Extreme Novice! Help!

silkiechick05

Songster
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
950
6
139
North Texas
Help! I am getting three little five week old silkie chicks in about six days. I have never had chickens, and this is all so new to me. Very afraid of doing something wrong and killing them.

Any advice?

Thanks!
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boaz

Songster
10 Years
May 26, 2009
273
2
121
Woodville, MS
Yes, don't worry about doing something wrong and killing them. They need feed, probably a chick grower type, water, ours drink only Dasani, a secure coop or pen area from predators. There is a lot of specific information on the site's FAQ. Enjoy! Teasing about the Dasani, but they do need a supply of fresh cool water.
 

OrpingtonManor

Building the Castle
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
2,890
14
201
Martinez, CA
No panic necessary! and
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I had never had chickens before I got mine a year and a half ago. They're sturdier than you think. Mine survived and I really knew nothing. I gave them a heat lamp, but didn't know anything about proper bedding or temps. I didn't have a fancy brooder set up. I didn't have a thermometer. I gave them chick starter, clean water, clean bedding, and lots of TLC. They started getting field trips to the yard when they could fly out of their cardboard box. I just did what made sense, and they grew up just fine. You're getting yours at 5 weeks old, so they are already well-started. Enjoy!!!
 

silkiechick05

Songster
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
950
6
139
North Texas
Thank you guys very much for the support. I am really excited about meeting new people who love chickens and hope to learn a lot from them.

Thanks again for the reassurance!
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lamelde

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 3, 2009
80
1
31
Sparta, WI
I'm a new egg also - got my first chicks a week ago - 5 straight run "mutts" - I picked out 5 with very different colors/markings so I could tell who's who.

They have been living in the kitchen in a microwave box with newspaper (changed out every other day) on the bottom because they can squeeze out between the bars of the dog kennel (a chick came walking into our living room while we were watching tv).

I use clothespins to clamp the plastic 1" square netting stuff in several places around the top rim of the box to keep them in.

I do let them in the kennel brooder when I'm home (they seem to enjoy the extra space) - but at night & when I leave - they go back into the box for saftey (DC - our Darn Cat is quite curious!)

It's messy when they are in the kennel as they flap around alot & pine shavings flies out everywhere - I want to put up a short wall of maybe plexiglass around the base to keep the bedding & more heat inside. Because I plan on more chicks when these move outside.
 

silkiechick05

Songster
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
950
6
139
North Texas
yeah i have a metal wire cage... and i was thinking that i would put a small cat box in it with shaving so they could sit in it before we build our coop. would that work or do you recommend a rubbermaid plastic box more???
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
183
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Quote:
I used my dogs wire kennel cage. The bars were spaced too far apart (chicks could have walked right through), so I twist tied chicken wire all the way around it. But they could still stick their heads through, and it wasn't retaining heat well enough, so I ended tying on cardboard about 10" high around most of the cage, and layed cardboard across the back half of the top.
Wire on the bottom would not be good (mine had a plastic slide tray), but you could just lay a sheet of cardboard in there if that's the case, and put your shaving right on top... It was a big dog cage, and they really enjoyed the room as they got bigger (only 2 weeks now), and they liked being able to see out. We kept them in the t.v. room so that they would be around everyone, inlcuding the dogs and cats.
 
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bawkbawkbawk

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 29, 2009
1,679
115
296
Coastal Southern California
Fairly new to chickens here, too.
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Very jealous that you're getting silkies! They are my dream chicken!

We just used a big cardboard box and filled it with pine shavings. Silkies are banties, right? So they're smaller than standard-size chickens.

At five-six weeks old, we were letting our chicks outside for a few hours a day and I think we actually moved them into the coop at about six weeks even though they weren't :entirely: feathered out. It was summer, though, although we've had a pretty cool summer here this year - I'd say it was in the mid-60's around that time.

I suggest you get busy and get that coop built for maximum happiness, yours and the chickens
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