Newbie from South Wales

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Raqsbanat, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Raqsbanat

    Raqsbanat New Egg

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    Mar 6, 2016
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    Morning all,
    I've been keeping ex batt hens for nearly 4 years now and love every moment of it. I have four ladies, Murial, Maureen, Marlene and Madge, who are brilliant. However, I was recently given 2 Silkie chicks as a birthday surprise last week. The gift giver didn't think beyond how cute and fluffy they look at 5 weeks old and handed me them in a box. I've never cared for chicks, let alone a different breed so I find myself here needing LOTS of advice re caring for the chicks, feed, bedding, integration etc....The chicks are now nearly 7 weeks old and fab but I have to still figure out when they can go outside, I need to completely alter the housing as they wont fit in the coop I have now....I'm off out to buy a pet playpen to keep them in as the box they moved up into is now also too big. Any advice and help would be really appreciated xxx
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome from Yorkshire UK

    Glad you could join us here! The learning centre has some great articles that will really help you out. Here is the link if you have not already checked it out ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
    You will need to wait untill your silkies are fully grown before you can add them to your exsisting flock. Silkies can be at the bottom order so you will need to watch that your hens do not bully them when they are together. I'm assuming at 7 weeks your silkies are unsexed, do you have a plan if both turn out to be boys? Here is a great article on intergrating new flock members ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    Wishing you the very best of luck and enjoy BYC :frow
     
  4. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks for joining us!
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC - great to have you join us. You have some good pointers already so I'll just say a big hello!

    CT
     
  6. Raqsbanat

    Raqsbanat New Egg

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    Mar 6, 2016
    Port Talbot UK
    Thanks all, I've been reading through the learning centre and yesterday changed the box for a dog crate with newspaper and a small roost. They took a while of going under it before they finally stepped up and sat on it proudly.
    I've no idea what sex they are and have been reading up on that. Their head feathers are spiky little fronds at the moment but just one has a definite comb developing so maybe one boy?! What to do if he is I really dont know. Another question a gave to my well meaning friend after she presented them to me....
    When its sunny I've popped them outside in a small pen for a few hours and have ordered a new shed to house all the ladies in so hopefully by the time that arrives in a few weeks they'll be fully feathered and ready to stay out.
    I'm off to the learning centre to read ALOT more about these little foghorns.

    Thanks again for making me feel so welcome xxxx
     
  7. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    The little ones need bedding in their crate. Newspaper is too slippery and can cause leg problems.

    From what I've read, silkies are notoriously had to sex and you might not know until one either lays an egg or crows.

    Guess time will tell!
     
  8. Raqsbanat

    Raqsbanat New Egg

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    Mar 6, 2016
    Port Talbot UK
    Thanks for the info. I had read on one forum the reason for the newspaper is so they learn what to eat being as they dont have a mum to show them. After a few days of this they'll learn what's food and what's not. I understand what you're saying about being slippery though. I'll add a thin layer of bedding as a happy medium.
    One of the chicks seems far more bossy than the other, not exactly fighting but certainly asserting itself....male behavior maybe? If I do have a fella, would he be able to manage a flock of ex batts I wonder....would he even try to mate with them being a different breed? and are they loud? Going by the noise they make at 7 weeks it could be [​IMG]
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Generally towel paper makes a good coverup for shavings, so the chicks don't eat them. Newspaper is very slick and can cause foot problems. Once they know where real food is they generally will leave shavings alone. If you post photos of the silkies at "what breed or gender is this," you will get many opinions. Best photos will show the crests, and straight forward to display the comb if any yet?
     
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  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    ps If you get a fella, he should be able to manage with your ex-batts once he is older. Sometimes hens will gang up on a young roo and teach him a lesion before he's even misbehaved. Since you are UK, I believe you have large fowl silkies. IN US they are bantam sized.
     
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