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Country Discussion Topics
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Question about silkie chicks
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Debbie in Virginia    Posted 10-05-2002 at 08:21:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have ten silkie chicks. One of my husband's coworkers gave them to him. They are now about 2 and a half or 3 weeks old, and are living on our sunporch in a huge cardboard shipping box with cedar shavings, food tray and waterers. We've had them a week now, and they have almost doubled in size. My question is - at what age can they go outside in the pen? We have a brand new chicken pen my husband has built because he is also being given 10 Rhode Island Red laying hens and 1 rooster - just 'cause he wants a rooster to hear him crow in the morning. Forget the fact he works nights and WE'RE the ones that will hear all that crowing. :) Anyway, how soon can these babies go outside? We kept a warmer light on them until 2 days ago, when they stopped huddling together and obviously didn't need the external heat source anymore. Any information is appreciated.

Also - dumb question here, so don't laugh. Once we get the Reds, I know the hens should get laying mash. Does the rooster eat that too or should we mix in regular chicken feed? Don't want to get him "confused" if that laying mash has any of those "female hormones" in it! ha ha

Thanks again!

Debbie in Virginia    Posted 10-06-2002 at 18:08:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for all the great advice. We both grew up raising Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, and other "ordinary" meat and egg chickens. The silkies are just something we thought would be neat, and since they were free, all the better. Everything I've read about silkies sounds like they are great chickens to raise - good temperament, very docile. Now we just wait to see how many of these 10 babies are hens and how many are roosters! Thanks again. This site is always a source of great help!

Sid    Posted 10-05-2002 at 18:53:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Several years ago I heard about an explosion on a chicken farm. The feed for laying hens was so good they boasted "they'll lay or bust" well it turned out they fed a bunch of roosters that stuff.

Promise Land Ranch    Posted 10-05-2002 at 13:15:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have 26 chickens of various ages and I feed them a mix of Layer Pellets, Scratch Grain, and wild bird seed. The Layer gives them the protien and other vitamins they need. The Scratch gives them some bulk and fiber and the bird seed gives them something different. They also get all of our bread and fruit and veggie scraps.
I love Silkies!


Craig H    Posted 10-05-2002 at 08:37:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi there Debbie,
Two - three weeks old is still fairly young for them to venture out in the big wide world. If as I suspect it is getting cold in your neck of the woods, I would keep them in that warm box until say 5 weeks. If your babies were living with their mum it would be okay. It's Spring down under and I still have 10 five week old chicks camping with their mums at night. The other thing to remember is that when these little girls become women you will need to trim the fluff/fur/feathers around their vent. If you don't and a rooster does what he does best when there are hens around, it can be very uncomfortable for the poor girl and has been known in extreme cases to cause an excrutiating death.
Good luck with it.
Craig H

Les...fortunate    Posted 10-05-2002 at 08:36:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Once your birds are fully feathered out they should be all right to run outside.
As far as the rooster goes, don't treat him special. The only threat to a rooster's ego would be another rooster.

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