3 Silkie Bantam hens/1 Bantam roo

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by laturcotte1, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 bantam silkie hens and one bantam roo. A few things are happening and I have questions. Two hens were best buds with the roo and one was a loner always over in the corner by herself. I never saw them pick on her she just separated herself from them. Then the two hens started to brood, they have been on the nest for 8 days now. The loner has now become very close to the roo but at night she goes in and sits very close to the other two hens. Will this change the order of dominance. Will she be able to join in when they are done nesting? Also the two brooding hens are laying side by side on one nest with 3 eggs. Will this be a problem if they hatch; who's mama hen? It dipped below 45 degree last night so this morning I hooked up the heat lamp but stays in mid 70's during the day. Should I keep it on 24/7. They are nesting on the floor in the corner under a shelf on a hay nest with shavings on the floor the coop is 12x6. They have 24/7 grain/water/grit and access to a secure outside run from 6a-6p. The 2 hens came out this morning to pick at the grass a little then ran back in. I am hoping they will hatch these babies themselves, what are the chances? We are a rescue and we really don't promote breeding but I didn't have the heart to pull them off the nest once they were sitting. His name is Coco but the 3 hens little white balls of fuzzI can't tell apart so I haven't named them. Oh one more, question the roo is not a silkie what the heck do you think they will look like?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The one thing I can say with certainty is, you do not need to provide a heat lamp. The eggs get all the heat they need from the mama's body heat, and so will the chicks. Chicken behaviors are just not predictable enough to tell you how their pecking order will go. But I can tell you that Silkies are some of the best chickens when it comes to hatching eggs and raising chicks. They will take care of everything. The only precaution is, if you purchase a laying mash for the egg layers, the chicks should not have access to it for about 3 months, as the extra calcium is harmful to their organs. If you feed a general purpose feed to the flock, then your layers may at some point need a source of extra calcium to prevent the shells from getting soft or thin.

    Whoever becomes the chicks' mother will probably keep the other hens away from the chicks for a month or two. If two of them mother chicks, they might keep their chicks away from each other, or they might raise them together.


    good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  3. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    Can I give crumbles to all for 3 months then restock the 16% layer pellets?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    You can feed everyone a feed like starter, grower or flock raiser that doesn't have the added calcium that layer feed has, yes. "Crumble" is a texture, not a formula, just as pellets is a texture. I know starter is often sold in crumble form, but layer may also come as crumbles.

    When I have chicks in the flock, I usually feed a combination starter/grower because that's what is mostly available around here, and I put out oyster shell separately, in case the laying hens want the calcium. I've never seen the chicks bother the oyster shell.
     

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