Returning chick to mama

Chickmom99

Hatching
Sep 24, 2021
4
6
9
I had an almost 3 week chick break its leg. Since it is sexed and my only aracauna, I went to vet. She prescribed moloxicam and taped up leg. I put baby back with mama (1 of 3 chicks we added to a broody hen). She initially welcomed it back 2 hours later, but baby immediately started flinging its leg around trying to remove bandage - and then she FREAKED out. And basically attacked the chick. I dived back in, and removed it. Think I should keep bandage on for 4 days (vet recommendation before I will have to remove due to rapid growth) and separate them. My question: is this the right approach? Has anyone added back a chick after a few days or even a week? Currently, the chick is on her own in a box in the house. Completely silent (maybe due to 1st dose of drugs). If I remove another chick for her, then there is only 1 with the hen! Thanks!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
129,081
416,846
2,027
New Jersey
:welcome You can provide a mirror for company. If/when you return it to the mother, monitor closely as she may now regard it as a 'stranger' and attack. Do not return it to the mother as long as it is bandaged.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,306
23,653
907
Southeast Louisiana
Hi, welcome to the forum from Louisiana. Glad you joined but wish it were in better circumstances.

Some hens will try to mother any chick, even if they are a few weeks old. Others bond to their own only. I don't know if yours would welcome the chick back after the bandage is removed or not. Some hens would, some would not. That's one of the problems with this type of thing, each chicken is different, you can't be sure what they will do. That's the hen or any of the chicks.

It sounds like your hen and the two remaining chicks are isolated from the rest of the flock. I'm not sure what your weather is like, how much those three week old chicks need heat. I've had broody hens wean chicks at three weeks. I'm trying to think of options and see if I'd recommend one approach.

I don't know if that chick is lethargic because of the medicine, it may be in pain or shock, or it might be resting after a tiring ordeal. I'd make sure it was eating and drinking. You can get different boosters from the feed store but you could use sugar water. I use hummingbird liquid. I put a drop of the liquid on the tip of its beak so it can swallow it. Do not force it down the throat, you could drown it. The sugar gives it energy and the liquid keeps it hydrated. Hopefully it will eat and drink on its own. And keep it warm in case it is suffering from shock.

One option is to keep the chick isolated for the four days and then try to put it back with the others. In addition to the mirror you might put a stuffed animal in there for it to cuddle with. It would be nice if you could house it where the broody hen could see it but not get to it. I don't know if your set-up could handle that.

I would not separate the other two. If you take one away from the broody take both. That will make integration after the broody weans it or them easier. You could try to put both chicks with the injured chick to keep it company and break the hen from being broody. If you try this there is a risk the two chicks would attack the injured chick like the broody did. Maybe set up a split brooder if they do attack it where you house the two across wire from the injured chick.

There are some tweaks to those but I can't come up with any other options. I'd probably try to heal the chick and then put if back with the broody and chicks as my primary attempt. If that didn't work you can try either continuing to raise it by itself, hopefully where it can see the others, or put the two chicks with it and see if that works. There is risk any way you go.
 

Chickmom99

Hatching
Sep 24, 2021
4
6
9
Thanks very much for the advice! Have put in a mirror and stuffed toy and it was quiet overnight and is chirping this morning and only occasionally calling for friends. Will try a seperate contained cage back in the coop so mum and the other chicks can see it. Think will have to bring it in at night as about 10C
 

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