New Member, with lots of questions!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chelsmariep, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. chelsmariep

    chelsmariep Hatching

    Oct 19, 2014
    Carrollton Texas
    I currently have two birds. One silkie girl and one silkie boy. Given to me by a friend, I gladly took them but had no idea how to care for them. I don't know the breeds, terminology, chicken anatomy, or health requirements. I'm here to learn everything I can to properly care for these fluffy babies. I have an XL dog kennel until my coop is built filled with pine shavings and straw. I got two different bags of chicken feed: one with seeds and corn the other brown ground up starater feed. I want to know if I should buy more chickens, are they lonely with just two? Do I need to bathe them? When my girl gets old enough to lay do I have to buy an incubator? Do I separate the chick's from adults? How much water do chickens need? I also noticed other people's silkies are so much fluffier, with curvy body structures, mine not so much. I'm thinking it's because my chickens cost 99 cents each. How much do silkies usually cost?
  2. Bristow

    Bristow In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2014
    Prepare yourself.... To have a lot if fun and possibly become addicted to silkies!!!! I also took a hen and a rooster (not really knowing what I was doing) back at the beginning of the year and I just love them. Mine have free choice water and feed them the crumbled feed since I read that they can have a hard time eating the pellets. My hen is a good mom and the rooster, well Mr. Sassy pants. He's good to handle but thinks he's huge!
  3. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    So glad you joined! I think that is a fine amount of feed. The two chickens will most likely not get lonely so you don't have to buy more but I would recommend buying 1 or 2 more chicks. You do not need to bathe them but you do need to check for pasty butt. That is when poop gets stuck to the feathers and covers there bottom to the can't go to the bathroom. Incubators are only for when you want to hatch the eggs not for laying them. You should get a waterier for when they are older, for now just make sure you have a small shallow dish always filled with water. If its to deep they could fall and drown. If you have more questions then ask! You can also browse the website![​IMG] If I missed any questions tell me!
    And again Welcome to BYC!
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might like to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping you'll find helpful with your chickens. Do you know how old your Silkies are? You might want to check out some of the silkie threads, here is a long one show silkies tend to have a lot more fluff than hatchery/pet silkies, but they both make good pets.

    They should have water available all the time during the day. Their main food should be the Chic Starter feed, they should have that free choice/ available all the time for them also. With the one with seeds it is probably Scratch (should say something like that on the label), it is a treat for the chickens, not a main food, they should only get a small amount or 1/10 of their food as scratch each day, and usually you don't want to give it to little chicks so you may want to wait depending on how old your silkies are...

    You don't need to bathe them unless they are dirty. With the eggs, silkies are usually pretty broody, so most will sit and hatch their own eggs (check out the articles on broody hens in the learning center). You can also buy an incubator and hatch the eggs yourself if you want. If the hen raises the chicks you can usually keep them with the adult chickens if you have plenty of room, if you hatch them in an incubator and don't have a broody hen to give them to, you will need to raise them until they are about adult size and then combine them with the flock (check out the Adding To Your Flock article in the Learning Center).
    1 person likes this.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Kelsie's given you some good advice. Good luck with your birds!
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop

    Kelsie and familyfarm have given you good advice.

    I want to know if I should buy more chickens, are they lonely with just two? Two or more is the limit. They will be perfectly fine with two. I raised two this year and they LOVE each other!

    Do I need to bathe them? Only if you plan on showing them. Chickens take natural baths...WITH DIRT! It frees them from external parasites and is good for their skin, feathers and health.
    When my girl gets old enough to lay do I have to buy an incubator? I'm not sure what you mean? Hens will go broody no matter what their age as long as they are broody breeds. But they will stop laying eventually. You don't need a bator in this case. You either need to get rid of your old hens and start over or just add new laying pullets.

    Do I separate the chick's from adults? For the first week yes you do. They need this time to bond with mama. If you raise them in a brooder then they should not go with the rest of the flock until they are 12 weeks old. Then you need to introduce them using the see but don't touch method which involves placing a barrier in-between the two groups. After two or more weeks you let them mix. If your hen raises the babies, make sure to feed all of the flock the chick feed as the layer feed will damage chicks' kidneys.

    How much water do chickens need? Chickens drink about a cup or two of water a day per bird. THEY NEED WATER AT ALL TIMES.

    I also noticed other people's silkies are so much fluffier, with curvy body structures, mine not so much. I'm thinking it's because my chickens cost 99 cents each. How much do silkies usually cost? It depends on where you buy them from. They can range from 1 to 10 dollars each. Females are more expensive.

    Good luck!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Maybe your birds are mixed breed silkies - especially since they were so cheap. If you put up photos we could probably tell you. How old are they? Silkies are very difficult to sex before 4-5 mos. of age, and sometimes not even until they crow or lay eggs. You don't need a rooster to get eggs. You only need one if you want "fertile" eggs that can be hatched by hen (or incubator). There are several good silkie threads on BYC. My favorite is simply called "Silkie thread," put that in the search box and it will pop up. Silkie folks are the best ones to answer guestions you have now and later. Good luck with your birds.
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG]
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Looks like the others have given you some great advice so I will just welcome you to our flock!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: