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Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:37 pm
by bonniethomas06
We bought 6 hatching eggs, one of which hatched on Monday.

We waited with baited breath for the others...or at least oneother to hatch, and unbelievably, not one single one of the others has hatched, despite the fact they were all treatedexactly the same and supposedly were laid on the same day.

So now, heartbreakingly, we have one lone chick. It is the saddest thing in the world :( We have tried to arrange to buy some day olds from a local supplier, but they have let us down and we are running out of options. We do have a broody bantam at the moment, but on the offchance she would confuse the chick with one of her own, I put them together - and all she did was try to peck it.

Poor little thing! Anyone have any ideas or know of anywhere else in Wiltshire where we can get day olds at short notice? Or have any experience of raising lone chicks? I really don't want to do this if I can at all help it, after all they are flocking creatures and it must be horrid to be on its own. Would it be better to put it out of it's misery? Don't want to do that either! Sodding incubator!!

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:42 pm
by JulieSherris
Bonnie, have you tried to pop the chick in with your bantam in the dark? If I swap any of my chicks around, I try & do it at bedtime when it's getting really dark - so by torchlight.

I pop the chick in my hand, turn my hand over so the hen can't see it & just slide my hand underneath her - the chick should just snuggle in. Come the morning, the hen won't have remembered how many chicks she had in the first place & just get on with it.

I had a muscovy duck who sat on 6 eggs... she went a whole week over & still nothing - just 6 bad eggs :pale:
My broody hen then hatched 5 duck eggs, so I swiped a couple when she wasn't looking & popped them in with the muscovy, swapping the chicks for the eggs - she's been just THE proudest mum ever since!

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:04 am
by bonniethomas06
Thanks Julie - the Bantam is actually sitting on five unfertilized hen eggs - so she doesn't have any chicks at all of her own. Good idea to try in the dark, it wasn't dark when I tried yesterday, but will try again tonight, you never know. It is a horrid bantam though, we let her sit on eggs just to keep her happy as she is a bit agressive otherwise and doesn't lay anymore anyway.

Will have another try tonight.

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:10 am
by Gert
Hi, I've a broody hen sitting on nothing at the minute. If you are desperate I'll take the chick and try and convince her that she manage to hatch it, but I wouldn't worry too much about it being on it's own though. The biggest problem you are likely to get is if it is a cock bird then it will be too humanised by the time it's fully grown and the human ladies of the house might find it gets a bit over friendly.

You definitely don't need to kill it.

oh and hello eveyone, sorry it's been a while. Things have been rather hectic over the last year, but are settling down again a bit now.

Cheers Gert

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:07 am
by red
i have fostered lots of chicks onto broody hens successfully - once we thought it had gone wrong - but it was daylight and when we tried again after dark it went fine. I often hatch in the incubator, and then foster them onto a broody hen. (you should see the look of smug they wear when it appears they have hatched 14 hens out of 2 eggs after only a week!)

the chick is a few days old, but you might get away with it

go down after dark, as Julie says, very minimal light for you to see by, hold the chick in your hand, with the back of your hand upmost, and slip it under the hen from behind. if she pecks, it will be your hand that gets it. Retreat and listen. if you hear little clucks thats a good sign.. if you hear a fight break out.. rush in and save it.

I always feel nervous and a bit sick when i do this.. but it is by far the best if they have a mum to look after them.

I'd leave the eggs under her until she accepts the chick.. but if you can put food and water where the chick can reach it, so much the better. if the hen is still sitting on the eggs firmly after another day, I'd slip down and steal them away and leave her with just the chick.

Failing that, I would keep it and keep trying to buy some day olds

good luck :hugish:

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:15 pm
by bonniethomas06
Thanks all, and for the offer Gert. The thing is the broody can hear it cheeping, and is already pecking the air before it has gone in the coop. However it was light, so I will try again this evening after dark and hopefully if this doesn't work we will have sourced some day olds anyway - a few people are supposed to be getting back to us.

Will keep you posted.

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:19 pm
by Gert
Good luck :-)

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:38 pm
by JulieSherris
I think all my ladies are just used to being confused & confuddled by the feeding lady's doings.....
Our Mama Cass hen has now gotten fed up of bringing her 2 week old ducks up now, so she's decided to head back to the flock. The 2 ducks weren't amused in the slightest, so they've moved in with the Muscovy & the other 2 ducks there! The Muscovy obviously can't count & doesn't know the difference between gold ducklings & black ones & hasn't even noticed that her brood has doubled!

In the meantime, another of the copper black ladies has just hatched 3 out of her 4 eggs... I was short of eggs when she went into her broody mode, so she got 2 turkey & 2 duck eggs! I wasn't even sure if the turkey eggs were fertile, but we now have 1 turkey chick & another 2 ducks :cheers:
They do look funny all together though!

Morris, our Muscovy 'drake' from Camille, is at the end of week 1 sitting on 6 muscovy eggs - fingers crossed, I love Muscovy chicks :iconbiggrin:

I'm quite glad that I decided to leave the incubator alone this year & just leave it to the girls.

Now.... geese.... I am rather liking the idea..... anyone kept those??

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:42 pm
by red
one of my muscovy ducks has hatched 8 ducklings.. totally cute!

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:38 pm
by JulieSherris
red wrote:one of my muscovy ducks has hatched 8 ducklings.. totally cute!
Aren't they just the best! I love our muzzies, we have the 4 girls & Monty the drake. They're funny when they all get together & have their little meetings, all squeaks & hisses & waggy bums! :lol:

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:30 pm
by snapdragon
Gert wrote: //-/oh and hello eveyone, sorry it's been a while. Things have been rather hectic over the last year, but are settling down again a bit now.

Cheers Gert
:D good to hear things are settling, was just down your way on thursday and wondered how you all were :iconbiggrin:

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:08 am
by bonniethomas06
Don't worry, we managed to get hold of 5 day olds on Friday - so our little chick is not on its own anymore. You can tell it is happy, there was no fighting or anything, they all just snuggled up together in a big heap. So sweet!!

I will post a picture this evening, we got our camera working again. Thanks for all the advice though.

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:05 pm
by red
glad you found some :)

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:03 pm
by bonniethomas06
As promised.... the lone chick is a little bigger than the rest (being older) and they do occasionally try to get underneath it but generally they get on fine and it is lonely no more!
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Aww

Re: Lonely Chick :-(

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:33 pm
by little blue duck
just read this whole thread in one go .... so thanks, I love a happy ending!!

little chick looks just fine. :cheers: