What I Learned from Rescuing Two-Week Old Chicks
Have you ever thought about adopting or rescuing chickens? You’ve seen the posts on Craig’s List offering chickens free to a “good home.” You are thinking about undertaking an amazing journey. Here are a few things you should know before you say “Yes, I take them!”
What I learned from rescuing a Momma hen and her brood of five, two-week old babies chicks…
- Plan to quarantine them for at least 30 days from the rest of your flock.
- Do not plan to go anywhere significant for at least four weeks and maybe longer.
- If you are new to chicken keeping, plan to join an on-line chicken group and be prepared to ask a lot of questions.
- Expect your chickens to do the unexpected.
- Expect them to not have many of the basic skills such as simple tasks like eating from a chicken feeder or drinking from a waterer.
- Do not expect that they will know how to go in and out of your coop or up and down the chicken ladder. It is quite likely that you will have to teach them those skills.
- Find out what they have been used to eating as chances are that is all they will eat for a while.
- Give them time and space to acclimate to their new surroundings.
- Do not try to pick them up right away and befriend them. Give them plenty of time to adjust.
- Expect to teach them a LOT about how you want them to live in their new home, this means lots of patience.
- Mealworms are a great treat to teaching (bribing?) them what learn they need to know.
- That fall raised babies are a bit more challenging than spring raised chicks due to the cold and the snow.
- That while challenging, the rewards and the fun is exponential to the amount of time put into their development. Even the smallest of milestones is terribly exciting!
We rescued a hen and her five chicks late this fall. These babies are zany, quirky, funny and terribly entertaining. Expect to give your heart away…
More tales of our Chicken Rescue Chronicles and More Chickens Adventures can be found on our blog at the Small House Homestead.
Small House Homestead, Donna