A couple of newbie chick questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RiotRoo, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. RiotRoo

    RiotRoo In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2015
    I am attempting to hatch some silkie eggs for the first time, and I'm all around fairly new to chickens. I ordered 21 eggs, gave 7 to my broody hen and put 14 in the incubator.

    My first question is for the chicks under my hen, I will need to put a heater in her nest when they hatch right? I know most people say to not give your chickens heat lamps in the coop in the winter, but does that change when you have a hen with new chicks? If so, what temp does it need to be?

    My second question is, how many chicks can a silkie typically care for? My hen only had room to sit on 7 eggs, but once hatched can I give her some of the chicks that are in my incubator? I have read they usually have a better chance of survival when with a mama so I'd like to let her care for as many as she can.

  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don’t know where you are or what your weather is like, but no, you do not need to put any heat source in the coop or near those chicks. Mama hen has a heater that never stops working. Power outages don’t phase her. When the chicks need warming up she will warm them up. Otherwise they will be running around doing what chicks do. You might find this thread helpful.


    Again, I’m not sure what your weather is like. It often helps us if you put your location in your profile so we have some idea of your conditions. In warmer weather a hen can handle more chicks than in cold weather. The chicks are going to grow pretty fast. In cold weather she needs to be able to cover them to keep them warm. In warm weather that’s not nearly as important.

    In any case, sine this appears to be your first time with a broody hen, I’d not let her have any more chicks than the number of eggs she can easily cover even if good weather. Hens and eggs come in different sizes. Some bantam hens can barely cover four full sized hen eggs. Some larger hens can handle a whole bunch of bantam eggs. If you are comfortable with her covering seven eggs, stick with that number.
  4. RiotRoo

    RiotRoo In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2015
    Whoops, I mean to add that I'm in New Hampshire! It gets pretty cold here. Your answer was very helpful, thank you so much!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by