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One lone chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chick N Momma, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Chick N Momma

    Chick N Momma Chirping

    Apr 12, 2013
    Valatie, NY
    I'm in Kinderhook, NY - just south of Albany.

    We ordered a late batch of meat birds in late October - 25 Cornish Cross males - from McMurray Hatchery. They sent me 26 chicks plus an "exotic" chick (I think it's a Cuckoo Maran - not sure of the sex) - which they do with each order I guess. Its always a nice surprise to have a different chick from the ones you ordered, but this one - I don't know what to do with "it" (hoping its gonna be a hen! Dark brown eggs!). We have 2 coops, one for the meat birds and one for my layers, ducks and guineas. The meat bird coop which is a converted shed without any roosts is where the young Cuckoo Maran has been living with it's "siblings", the Cornish Cross chickens. In this coop we have a heat lamp about 4 feet from the floor, so the Maran has been used to not only the warmth from the light, but the warmth of the other chickens. Its in the 30's during the day and in the low teens during the night. And its only going to get colder.

    Last weekend we processed half of the meat birds. Next weekend we will be processing the remaining birds. That leaves the Maran without any housemates. I would imagine that if it is a male, when it's fully grown it will either be processed or it will be sold or given away (I already have 3 roosters). What is the best way to handle this chick? Its used to the warmth from the coop (the hens in the other coop do not have a heat lamp and never have). I can't justify leaving the bird alone in the current coop with a light on. Obviously, I don't want it to freeze but I don't think it's the best time to integrate it with the big birds.

    Any suggestions?

    Chick n Momma

  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Can you move one or two of your least assertive birds into the pen with the baby? You could have them in a dog crate or something for a couple of days, and then at night roost them together. Just a thought. Or rehome the chick soon to a suitable home. Or keep a couple of the smallest meat birds with the chick until spring, or your next order. One chick can't be alone, and it won't integrate into an adult flock gracefully. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  3. Chick N Momma

    Chick N Momma Chirping

    Apr 12, 2013
    Valatie, NY

    Honestly, I don't know if I have any chickens I would trust with a newbie. But I have a week to look into it.

    I WAS thinking, though of using a dog crate for the baby in the big coop, but again - I'm worried about it being too cold - it won't be roosting with the other chickens and their body heat. I don't have any small meat birds and they won't live that long. They aren't meant to anyway, I would risk them dying from heart problems or broken legs if they get too much bigger. [​IMG] Thanks for the suggestions.
  4. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    So how old is the chick now?

    I had a single, orphaned chick who was 7 weeks old and almost (but not quite) feathered out. I kept him in a cornered off section of the main coop so that he could still see the rest of the flock, but was safe.

    At night, since it was cool, he had a cat crate to sleep in! I lined it with an old towel for warmth, then topped that with thick straw. The cat cage itself was also draped with a blanket to retain warmth and stop drafts blowing though.

    I would visit him a couple of times a day, give him a pat and chat to him. This was probably for my own benefit - I didn't like to think of him being lonely.

    I would also give him some scratch, or some vegie scraps once or twice a day so he had something to do with his spare time while the flock was free-ranging. OK, it was twice a day. He was spoiled, lol!

    Anyway, he survived just fine. Until he was rehomed and then eaten by a dog. But that's another story....

    - Krista
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I think this might work out, Krista's got some good ideas......how old is the chick, all feathered out I assume?

    You could put a small door in the crate so it could get in/out and the older birds couldn't.
    If you put a huddle box in the crate for it, it can keep itself warm.

    You could always just eat it. Got a pic...close up of wattle/comb areas.....knowing gender might help decide.
  6. Chick N Momma

    Chick N Momma Chirping

    Apr 12, 2013
    Valatie, NY
    The chick is fully feathered and is about 10 weeks old now. I will have to get a current picture of it.

    I'll look in the cat crate idea, too.

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