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a couple of questions from a newbie

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HoP, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. HoP

    HoP In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    Hi all,
    Question one:
    I am a new mom to two 3 week old (Easter Egger and Buff Orpington) and two 2 week old (blk and white Silkie) chicks. I have noticed they sure shake their heads alot and scratch. Is this normal or could they have mites? I guess I am over paranoid after reading a few things here on the forum.

    Question two:
    Right now I have them all together in a big unused large sink in garage with high sides. The Buff is getting very big compared to the others,so she is very pushy with the others. The EG has almost all her feathers and is very sweet! The two Silkies don't seem to be growing as fast as the other two have been. They are both still small, the black being the tiniest and therefore gets pushed around more. Should I seperate them until the Silkies get a bit bigger? I read Buffs are friendly, but this one seems to be very bossy and even comes charging over pecking at me..(I was told she had been sexed),so I am going to assume its because she is the biggest. (I call her Bossy Britches). Just curious if I should seperate for right now.


  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Welcome to the forum!

    You should be able to see mites if you look carefully, or their eggs on the feather shafts. Silkies are quite prone to mites, I have read. They come from wild birds so in a garage there is certainly a chance.


    If they were mine I would first try giving them a bunch more room. Unless it is awfully cold where you are, you should at least be able to get them out on the ground during the day.
  3. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Songster

    Feb 23, 2010
    Central Washington
    It's definately not warm enough in Portland to get the chicks outside during the day. New little chicks shake and scratch a lot any way. They're growing in their new feathers and all that shaking and scratching helps get the itchy dead skin and such out of the way and helps fluff out their new feathers. Do you have something down on the bottom of the sink. A slick surface isn't too good for chicks to be on, but as long as you have wood shavings, paper towels, or pellets or something it should be ok. It's really up to you if you separate them. They might just be establishing a pecking order. But if you watch them and any injuries appear I think I would separate her.
  4. crazygoatlady915

    crazygoatlady915 Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Buff orpingtons are bigger birds so the silkies may never catch up. I'm surprised that the orpington is coming over and pecking your hand unless she associates your hand with treats that is. More room for the growing chicks might help. if you decide to separate them, the take out the buff orpington because she will be easier to reintroduce to the flock later.
  6. HoP

    HoP In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    Thanks for the input!
    The sink is all retrofitted for chickens. I did my homework on getting a good place for them. I put down shavings, there is the heat lamp..the sink is about 3ft long..water bottle thingy and feeder. I change the shavings every two days. I put some paper down first then the shavings..
    Yeah the silkies are way too little for outside..they are tiny! Its still cold here and of course, lovely rain! ugh! [​IMG]
    The Easter Egger is the most friendliest..she loves to roost on my arm or hand. The Buff gets jealous and has to push her off or try and get on as well. There is a tiny part of me that thinks she might be a he..hope not:fl
    Here next week, I am pulling out the kiddy pool I have and then putting chicken wire around that since my little bossy britches Buff is now trying to fly around..yeah, she is flapping around and trying to lift off..lol anyway then keeping them in there while they grow. I have a chicken coop being made.
    From reading I am thinking first of June for outside?? That would be about eight weeks for all of them..or maybe sooner:idunno If anyone has input on that..

    Thanks again!

    Here is the Buff and the one silkie and the EG..what a difference in seven days in age!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

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