New flock owner - questions about my 3+ month old silkies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MoreCowdog, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. MoreCowdog

    MoreCowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Hi everyone,

    It's taken a long while from deciding to get chickens to finally get to this point. Over the summer my girlfriend's dad and I built a Garden Ark coop, and in mid-October I purchased 4 silkie chicks that were a few weeks old. They were raised by a friend of mine who has a good setup to keep them warm and inside. Now that they are feathered (or fluffed) as the case may be, I brought them home over the weekend. One turned out to be a rooster so he stayed with their flock, no roosters are allowed in my town by ordinance.

    So far they are great, they are very adorable, docile birds, easy to handle, bordering on friendly!

    My question concerns some of their behavior so far. They will huddle outside in the covered/enclosed run at night instead of using the ramp to go into the roost box. I physically picked them up and put them inside, to show them where it is. Similarly, in the morning, I went outside after it's been light for an hour and moved them back into the run where their food and water are located.

    Is this pretty typical? I realize they don't have an older bird to show them around and was just curious if I'm doing this right. Also, should there be food and water inside as well?

    My final concern is about the slope of the ramp, which is pretty much exactly 45 degrees. In doing some reading, it seemed this would be fine, but I am also wondering if that's part of the issue for them to go inside on their own. This is the second night at home and I realize we're all pretty new to this!

    Thanks in advance for any help. I attached a couple photos below of the girls

    ![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. cutechick53

    cutechick53 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there ridges on the ramp? They generally won't walk on a slippery ramp. What is the temperature of the coop? If its to cold or hot in the coop they won't go inside.
    Oh, and [​IMG] and congrats on your silkies!
     
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  3. MoreCowdog

    MoreCowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you! Appreciate your help and writing back! There are ridges on the ramp about 5-1/2" or 6" apart, you may be able to make them out in the first photo. The roost box is mostly outdoor ambient temperature (Seattle, WA) it ranges from about high 30s to low 50s this time of year. I got one of the plastic covered heating pads for them which keeps them warm when laying on it. It really isn't designed to heat up the space inside at all. They seem to like laying on it, as that's where I found them this morning.
     
  4. sniper338

    sniper338 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas
    My birds sleep outside their coop in the run most nights lately all huddled together instead of going inside... then sometimes i find them all inside together... i cant figure it out yet... they probably are comfortable with the temp is all i can guess... blocking the wind is the major issue... birds can with stand below freezing easily with no extra heat sources... its the wind that kills em.. literally
     
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  5. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Chillin like a Villain Premium Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    Hi! [​IMG]

    I have a small combined coop/run for my chicks once they're out of the brooder. I had Easter Egger and Silkie X chicks together. They also huddled in the corner together for night. I used my butterfly net to herd them chick by chick up the ramp before dusk. It took about 2-3 days for the EE's to catch on and 3-4 days for the Silkies. After that was done, they went in every night by themselves like clockwork.

    We moved everyone to a winter coop and it's taken a few days for everyone to figure out the how to get in the pop door while shut in the run. Every chicken's got themselves inside for a few nights, so I let them out to free range because the weather's been so spectacular. Now some are confused and need help getting back in the run. Tonight a Silkie cross I hatched was about 1/4 mile down the road when my husband came upon him.[​IMG] We got his fuzzy butt back to the coop. [​IMG]

    So far this has been our experience...lol.
     
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  6. dlp40

    dlp40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2015
    Florence sc
    All chicks take a while to learn where "home" is. I had the same issue with my mixed flock this past spring. Each night for 3 nights i picked them up from the furthest and most difficult place in the run the reach and placed them in their coop.
    One bit of advice i would give is, don't take them out of the coop in the morning. By them not having to come down the ramp in the morning they don't understand that they need to go up it at night. I hope you find this little tid bit useful and congrats on you silkies, my daughter just got herself 5 as an early christmas present. So far we love the little fluff balls
     
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  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Chillin like a Villain Premium Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    I totally agree. I don't remember having any issues with letting them out in the morning. Once one starts going the rest usually tend to follow. [​IMG]
     
  8. MoreCowdog

    MoreCowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the replies and welcome everyone!

    Well I'm pleased to report that sometime this morning while I was gone at work they seemed to figure out how to use the ramp on their own!! The next trick will be seeing if they put themselves in at night tonight too!

    They grow up so fast...here I am missing out on all these milestones in their development, by going off to work to earn money to so they can have high quality mealworms and feed. ;D
     
  9. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Chillin like a Villain Premium Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    That's fantastic! [​IMG] I'm so glad to hear it's all coming together. [​IMG] for tonight. I know what you're saying...they're SO sweet and they grow up so darn fast!

    Speaking of which I should go and check on mine, see if they're behaving...lol.[​IMG]
     
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  10. MoreCowdog

    MoreCowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Well the girls were all sleeping outside again when I came home from work this evening, so they know how to go down the ramp, but not up. I put them back inside again. Hopefully after a few days they will start to catch on! I may try bribing them with mealworms on each of the rungs to try and see if I can encourage them to go up the ramp tomorrow.
     

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