Baby chick be alone

Question

Baby chick be alone: My son has 2 baby chicks that he hatched in his class at school. One of them started showing some signs of spraddle legs and we tried hobbling it and that worked for a while, but one of it's legs was deformed and is turning out away from it's body and isn't of much use to it.

The chick gets it caught on things while it is trying to get around. Both Chicks are now 8 weeks old and are growing great, but the one with the leg problem seems to have gotten worse.

It doesn't get around very well now at all and lays around most of the time. It still eats and drinks well but will even lay down to do that. Now it can't even hold itself up like it used to on the one leg.

It seems to have broken it's toes on both feet. When it is standing it looks like it is doing the splits and if it really wants to get somewhere it flies.

We are thinking of putting it down so that it isn't suffering, but we don't want to leave the other one alone.

We have adult chickens too but we aren't sure when we can move it in with them.
Should we go and buy an 8 week old chick to replace the one we are putting down? We also have 2 week old chicks should we put it with them?

Answer
Putting this one down is going to be the kindest thing for it. You didn't say what breed these two are.

Sounds like they might be Cornish Cross, a fast growing breed designed to be butchered at 6 - 8 weeks. Often they get too heavy for their own legs.

Sounds like you have done a lot to help it and for whatever reason, it's physically unable to live a normal life.

I would suggest trying the single chick with the two week old's after it's alone for several days. Possibly from lack of company, it will appreciate being added to the little flock, but there are no guarantees.

Chicks of different sizes often don't get along. I would definitely add the older chick to the brooder with the younger ones.

It will tend to feel uncertain in a strange place with new companions. Due to being bigger and more mature, it may bully smaller chicks, but that doesn't always happen.

If you purchase another 8 week old, there is a chance they may not get along. It's probably best to try to stick with what you have.

I've never had good success adding smaller chickens to an adult group without a mother hen. The adults generally see the new little ones as trespassers in their space and without a mother hen to protect them and keep the peace, smaller chickens are often bullied mercilessly.

I like to wait to introduce the young when they are adult size and able to defend themselves better. Pecking order in flocks can be brutal.

It's a protective and territorial survival instinct and not mean. With plenty of food and space and when not adding young roosters into a flock with a mature rooster, the bullying shouldn't get life threatening; if the size difference isn't much and all are healthy and familiar with flock life and how to stay out of trouble.

Some chickens are very dominant and can be hurtful to any that are weaker physically or in attitude. But each chicken has it's own personality.

I've had a little banty rooster run a full sized rooster to exhaustion, but also had a neighboring rooster come and live in a flock with 2 adult roosters quite peacefully for several months.

It's best to make introductions when you have time to watch and referee, if needed.

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