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What do my silkies need?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Frostee, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Frostee

    Frostee Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2011
    Australia
    Hey there!

    After recently purchasing 2 black silkie chickens, I was wondering when and what they need! The eldest is now 19 weeks and the younger one is 17 weeks, and I have had them for 10 weeks. I think we had an egg (if you could call it that) from the older one but it had no shell or yolk, just a small egg white. I have been feeding them crumble from the local fodders. The guy who sold them to me had been feeding them just grains and seeds, and when I went to the local fodders they said that is would be better to feed them just this crumble, and when I've finished this bag to go onto the layers pellets. They refuse to eat anything but grass and the crumble. Many times I have tried to feed them other things but they just won't try it. Occasionally I will buy a small container of mealworms as a treat for them too. They live in their henhouse which is 1.5 meters by 1 meter and has an upper and lower section. They get let out around the backyard for about an hour a day. Should I go and get them some seashell grit or not and what food should I put them on and when?

    Thanks for your help!

    Frostee,
     
  2. Wnunezcruz

    Wnunezcruz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2011
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    I would put them on chick grower from tractor supply or co-op. For a couple months and then move them to layer. They probably aren't eating treats because they are too young. Usually they start to except treats around age 6-7 months. Grit and oyster shells would help get their food down. But mychicks usually don't eat the grit when younger.
     
  3. Fowl Wrangler

    Fowl Wrangler Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2011
    My chickens ate treats pretty early. We had a grain moth problem when they were still in our basement "brooder" and we used to catch the moths and release them in the chicken box. The birds went wild for them. On occasion we gave them yogurt when they seemed out of sorts; the first time they weren't into it, so we removed their feed for about 20 minutes. They got the hint and ate the yogurt. After that they were yogurt fiends.

    We did put our girls on grower in between chick feed and layer feed on the advice of our feed store & chicken book.
     
  4. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2011
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    Silkies are slow maturing so I would keep them on the crumbles until spring. Thats really young to already laying perhaps they are a little older than he told you they were. I give mine vitamin electolyte water every other day. I also have grit(granite) and oyster shell available all times. You can use the smaller bird grit from Walmart for younger birds. Silkies are notoriuos for wry neck thats why I do the vitamin water. I also worm mine every 3 or 4 mo. I mix DE in their food daily. You will hear conflicting stories about it on heare but even if it doesnt do well for worms it still has lots of minerals that are good for them including 19% calcium. I use pine shavings for litter in my coop. I have read to many stories about impaction due to people using hay for litter instead of just nesting material. This is just my routine but I guess my best advice is trail and error find out what works for you.
     
  5. Frostee

    Frostee Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2011
    Australia
    I'm going to put the grit into the coop and keep them on the growers. I tried the yogurt earlier but they didn't seem interest at all [​IMG] Anyways, I guess I'll continue doing what I am in regards to the food. Also I called around to find pine shavings with no luck [​IMG]. Just curious, can you feed them flavoured yogurts too?

    @BamaSilkies: Where do you get the electolyte water from and what is DE? They don't eat the hay so how does it give them impaction? [​IMG]

    Thanks heaps!

    Frostee,
     
  6. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Alabama
    I got the vitamin/electorlyte powder at TSC and the pine shavings as well. The DE (Diatomiaous Earth) http://bham.craigslist.org/grd/2718456631.html I got at my local feed store. Make sure it is 100% pure and FOOD GRADE. The link will explain what it is and its uses. I dont use hay because some will eat it especially if you get new ones that may have not seen it might think its food and not bedding but if you have been using it with no trouble it probably ok. Dont give them flavored just the plain jane yogurt they dont need the sugar.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I would mix the crumbles with the layer pellets. Some of my birds wouldn't eat the pellets so I mixed the crumbles with the layer pellets and now they eat the pellets fine. Just a suggestion. You can also put some vitamins with electrolytes in their feed or water. Most feed stores carry it. I put it in their water. The packages make 128 gallons. I put a heaping ΒΌ tsp in a 3 gal waterer.
     
  8. Frostee

    Frostee Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2011
    Australia
    Alright thanks I'll call around, the electolyte water seems to be quite useful then. Thanks for all your help! [​IMG]
     

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