Q: I purchased three day-old chicks on May 4th. I also ordered a fourth chick which was supposed to arrive on the 9th. Unfortunately, the chick didn’t arrive until this Monday. I was hoping I could put this tiny chick in with the older ones (guess they’d be almost two weeks old now), but one of them started pecking her so I had to divide my brooder with a screen. Now my poor little day-old chick is all alone on one side of the screen and she seems lonely. Do you have any suggestions for when it will be safe to put her in with the others? Should I consider getting another very young chick in the next day or two so she will have a friend to play with?
A: A small friend wouldn’t hurt, but if you keep them separated by a wire wall for about 2 weeks they should be fine. Make sure you give them plenty of space when you put them back together. When you do, I would watch them for a little while. The smaller one will probably start getting pecked, which is normal. Just make sure the other chickens don’t start attacking her. A good general rule is that as long as the chick doesn’t start bleeding she should be fine. The amount of pecking should also start to decrease. If the chick gets pecked to the point of bleeding or the other chickens relentlessly attack her, even when they have ample space, they need to be separated longer.