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An orphan chicken, what should I do if I find it?

An orphan chicken, what should I do if I find it? -- My animals

Animal care

An orphan chicken, what should I do if I find it?

Every year during spring and summer, hundreds of thousands of bird chickens decide to embark on adventure and jump out of their nests. The problem is that they are still dependent on their parents and cannot fend for themselves. So what should I do if I find an orphan chicken?

How to act before the sighting of a chick

When people find a chick on the ground, they get alarmed and take it to take care of it. The problem is that it is not always an orphan chicken, but that it is an animal practicing for tomorrow to fend for itself. And taking us away from helping him, it only means taking him away from parents who still took care of him.

On the contrary, there are other chickens that, without being prepared, fall from the nest, are thrown or lose their parents. Those are the true orphans. But how do we differentiate them?

What is involved is to see if his parents continue to take care of him. For this, the most advisable thing is to look for a nearby place, safe from possible predators, where their parents can find it.. Then we walked away for a few hours, to give them time to do it.

Keeping you at a prudential distance of 15-20 meters, observe and check if adults bring food to the chick, or if they maintain an auditory connection through the claim.

Is it finally an orphan chicken?

How can we know what bird it is?

Recognizing all species, especially in such young members, is beyond the reach of any person. However, it is very important to know about the biology of our chick.

The shape of the beak can guide us to know what you eat:

  • A thin beak is used to hunt mosquitoes.
  • One robust and short, to break seeds.
  • A dagger-shaped beak, to fish aquatic animals.
  • The hook shape, to tear prey.

Beware of protected species!

If you find a buzzard chicken, kestrel or owl, for example, you should go to the authorities or to a wildlife recovery center. However, if it is a swallow or other insectivore, even if they are protected, you may be able to assist in its rehabilitation.

Types of orphaned chickens


They are totally dependent chickens at birth, the most difficult to raise and release. This is the case of birds of prey and garden birds.


They are chickens capable of escaping a few hours after leaving the egg, however, they need parents to give them food or teach them how to get it. It is the case of ducks, pheasants and partridges.

Handling an orphan chicken

How to avoid imprinting in people?

Failure to apply special care, the chicken can identify us as individuals of its own species. If they constantly maintain contact with humans or other pets, they should not be released afterwards because they will not survive in the wild. How then do we avoid this situation?

  • If we have several chickens to rehabilitate, they are of the same species and of similar ages, keep them together and reduce your presence to what is strictly necessary. And every time you appear, try to imitate the sound that adult individuals would make.
  • If we only have one chicken, learn about the habits of that species, and use tricks such as putting a mirror in front of you to think that there is another chicken, mimics the sounds of your species, uses decoys …

Release Preparation

When the young volantón already has the feathers sufficiently developed to fly, we must provide enough space for him to musculate and learn to find the food himself. For this, the ideal is to have an outer cage with branches, hangers and innkeepers, at different heights, so that you can practice.

In addition to eating alone, now the chicken should look for the food that we will hide in the cage.

Release of an orphan chicken


The birds should be released as soon as possible, and ideally do so in the place where we found them. If this could not be the case, certain measures will have to be taken. For example, place a box at the point of release with our bird inside, so that it recognizes the place for at least one hour before opening it.

It is very important to free the bird first thing in the morning so that it has time to locate and find food before it gets dark. You also have to choose a warm day.

Spring comes, and with it the breeding period of many birds; when a chicken is found on the ground many do not know how to act, but it is important not to take that bird home. Read more “

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