had to bring 8 week old silkie chicks inside - now what?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by technodoll, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's -5C (23F), even with the heat lamp on in the partly-insulated coop my two baby silkies looked miserably cold.

    Our new young pullet that's in the sectioned-off portion of the coop with them has been blocking their access to food and water all day, they're terrified of her (she needs to be isolated from the flock as they were tearing her feather off). I have nowhere else to put her.

    So hubby and I brought the babies into the house and put them in a room downstairs with the heat on and put them in a small wicker hamper with a towel on the bottom, a small bowl of water and some food. The hamper has a lid and air flows through.

    Um, what do we do now?

    I was thinking of buying a dog crate for them so they can stay in the house for a couple of weeks, until they get some more feathers grown in and put on some weight. Let them have some free time in the room a couple hours a day?

    How much space do growing chicks need?

    Any special care?

    When will they be strong enough to rejoin the coop? It's not going to get any warmer before spring, on the contrary [​IMG]

    Help!
     
  2. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this morning I put them in one of our spare bathrooms with tiled heated floors (dogs will have to drink elsewhere!).

    Oh my god they stink.

    Well their poop stinks - they spilled water on both towels I laid out for them and then pooped on them and keep tipping their food bowls - gaaaah!

    I found a flat square dish for the water and dumped the pellets on the towels, they have a box to hide in and lots of warmth, peace and quiet now. No more stress.

    How do I hasten the growth of feathers and fatten them up so they can go back to the coop asap?

    Anyone?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    how old are they? are they fully feathered?
     
  4. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are 8 weeks old and I can see their blue skin through their light fluff around the neck, belly, and under the wings...
     
  5. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know...


    i have some inside that are four weeks old and it is 70 F outside...
     
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd brave it out and keep them in the coop in their corner under the heat lamp but I have a young half-naked scared (re: roo-abused) pullet that needs to be kept from the flock's pecking, and she hogs the heat lamp and terrifies the silkie chicks - that's why I brought them inside...

    They seem to like it here, but they STINK!

    Hubby will only be patient for so long... [​IMG]

    I only have layer feed available, what can I add to it to help the chicks grow nice and plump and feathered?
     
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    Could you isolate the pullet in a dog crate, near the lamp?
     
  8. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    My Coop
    I know it is hard to be patient with babies, but they will only grow so fast. And you don't want to give them layer food until a week or so before you suspect they will start laying. It is not good for babies. Can cause problems with their developement. Just feed them their started food and maybe you can move them to the garage? They do stink, unless you keep picking up poop all day long. Are they the only silkies you have? What is the breed of the pullet that was picking on them? And how olds is she? Integrating is not always easy, if you can put them together somewhere other than the coop a few times supervised, then maybe try again in the coop for an hour or two, getting longer each day. I would wait a week or two before you put them out there full time though.

    Typically the word on here is to wait to integrate chickens when they are fully feathered and about the same size.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you isolate the pullet in a dog crate, near the lamp?

    See, that's the problem: I don't have a dog crate and can't afford $90 to buy one. Plus the coop is built in a way that the heat lamp wouldn't be enough for everyone [​IMG]

    I know it is hard to be patient with babies, but they will only grow so fast. And you don't want to give them layer food until a week or so before you suspect they will start laying. It is not good for babies. Can cause problems with their developement. Just feed them their started food and maybe you can move them to the garage? They do stink, unless you keep picking up poop all day long. Are they the only silkies you have? What is the breed of the pullet that was picking on them? And how olds is she? Integrating is not always easy, if you can put them together somewhere other than the coop a few times supervised, then maybe try again in the coop for an hour or two, getting longer each day. I would wait a week or two before you put them out there full time though.

    The babies will never lay, they are roos. And I cannot buy 50 lbs of starter food for two babies that are already 2 months old (I can't buy smaller bags at the co-op stores, it's all they have), I will be stuck with the food for a year and it will spoil. So they have to eat layer food, the breeder said it's all more or less the same anyways.

    I don't have a garage, it's getting to below 20F and the only heated place is our house... I have an old very drafty uninsulated coop I could use but birds would freeze. I'm really stuck [​IMG]

    I have three other silkies (about 7 months old, two roos and a pullet) that want nothing to do with the chicks, and the other new pullet who looks like a war victim is a black sex link, 16 weeks old, with a very long and very sharp beak. She was ripping the fluff out of the chicks' back, it was terrible.

    Bah. I'll pick up silkie chick poop pretty much all day, paper towels are cheap anyways... But I hope to be able to put them back in the coop soon or else the flock will never accept them. Of course they will be separated from the bigger birds for a couple months (while sharing the same coop), I don't want a bloodbath!

    Thanks peeps!​
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep a lookout on craiglist, your local paper, or any free classifieds site for a dog crate. Or you can frame a cage easy enough out of 2x4s, use a shallow plastic tub for the bottom of it. (think of the long ones you can use for under the bed storage) and use rabbit wire. It's always good to have spare cages on hand.

    If you do find a dog crate used, it needs to be a large or extra large in case this goes long term through the winter.

    You can order 5 lb bags of chick starter online and have it delivered! I paid $7.99 plus shipping, which is alot when compared to $12 for 50 pounds... but I didn't want or need that much.

    Shredded paper, newspaper, or that "papery" gray colored rodent bedding is good for indoor bedding. Cheaper than paper towels. Shavings have a nice smell... but it'll get everywhere in the house unless you put them in something that has solid sides about a foot up.
     

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