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Only one chick left, what to do next?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sbonsai, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. sbonsai

    sbonsai Out Of The Brooder

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    Started with 3 silkie chicks from a rather questionable source to me, but my wife was already sold before we stepped out of the car. We learned a hard lesson within a week, 2 of the 3 have died. Hard for us to say from what, we had them on medicated feed and a couple of days after we got them, decided to put them on Corid. Changed bedding everyday, kept the brooder at the proper temp, etc., etc. We have raised 4 others with no problems whatsoever. Despite that, I read everything I could about what to do and what not to do, but it didn't help.

    So, here we are, one chick in the brooder. I read that a mirror would help them to feel less lonely, and that definitely has seemed to help. We are not sure what to do next though. The last one has acted healthy for the entire week, but after reading some articles here, I know that I should keep the chick quarantined for at least a month.

    I have two main concerns and both of them have to do with the fact that it is one chick. 1. Chickens are flock animals, so I have concerns about the stress of constantly being alone. 2. Then, even if the chick does survive the loneliness, I'm introducing one silkie chick to a flock of 4 much bigger birds.

    I must also add that I don't have room for lots more chickens. We had arranged a deal with the seller that we would raise 3 and give back 2 as soon as we were able to sex them. We don't want any roosters. We had planned to put them with two other Cream Legbar chicks that I had bought and thought introducing all of them to our two Buff Orpingtons would be a good way to smooth out the pecking order, but that doesn't seem like a possibility now.

    I assume my options are to try to buy another chick or chicks to help with these issues, but I am having trouble find another local source and won't go back to that seller. I also assume that I can wait it out, let the silkie get a couple of months old and carefully introduce it to the flock using a variety of techniques described on the forums.

    Reading generic articles does not equal good advice from experienced chicken owners, so here I am. What would you do?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mirror works and so does a feather duster (real feathers, mimics a hen) or stuffed animal. How old is the Silkie chick? How old are the Cream Legbar & Orpington chicks?
     
  3. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can keep it by itself, as long as you provide a good setting for him to live, like said above a stuffed animal or a feather duster might help, also try to spend time with her as much as possible so you can imprint on her and have her being more docile.
    you can introduce her to the older hens at about 8 weeks of age maybe younger. I have learned that silkies by nature are not that aggressive and therefore are for the most part really low in the pecking order.
    When first introduced, they might attack her, but that is just them trying to set their pecking order.
    Another idea is to try to expose your young chick to the older hens, maybe in a cage put her together with them, so they get familiarized with the young one, yet they can't peck at her.
     
  4. sbonsai

    sbonsai Out Of The Brooder

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    The Cream Legbars are about 4 weeks and the Orpingtons are around 14 weeks old. Silkie is 2 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Your best bet is to get this lone chick into the coop with the others so it will experience being with other chickens. It doesn't need to mingle with the rest in order to feel a part of a flock.

    I know you're concerned that the chick may be carrying a disease that killed her mates, and that's possible. I assume you've already disposed of the dead chicks. It would be a big help to have them necropsied so you know what killed them. There are viruses that do infect chicks in the egg, and if that's what killed your chicks, you have already carried the virus to your other chickens unless you've changed clothes between the time you handled the new chicks and cared for the rest of your flock. Yes, it's that contagious. So, that's why I would just go ahead and put the chick in with the others, but separated from the others for its safety.

    You don't describe how the older chicks are being housed, but it would help to house the newest chick with them if you can expand the pen or brooder to accommodate this young one. After a period of time, you can then integrate the newest chick with the older ones.
     
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with azygous....You could put the lone chick, supervised, in a caged area that it can be acquainted with the others, see how the interact & after a few weeks & under supervision allow the single chick to have contact with the Legbars, intergrating them with the "older" Orpingtons together.
     

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