Raised a single chick, now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kendall R 06, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Kendall R 06

    Kendall R 06 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Hi all,

    I have been reading threads on this site for quite a while, but this is my first time posting! I just wanted to get some advice :D

    I am a vet nurse and I also volunteer at a local animal park/farm. I have a tendency to bring home injured/abandoned chicks from the animal park. The first chick I brought home was roughly a week old and was found by himself in the feed shed, it gets quite cold there at night (was winter at the time) and they didn't have the facilities to keep him warm enough, so I volunteered as I have 8 hens at home and figured I could raise him until he was big enough to integrate with the hens. I named him Klaus, I raised him in my living room and he was absolutely amazing and I became very attached. There was never an issue of him being a single chicken as I was always with him and he'd follow me around the house and hang out in my jumper pocket. Unfortunately at around 8 weeks old he developed a limp, we took X-rays and it ended up being a dislocated hip, he was out in confinement and given daily medication for pain and inflammation. Roughly two weeks later, there were no signs of improvement and he had to be euthanaised. I was absolutely devastated.

    So a few months after that happened I was at the animal park again and was feeding and watering the chicks and noticed one hopping around on one leg, I picked it up and all around it's ankle was purple and incredibly swollen. We suspect a goat had jumped in and squished him, I volunteered to take him, I have a thing for sick chickens ever since my bond with Klaus. I took him in to work the next day (at the vet clinic) and we took X-rays and my vet had a look at him. It turned out his entire area around his ankle was completely smashed into about 10 pieces, the vet told me to go get a straw at lunch and we'd make him a tiny splint. We made him a splint to immobilize the area. He improved greatly over the next few weeks and we eventually removed the splint (I changed it every week just to check progress) and his foot was healing amazingly! So he is around 6 - 7 weeks now and he is 100% normal and running around. He is fully feather and out growing his indoor play pen! I am in the process of considering what I should do with him, he (I say 'he' but i don't really know) is terrified of the older hens I have. I am thinking of building/buying him his own outdoor coop and run and possibly getting him a few friends his own size. I just don't know quite how he will act as he has always been a lone chicken. I realize I should have gotten him little friends when he was younger but I wasn't sure if he would survive or if I got more they'd pick on him for being injured. As with Klaus, there was never an issue of him being lonely as he was always with me as well.

    Sorry for the long rant, I just like to get the whole story out there :)

    Just wondering if anyone has had experience integrating a chick that has been raised alone with other chickens? I don't know what to expect or which option is best!
     
  2. Kendall R 06

    Kendall R 06 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Just realised I added this into the wrong forum topic... Haha can you tell I'm new? :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    It would certainly be best for the chick to have other chicken companions of his own size and age. He may do fine with some buddies, but you will have to watch them carefully at first. And the sooner the better. Even though you think you are providing companionship, it is not constant and not the right kind of companionship to teach him how to be a chicken and how to socialize properly with others. Some birds never do really integrate after starting as loners. Maybe he could be a house chicken if he does not socialize well?
     
  4. Kendall R 06

    Kendall R 06 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Thank you! I am over here in Australia :)
    I am planning on getting him some little friends his own age tomorrow! I will monitor closely and hopefully he will be accepting of them haha. I will be sad to see him graduate to the outdoors but I am excited for him as I know it's best! Wish I had done it sooner, but I just didn't know if he was going to survive.
    Thank you for your advice, it's much appreciated.
     

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