first-time chickie mama

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pixiechic, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    I'm new to the world of chickens. A neighbor gave us three nearly full-grown white roaster-type chickens (two hens, one rooster) about a month ago, and they have been pretty easy to care for. We keep them in a small coop surrounded by a wire pen. Lost one hen to a predator a couple of weeks later -- we live in a rural area with coyotes and redtail hawks, in addition to all the usual threats -- so now we're religious about closing them up in their coop at night.

    Anyway...as of this afternoon, we have our first babies - a couple of silkies, of indeterminate age. Aren't they adorable?

    [​IMG]

    DH built a great wood/wire brooder for them, and we're keeping the babies in the garage/basement until the weather warms up a bit more. Unfortunately I don't know the first thing about caring for chicks, and I'm reading everything I can here, but any suggestions are welcome.

    Needless to say, our 3 dogs and 3 cats are fascinated, so they are closely supervised around the chicks. One of the dogs is so smitten with the lil' peepers that she growls at the other dogs if they get too close to the brooder. Is this common?
     
  2. S0rcy

    S0rcy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congrats! They're cute! [​IMG]

    Keep them warm with a heat lamp!

    The dog may see the chicks as "hers" If I were you I wouldn't allow this behavior. The chicks are yours, not hers. Could lead to trouble if she keeps thinking it. Just my opinion though. [​IMG]

    Have fun!
     
  3. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    Thanks!

    Yep, we do have a heat lamp hanging above the brooder, and I will check it before bed to be sure it's warm enough. I have hay lining the brooder right now, but will go to the feed store tomorrow and get some pine shavings and "grower" chick food.

    I agree about the dog too. DH has firmly informed her that the chicks don't belong to her, but I have the feeling we will need to repeat that lesson. She's a very gentle and loving mutt -- definitely doesn't have the prey drive that my other two (greyhounds) do -- but you just never know.
     
  4. Vamp-A-Billy Princess

    Vamp-A-Billy Princess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Indiana
    My Lhasa Apso started licking the chickens and sniffing their butts. It was hillarious. She did the same thing to my son when he first came home from the hospital. My other two dogs dont seem very interested. I dont want to let her love on them too much in case she starts thinking they taste like chicken nuggets.
     
  5. Penske

    Penske Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Massachusetts
    They are adorable!!! [​IMG]

    You mentioned "grower" food...they'll need chick starter crumbles. "Grower" is for a different phase (not sure of the time for that).

    Good luck and have fun...we are!!

    Lisa
     
  6. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    Lets see what can I tell you that I had to learn about; oh...pasty butt. If the chicks happen to get pasty butt, make sure to get a paper towel and some warm water, wet the butt really good till it softens a little and clean it off. Because in the beginning I think I lost some chicks from Pasty butt. They can poop because its clogged so to speak around the hole. I know this sounds gross, but its important. Also the little peeps still need a light on them in the brooder. Now....condratulations

    Now your one of us, chicken addicted people.
     
  7. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    Quote:Thank you!! I am already having fun [​IMG]
     
  8. Cheep Mama

    Cheep Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Michigan
    cute babies!!!!
     
  9. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    Help, I can't stop! First the two silkies...then my feed store had some chicks, so of course we had to get more. They had many varieties, so we brought home three Araucanas, three Barred Rocks, three Silver Laced Wyandottes, plus either six RI Reds, or three Reds and three Buff Orpis (the chicks are difficult to tell apart). They are all supposed to be sturdy breeds and good brown-egg layers, and should all be female...we will see.

    [​IMG]

    The silkies are a bit taller than the others, so some of the little ones try to crowd in under them like they would a mama chicken. The babies are energetic, healthy, hungry, and marvelously entertaining to watch! My dog who thinks she's a mama chicken is whining at the moment because I won't let her down there with them.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    My dog watches over our hens and Rooster all the time and we also live in a heavily wooded area with Coyotes and so far (knock on wood) they havent come near the barn and we also lock them up at night. However, if they wish (which they dont ) they could go out in their outdoor pen at night. They roost and dont even go out thank goodness at night. [​IMG]
     

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