3 & 1/2 Week Silkie Chicks

Katniss_Everdeen

Chirping
Nov 24, 2020
82
115
63
Australia
Hi all!
I have 3, 3 1/2 week silkie chicks and they are the most adorable things ever! I love them so much! We bought them at a week old, unsexed. The person we bought them off offered that if we got any males (since we can't have any males where we live, our girls are loud enough 😜) we could take them back and swap them for a girl, which I am very grateful for, otherwise we'd have to cull it. Does anyone have any foolproof ways of sexing them young, or do you just have to wait until they either crow or begin laying? How old will they be when that happens? What is the likelihood of getting a male?

Also, I put a roost/perch (10cm above ground) in about 5 days ago and they haven't even pecked at it let alone jumped on it. Is this normal because they don't have their Mumma to teach them? Is there something I should be doing to help them figure it out?

When should I be introducing them to the rest of the flock (we have 3 langshan bantams and 4 Rhode island red x? I am thinking at 5 weeks and then 3 days separation to get used to everything and then 4 days being kept in the run before being allowed to free-range (obviously slowly easing into the whole day free-ranging over a week or so period). Does that seem reasonable and/or safe?

Also, any suggestions on anything related would be appreciated!
 

SulkyBantam

Flock Consultant
Nov 3, 2020
2,068
5,456
263
Ireland
You can tell a bit before they lay, by streamers + hackles, and roos often crow before girls lay, but its too early to tell yet. Maybe about 6 wks introduce them...
What will the breeder do with the roos?
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
May 5, 2020
4,397
10,505
466
Big Island, Hawaii
Congratulations on your new babies!🥰
If you can’t wait to know, you can send plucked feathers in to be DNA tested for gender. Costs about $14 per bird.
I did this with my six silkies and ended up with three boys and three girls. Was able to rehome two of the boys to a friend who is a breeder. Kept one.
Otherwise you will have to wait until minimum 3 months of age, likely longer.
Silkies are famously difficult to gender ID.😊
Silkies are not really into perching. Mine sit an a little shelf with some shavings on it.
They also generally need ramps up to their sleeping area. One of mine is actually quite capable of flying short distances, I think she does it out of sheer determination more than ability!😂
I would wait a bit longer to integrate, but you can read detailed integration tips in the different threads on the forum.
I do not let my Silkies free range as they are quite defenseless. We have daytime predators in our area. I know others who do without problems. Personal choice there.😊
 

Katniss_Everdeen

Chirping
Nov 24, 2020
82
115
63
Australia
Congratulations on your new babies!🥰
If you can’t wait to know, you can send plucked feathers in to be DNA tested for gender. Costs about $14 per bird.
I did this with my six silkies and ended up with three boys and three girls. Was able to rehome two of the boys to a friend who is a breeder. Kept one.
Otherwise you will have to wait until minimum 3 months of age, likely longer.
Silkies are famously difficult to gender ID.😊
Silkies are not really into perching. Mine sit an a little shelf with some shavings on it.
They also generally need ramps up to their sleeping area. One of mine is actually quite capable of flying short distances, I think she does it out of sheer determination more than ability!😂
I would wait a bit longer to integrate, but you can read detailed integration tips in the different threads on the forum.
I do not let my Silkies free range as they are quite defenseless. We have daytime predators in our area. I know others who do without problems. Personal choice there.😊
Thanks so much on your reply. Maybe I should make them a little platform or something instead of a perch. We don't have many daytime predators here but we have to lock them up well before dark. Does anyone have any links to good integration forums or articles?
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
May 5, 2020
4,397
10,505
466
Big Island, Hawaii
I can’t figure out how to put the links in but if you search under “integrating chicks into an existing flock” you will get all kinds of information. You can also look under the articles section. Good luck😊
 

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