One chick has died...now what??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by missfork, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. missfork

    missfork New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Hi all...

    I'm raising my first round of backyard chicks. I had one Rhode Island Red, one Plymouth Barred Rock, and one white bantam silkie. They are a little over four weeks old. It's been high 70s/low 80s off and on the past week (Southern California) so when it's really warm, I'll put them outside in the coop and leave the door open for them to roam around the backyard. They've been feeling very cooped up and pecking at their box, and LOVE being outside for a few hours. Temperature hasn't seemed to bother them at all..

    Well, long story short, a hawk swooped our bantam silkie yesterday right before our eyes. It was super shocking and sad but now I'm wondering what to do...

    We wanted three chickens and has a chicken coop that fits 3 chickens pretty comfortable according to the reviews, especially since they'll roam around our yard during the day. I'd like to still have 3 chickens in case another one dies of whatever else along the way. And for the amount of eggs I'd like to be getting....

    So now what? Do I just get one more chick, but then it'll be much smaller than the other two and most likely get picked on, right? Or do I get two more chicks, raise those separately until they're ready to go outside and then have the four together when the younger ones are 6 week olds? But then I'm wondering about size in the coop....

    Any advice is appreciated by this novice :)
    Thank you!
     
  2. SJchickens

    SJchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    So sorry for your loss :(. To my knowledge, it's best, when adding to a flock, to introduce a minimum of 2 birds at a time. Introducing one could cause the others to pick on him/her. I have 2 blue Cochins that are 2 and 3 weeks. We wanted to add 4 more birds to our flock, but didn't want the Cochins to be mean to them (turns out the new birds picked on the ultra docile Cochins, but that's another story). We bought four 2 week old Wyandottes from a lady that ordered them from a hatchery. I would go with some older chicks, maybe 3 or 4 weeks. If there are any integration problems at all, separate them, and give them supervised "playdates" every day until they accept each other. At 4 weeks 70/80 degrees is warm enough for them to be outside, but I wouldn't just leave them out there all night.

    Also, it's probably a good idea to quarantine the new birds for a time to make sure they don't have any illnesses that they could then pass on to your other 2 chicks. Sometimes chicks/chickens that appear healthy will have their immune systems weakened by the stress of the new habitat, and succumb to a contagious illness they had already contracted.
     

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