runts?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dftkarin, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I'm a first time chicken owner and I got 7 just hatched chicks on Thursday and plan to keep 3-4 and give the rest to a neighbor (who has chickens, wants a few new pullets). One of the barred rocks is a lot smaller than the others and I've watched her carefully to see what could be wrong. I checked to see if she was pasted, I tried seperating her a bit from the others (still within the brooder) and put down lots of feed on paper towels so she could eat as much as she wanted - but she jumped over the divider to get back with her sisters. She does eat and drink and doesn't seem to be picked on or chased away from food - she's just smaller (and not quite as healthy looking) as the others. I know a real chicken farmer would cull this little chick, right? But I'm only keeping 3-4, and my neighbor will only be getting 3 or 4, so is there anything wrong with keeping a runt as a pet? Will other chickens start to bully her? Might she have a growth spurt and catch up? If I kept her as one of 3, would she still lay eggs and would she have a better life than if she was one of many chickens in a bigger and more established flock? Finally, how do you actually euthenize a chicken if that is what you decide to do?
     
  2. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    We have runts. I am not at the level where I cull any of my chicks that are not as strong as others. At this point it's just not something I can do.
    My runts are just fine. One of them seems a little mentally challenged, but is doing well to fit and and keep up.
    Runts don't bother me.
     
  3. Grindlefamily

    Grindlefamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Fairfield, ME
    We hatched out a runt, and now at 8 weeks old he's the same size as the others that hatched out. You would never know the difference.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    whew - thank you, that is exactly what I hoped to hear!!
     

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