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Couple of Questions! Silkie and Cochin: 7.5 Week old Chicks

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I have a couple of questions about my chicks, and rather than hop onto old threads, I thought I would compile all my questions here.


I am a first time chicken owner and I got both of these chicks at 7 days old at the same time. I have a Silver-laced/pencil-laced Cochin named Peridot, and a White Silkie named Noodles. They are currently living inside the house in a homemade 'brooder' (3x2ft BBQ cardboard box) and I will be transferring them to a backyard coop probably this weekend or next.




^ These are at 6.5 weeks old

v These are at 7.5 weeks old



1) Would anyone be able to guess the gender of my Silkie?

2) While we're at it, can anyone confirm the gender of my Cochin? I'm still leaning towards a pullet.

3) My Silkie doesn't like to be picked up, it will struggle to get out of my hold and flap its wings until it get out of my grasp and get to a point where it will be perched on my hand/arm. I assume it doesn't like its wings being restricted as I pick it up, but why?

4) Both chickens would prefer not to be picked up, but are okay with being perched on hand/arm/shoulder. These chickens have been handled daily and been given treats of bits of Walnuts every so often, so I don't really understand why both of them are still so skiddish about me picking them up? The Cochin isn't as bad of a struggler as my Silkie, but every once in a while it squirms out of my grasp.

5) My Silkie will also sit in my lap  with its beak hanging open. I think it may be panting because it's stressed out?

6) I swear these chickens have separation anxiety! If I pick one up, the other will chirp/sqwak loudly if I bring them out of the other's sight. My Cochin will even jump out of the brooder if I carry the Silkie out of its sight.

7) My Cochin is a lot more friendlier than my Silkie. Is it just a Cochin thing? Is it because of the potential of my Silkie being a cockerel? I thought my Silkie would for sure be more friendly and loving because from what I read it's a Silkie thing lol.



I'm not asking everyone to answer every question I have, but if you think you may have an answer to at least one or two of my questions, please comment! I would like as many opinions as possible, too! Thanks :)

post #2 of 10
Hi very cute babies. Your silkie is a cockeral. I'm guessing male because of two things 1. The comb size, 2. The shape of the Crest. Male Silkies tend to have larger combs early on and the crest tends to swoop back with longer portions in the back. female crests are rounder even at that age. look at my Avatar that female was 7 weeks old in that photo. even if the female crests are not as large they don't have the wisps in the back. they have a rounder appearence. of course silkies can be sneaky and it just might change and round out, you never know.
post #3 of 10
it's panting because it's hot not stressed. smile.png
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much. I was hoping for the Silkie to be a pullet. Oh well! until I see an egg or hear a crow ilol still be optimostic about it, but I do understand what you're taking about with the comb.

And that's a relief, I didn't want to be making my Silkie sick with stress! I guess I'll keep the heat lamp off more now, I don't want to overheat them.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Also, are there any Cochin experts around to help with my other questions? 🙂
post #6 of 10
Not an "expert", but nothing about your Cochin screams roo to me, so I'd guess pullet.

For training my chicks to be held, I used treats...specifically live insects (waxworms). Once they were jumping up on my lap and allowing handling on their own, I backed off the treats and replaced it with petting. Two of my chickens made the switch and still enjoy lap time, which is plenty for me! I was mostly wanting them to allow handling without passing out in fear.

The way I found to pick my chicks up with the least amount of struggle is to slide one hand under them from the front and lift (letting the feet dangle) while holding the other hand lightly on their back. They definitely do not like being lifted with one hand on each side over their wings...they probably feel trapped.

Chickens get really nervous and upset when away from their flock. Since your flock consists of just two you probably should get used to having them both out at once.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 



Okay, that first thing is a relief. I'm pretty sure she is a pullet, but it's nice to have second opinions as well :)

And the petting thing sounds good, I'm gonna try to work on that with Walnuts because I haven't fed them any bugs yet. I have the same reason for wanting them to approach me, I want friendly pet lap chickens! lol


And I will work on picking them up like the way you mentioned it.


And yeah I usually do bring them out together, but even when i just pick one up and hold them over the box where they can be seen, they still get nervous and upset. o:

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by SnookumsGal View Post


And yeah I usually do bring them out together, but even when i just pick one up and hold them over the box where they can be seen, they still get nervous and upset. o:

Ah, but predators approach from above, so they will always be nervous when there is something moving over their heads. I think once you transfer them into something where you can approach them from the side instead of from above (I always sit or squat to pick mine up so I don't loom over them) then I think you'll have an easier time.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 


Ah, I had thought about that, but not to that extent. I thought maybe they would be used to me and it wouldn't be a big deal, but I can understand a big tall thing coming at me from above wouldn't make me feel too safe either.


I do have one more question I totally forgot to add:

When I hold Noodles, it just continuously shivers for the first like 10 minutes until it settles down. It's like holding a chihuahua chicken! Is that part of being nervous or something else?


But in other news, my dad worked on sectioning off half of the backyard (we have two big side yards, and a small fenced off 'backyard' that was used as a dog pen) and now I have a nice chicken pen ready for them when they're ready to go outside! Hopefully when I approach them outside it won't be so frightening and then they'll maybe even approach me first? :D


Here are pics of current backyard with an old rabbit hutch for shelter and chicken wire sealing off all entries from predators. We just need to move out that lawnmower and sweep those pine needles out and take of some pea-gravel before we put the chickens out. My dad is there for reference of size. :)

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
@realsis you were right, I heard my first crow today and I'm kinda freaking out because it was so easy to wish that it would end up a pullet. If you check my recent posts, I made a new topic if you have any advice on how to silenece crows?
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