Hello, new to chickens and to this forum

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by kressg23, May 12, 2008.

  1. kressg23

    kressg23 In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    Hi all! I found this forum online and thought I'd come check it out in an effort to learn more about the cute little family members we adopted last week. My husband, 3 daughters, and I decided that we would take on the fun of having chickens a few months ago. My husband works as a handyman and has built us a fantastic coop. We are still finishing it, but since it's still snowing here in Idaho, our new babies are still inside till it's finished. Anyway, so far, we have 4 Bantam chicks. They are 6 weeks old. Two of them are black Dutch and two are Silkies. I'm trying to find extensive info online so I can learn about them (and perhaps do a homeschool project on them with my girls.) However, info is not easy to find. What I have found is that chickens don't crow till they are 4 months old, however, my Black Dutch Rooster has been crowing since we brought him home over a week ago. Also, I found that they won't start laying eggs till they are 4-5 months old. Is that accurate for the Bantam breeds? My one Silkie was missing almost all of its back feathers when we brought it home, which I found out was to allow him/her the ability to grow the pinfeathers. Now, there are new black feathers poking out of the pins. I'd like to learn more about my chickens, what to expect, what things they like, etc. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    I'll be getting 8 more baby chicks via mail order at the end of June and I'm very excited about them too. I want everyone to be happy together, so I want to learn as much as possible about everyone so I can do my best to make that happen. Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Well first of all... WELCOME TO BYC!! I am fairly new to this myself. I have learned so much at this site. The people are wonderful. You have come to the right place for info, friends and fun! Good luck with your chicks!
  3. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Hello [​IMG] and [​IMG] You're going to love it here! There are a lot of very knowledgeable and friendly chicken people that will let you pick their brains! I'm still new so I'm not one of them yet. Well, I'm friendly! [​IMG]

  4. S n M Poultry

    S n M Poultry Songster

    Aug 31, 2007
  5. Cheep Mama

    Cheep Mama Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    Welcome!! I don't know anything about bantam breeds, but many on here do. Someone will come a long to help.
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC! We're so glad you found us.

    I have my first two Silkies - they are only four days old and still complete little fuzz balls.

    Sex-links generally lay eggs sooner than the other breeds. They often start at 17 to 18 weeks old. Most other breed start laying around 20 -22 weeks old with some actually waiting until closer to 30 weeks old.

    Some people have heard their roos trying to crow very young - a couple of weeks old. That's generally not the case but it can certainly happen. Some don't start to crow until they are closer to five months old.

    If you have specific questions (which you do) ask them individually on the appropriate thread and you'll get lots of great info from the people here.

    At this point they should be eating Start & Grow or Starter feed. If they are on Starter you will want to change them over to the Grower around 8 to 12 weeks old. If they are on Start & Grow they can stay on that until they start laying. At that point you will switch them to layer feed and add free choice oyster shell.

    If you give them treats they will need to have access to grit. You can just sprinkle it on their food or offer it in another feeder (a rabbit feeder or tuna can works just great - make sure there are no sharp edges). If they are outside on the ground they will get the grit they need from the dirt, pebbles, etc. and you won't need to offer the grit.

    Have lots of fun and we do need to see pictures of your coop!!![​IMG]
  7. kressg23

    kressg23 In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    Thank you all for the warm welcome!! After visiting with the very nice ladies at My Pet Chicken, we've determined that two of my banties are Black Dutch and the other two are probably Blue Silkies. [​IMG] I'm so happy to finally know their breeds. I'm excited to learn more about them.

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