a family friend is giving me 6 6 week old silkie chicks

livisfarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 8, 2014
13
2
49
Northeast Ohio
So these are going to be my first chickens. My husband had chickens growing up and my inlaws still have them. So i have general knowledge but have never done it myslf. Ive been planning on getting a small flock of dual purpose chickens and/or some guineas. A family friend contacted me and asked if i can take her 6 silkies. I knew i wanted silkies eventually for broody mamas but that wasnt going to be my first purchase. My friends husband purchased 20 silkie chicks from tractor supply for their 8 year old daughter. She hasnt showed any interset in them so they dont want them. She said theh have them in a rabbit hutch (im assuming outside) When i get them should i put them in a brooder. I live in North east Ohio its 60/70 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night. Also what issues should i be looking for if they started with 20 and now have 6 im worried what condition they might be in. Thank you for your help!
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
8,570
24,663
857
SW MO
At six weeks old they don't need to be in a brooder, they don't need supplemental heat any more. They still need chick starter or grower feed. They need clean water and protection from predators day and night.
I would look for loose stools, lethargy....you don't want chickens in this condition.
If you click on "articles" above, you will find tons of info on raising chicks.....good luck with yours!
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,698
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Colorado Rockies
Sounds like it's a miracle all 20 didn't die of neglect.

I would give each chick a thorough inspection. Look for lice on the skin around the vent area. You may need to treat with permethrin powder or spray if you see tiny red dots moving around.

Look for signs of malnutrition. Is the keel bone on the breast knife-sharp or lightly padded? How are the stools? Color green and white and watery indicates starving.

How are the appetites? Are the crops filling? How active are they?

On principle, I would get some Poultry Nutri-drench and treat each for at least a week to build them up. If any do have problems, this will "mainline" the necessary nutritional assistance.

Heat is probably not necessary unless you see some individuals in stress, acting like they're not producing body heat and shivering.

I would keep them indoors for a week under close observation.
 

livisfarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 8, 2014
13
2
49
Northeast Ohio
Sounds like it's a miracle all 20 didn't die of neglect.

I would give each chick a thorough inspection. Look for lice on the skin around the vent area. You may need to treat with permethrin powder or spray if you see tiny red dots moving around.

Look for signs of malnutrition. Is the keel bone on the breast knife-sharp or lightly padded? How are the stools? Color green and white and watery indicates starving.

How are the appetites? Are the crops filling? How active are they?

On principle, I would get some Poultry Nutri-drench and treat each for at least a week to build them up. If any do have problems, this will "mainline" the necessary nutritional assistance.

Heat is probably not necessary unless you see some individuals in stress, acting like they're not producing body heat and shivering.

I would keep them indoors for a week under close observation.
Thank you i wanted to know exactly how to look them over. Im planning on keeping them in my inclosed back porch for a week or so. I cant wait to get them home and take care of them. Can i put apple cider vinigar in the water with the nutri-drench?
 

livisfarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 8, 2014
13
2
49
Northeast Ohio
Im picking them up tonight. I guess her daughter freaked out when she found out i was taking them so now i can only take three. I will try to talk her out of the rest when i get there.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,698
24,635
912
Colorado Rockies
They look alert and bright eyed from this end. That's very encouraging.

You now need to give each a close exam, the skin around the vents for signs of lice, make sure their crops are filling up by evening, monitor their poop for any signs of watery green stuff which could indicate poor appetites, and general activeness.
 

livisfarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 8, 2014
13
2
49
Northeast Ohio
Their crops are filling up. They are very active, eating and drinking well. I checked their vents and all looks okay to me i may try to get some pictures of their skin and vents to your opinion but they seem well.
 

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