Will my Silkie raise chicks for me??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JLS, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

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    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    I want to get 5 standard sized chicks come spring. I want to know if my plan should work:

    I want to let my Silkie set on 5 golf balls for 21 days. I want to go to the feed store and purchace 5 chicks. That very night I want to sneak out into the coop and slip them under her. I promise I will have a brooding pen set up in my house in case she wont care for them.

    Will she care for them? If so, will 5 be too many? I know she'll go broody.....she already has this winter [​IMG] If you have any advice please let me know [​IMG]
     
  2. phasian

    phasian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2009
    Oregon
    I think that your plan should work out fine. Silkies are my first choice for incubating eggs or brooding chicks. Though I typically start with fertile eggs that I let my girls hatch, I have introduced other chicks a couple days after a hen has hatched a clutch and I have yet to have them reject them. If I have let other breeds of hen hatch a clutch, I usually have to provide some chicks for my Silkies as they have often stolen the chicks from the original mother and the chicks tend to stay with them. (I think because they are so soft and warm. I now put my "broodies" inside my utility room in a large stock tank to prevent this.)


    Once the chicks hatch, while they do have mama to stay warm, I put a ceramic heat emitter (it works like a bulb and are available from pet stores with reptile supplies) at one end of the brooder as well. I just hatched seven Serama chicks with the aid of one of my Silkies. I have also had Silkies raise this many large fowl breeds.

    Best of luck with your brooding!
     
  3. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    Quote:EXCELLENT!! I am glad you told me about the extra heat source. How much room will she need to brood them?
     
  4. phasian

    phasian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2009
    Oregon
    I use those metal stock tanks that are 4'x4'x2'. This should provide enough room for about a month. You may then want to start introducing them to the outdoors with their mother and possibly some supplemental heat if the outdoor temps are still around freezing. I usually put my mothers and her chicks in their own pen or in a tractor that provides rain protection during the day. The brooder is still large enough to provide sleeping quarters if they are getting ranging time- though you may have to put a cover over the top if the wee ones are jumping out (old window screens are great for this).

    It is also a good idea to put a grassy divot in the brooder once the chicks are 1.5-2 weeks old. This gives them greens as well as something to jump on and scratch about in, with the possibility of finding bugs. This seems to keep them well stimulated.
     

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