or it may be able to be fixed. Can you post pictures from the side that the messed up leg is on?
I will take a picture of its leg when i get home. He doesn't have trouble moving around. At first it was really hard to watch he barely would try to take a step and fall on his face now he hops on one leg and eats drinks cleans himself and just do normal things he doesnt fall anymore and he even runs using his wings he flaps his wings and runs so fast hehe he looks happy it would suck if it needs to be put down. His leg seems to be frozen like it doesn't bend down his toes seem to work fine he scratches himself with his toes all the time he can move his leg up but he just can't seem to bend it down.

Welcome to BYC! kind of you to rescue this baby. Some people just don't have the heart that you do! Lots of people keep disabled chickens, parrots, quail and such and they thrive with the right care. Don't feel badly that he should be running around on some farm. He doesn't know the difference and if you want to keep him, you can give him just as good of a home if not better with all the lovin! We have a very active thread here on BYC of house chickens! Lots of people keep disabled and healthy chickens and turkeys in their homes for many reasons and some because they can't keep poultry due to laws and regulations. You can put diapers on this little guy or just devote an area for him to do his thing. Here is that thread you might take a look at for some ideas...

As for his gimp leg, chickens can over come all kinds of disabilities and live perfectly happy lives. So don't feel to sorry for him and treat him as if he were normal. I like to hold off on the treats till they are about 5 or 6 weeks old as they really need to eat their chick starter to grow properly. And when you do start to add things to their diet, always offer up grit. Parakeet grit will work for young babies. Here is our treats chart to see what you might like to offer up later....

Good luck with this little guy and I really hope you decide to give him a forever home. Welcome to our flock!
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Poor little chick, it is lucky you rescued it. TwoCrows gave you some good links to check out and you could try posting good pictures of it in the What Breed Or Gender Is This forum for help with figuring out what it is
It may be too late to do much with the leg, but you could try posting pictures of the leg on the Emergencies forum for ideas on treating it
This is a website that covers a lot of chicken leg problems

You saved a chick good for you

BYC has a very useful learning center

Try boiling up an egg and remove the shell mash
and serve it to her see if she likes it as this is a natural
medicine for her and will help build her immune system
for a stronger and healthy body .....

One question what are you going to do with her when she gets bigger
Hey guys thank u so much for your messages I moved him to a bigger box hes very happy in it the shoe box was getting too small for him and I made him a little house using a tissue box im hoping hell sleep in it. Ill put a hold on treats for now and stick to the grit. I will use the links you provided to know more about his breed and if theres something to be done about his leg and stuff. Thank u so much.
Is that really normal? it feels like cannibalism hehe

Well i don't know yet he's 3 weeks old but a friend of mine has space on the roof of her building and they have cages and pigeons so
she told me it would be fine to put him there well build him a separate house from the pigeons because i read pigeon poop can be toxic
for chickens so i guess we can't put him in the same houses as them.
My dad seems to be getting fond of the chick he's hinting at building the chick a little coop and keeping him so i don't know yet.
I took a picture of his leg if you can see how its sticking forward it just does not bend down it bends up though. i donno if theres something to be
done about that i tried making bend down but i just worry i might hurt him or break his leg.

I REALLY hope you decide to keep your little chick. Similar thing happened to me several years ago. I am sure changing the paper in the box is a chore, and you may want to think about a big bag of pine shavings from walmart. I think it's about 6.00 and a bag would last you a LONG TIME. Basically, you just put some down for your chick, and in a couple of days when it looks dirty, put more down on top of it.... then more... lol... it's like a deep-liter method. Then maybe every could of weeks you can just change out All the bedding.

Also, at walmart, you can buy some GRIT for parakeets (it's like rough sand) for a dollar or two, and give your chick a little bowl of it if your going to start introducing treats. The special chicken food doesn't need the grit, but once you start giving her treats like a grape or smashed up piece of banana, some leafy greens or smashed up hard-boiled egg... your chick will need the grit to help digest it. Mine actually love the grit.

Within a couple more weeks, your chick will be flapping it's feathers and will be able to get out of it's box. You can get some chicken wire and just lay across the top of the box and it will keep chicky where she needs to be during the day while your gone.

If you haven't discovered yet, your chick will be messy, but the few minutes of daily cleaning-chicken-chores is So well worth the entertainment and love you'll get back. When your chick recognizes you as mom (or a food-god) it'll be following you around the apartment like a puppy dog. You'll sit down to watch tv, and it'll flap right up on your lap. It may be a lap-chicky or may just like the arm rest beside you.

I wish you all the best. This site is wonderful and FUll of information for new chicken owners.
Perhaps the mean-neighbor that hatched the chick can tell you what kind it is... and from there you can get even MORE specific information about your new little baby.

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