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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:30 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
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Location: Hastings, Florida
Mima says "Thank you Sue!"
They are really adorable and they look to be twice the size of their first day hatched!

Returning to the comment and suggestion made by Mycoola about the chicks being unable to exit the nest...isn't that what I want to create? I thought they would be much safer if they could Not get out of the nest area for a while...at least until they get enough wing feathers and development to be able to fly, or at least to "flap" their way from the upper level to the lower?
Maybe I am mistaken?
I even changed the original nest box as I felt the milk crate had too many openings between the plastic cross-bars. I was afraid the chicks could squeeze out at first and they could get hurt...
The pics probably don't show the set-up very well. I took 2 thick cardboard cartons (produce cartons), placed one inside the other and wedged them between the back wall and a log (that I made steps out of before I realized that Mima can jump in and out).
I used the cardboard so that if the box gets nasty-dirty I can just throw the inner box in the trash and replace it with a new one.
This nest is larger than the original and has room for a shallow water dish and also for the starter food, plus Mima and the peeps have room to move around or cuddle as they like.
Muneco (daddy roo) has stayed in the chicken house with Mima and the peeps! He is very attentive, protective and so gentle!

In terms of Mycoola's idea on the cut-out in the front of the box, what is best for me to do now? Maybe Mycoola will glance at this and respond...

I have yet Another question:
(BTW you people are the most patient in the world!)
I am getting 3 chicks from a friend's hatch that happened about 4-5 days before Mima's.
The house that the silkies have is the most secure as it has a full roof and it is also covered by motion sensor lights to the side of my house.
I am considering either creating a temporary partition between the upper level (Mima's nest) and the lower level so as to g(( ive the 3 new comers the lower level.
Or, to possibly supervise an intro into the same house together?
Is that--letting them share the house with 2 separate nesting areas but no barrier--a safe idea?
I don't want the newbies to get picked on by the adult silkies. I also don't want the newbies picking on the silkie chicks.

Advice? Thanks in advance for ideas and advice on this housing (as well as any other) issue :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:10 am 
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Golden Robin
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Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
Ummmm. Be careful. Introducing older chicks to the ones that she hatched and expecting her to adopt is fraught with danger. Hens cannot count but they certainly know the difference between her chickens and those from another source especially after a few days of bonding. There is a very high chance she will try to kill the newcomers and her own chicks may get hurt in the process.

You dont have to have to contain her and her own chicks that tightly. She is no longer broody and is now a mother hen. She wants to teach her chickens how to look for food bits, scratch and explore. She will sense if her chickens get cold and will call them under her for a quick warm up. She knows what she is doing with them. Having said that, her and her brood need to be protected from other fowls. Very few hens will tolerate another hens chickens.

Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:50 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I have a slightly different opinion to Mike I often sucessfully introduce extra chicks to a new mum (especially a Silkie) I would try slipping them under her at night but monitor the behaviour until you are confident that all is OK. Otherwise you will need to set up some acomodation for the new babies with heating until they are at least 4 weeks old and maybe longer at night.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:19 pm 
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Golden Robin
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I must admit I have also topped up a hen with chicks hatched elsewhere on occasions but I am aware it is not without risk and I am aware of the greater risks of chickens of different ages and sizes. By that I mean by all means you can pop both day old bantam and standard size chickens under a hen (at night time) but the difference between a day old and a week old chicken is quite enormous in terms of development and size.

Just dont assume it is all going to be a success. Monitor closely.

Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:11 pm 
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Assist Admin
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You MUST be on hand at first light if you try this! In the blink of an eye a hen can kill a "ring in" or at least seriously harm a hatchling. Even if all seems well at first, you need to be in a position to rescue a chick (or duckling or keet or other baby) in case the hen is slower to react. I've had both success and "no takers" and there is no way of accurately predicting the outcome. Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:06 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Hastings, Florida
Thanks to each of you!
I brought home the 3 new chicks this afternoon. These are 11 days old whereas Mima's are just 6 days old.
I tried showing Mima one of the chicks, held in both of my hands. She let me know fast enough that she was Not having it! She gave the newbie a fast hard peck...scared me senseless...thank goodness the little chick was no worse for the wear.
However, that was enough of a convincer for me.
Given that I saw Mima was not happy to have other chicks intrude, but also that I need a safe place for the 3 new comers, I decided to use a large-ish cage (with built-in legs to elevate it) which I placed on the ground level inside of the silkie house. Since the silkie chicks have hatched both Mima (hen) and Muneco (rooster) have stayed on the upper level of their house with the nest box.
Placing the cage with the 3 new chicks on the ground floor affords them the protection of the enclosed chicken house, the motion-sensor lights that come on at night if anything stirs, the warmth of the extra enclosed space....plus it protects them from any aggression by the silkie parents.
I attached cardboard to the floor (so their little feet would be safe) and I attached cardboard to the top (to prevent them getting pooped on and also to hold in warmth). I added a fleece blanket in a corner of the floor and I can run an extension cord to a heating pad under the blanket if needed at night.
The temperatures here have been around 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the day. Nights are in the upper 70's if not lower 80's.

What is the minimum temperature the little ones need at night without a hen to be under?

They are each so pretty and sweet. Each are different colors which will be a help in telling who's who!
I have their first photo session on the way!

Again, any advice or suggestions on any aspect of rearing and caring for them is always welcome and appreciated!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:31 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Hastings, Florida
Here are the (somewhat blurry) debut pics of the new chicks on the block.
Ernie is the yellow-white, being Ernesto if cockerel, Ernesta if pullet. Of the possible parents, there is a white leghorn dad, a white (breed unknown) mom.
Bert, who is Bert if Cockerel, Bertha if pullet. My best guess is Barred Rock.
Taz is Fantasy if cockerel, Fantasia if pullet.

There is one pic of the way I set up the newbie's housing inside of the silkie house.


Attachments:
File comment: 2 of the 3 new chicks, rear view...
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File comment: the 3 newbies
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File comment: 3 new chicks
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File comment: The 3 little chicks who just got here
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File comment: the house set up
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:45 am 
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Great Game
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I would put the cage with the 3 new chicks outside up against the left side of your pen, it looks strong enough for protection. Then i would add straw or wood shavings to the lower level and then move mima and the chicks down there and then cut an opening in the front of box. This way she can then show them around and learn to forage as needed and can still take the chicks into the box at night, at 6 days they will be able to forage well with her and they will need the space.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:53 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Hastings, Florida
Thank you Mycoola!
That is a good thought.
I think I was under the impression that week old birds would be similar to week old mammals. It seems they develope much faster and it is me who is working to catch up.
Since the 3 new comers are older, should I also try to give them more of a space to forage and learn?
When I picked them up this morning they, and their "siblings" were already moving about, and had been for several days, on the ground practicing being chickens.
I want to find a balance between protecting them properly and allowing them to learn and grow...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:02 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Good move.
Chicks need to maintain their body temp. at about 98" While they are active your day time temps should be OK but at night time or when they are resting they will need some heat or at least a way to maintain their body temp. (snuggling together won't be enough.
Do a search using the words mummy mop. This may give you some ideas

I will try to put in the link but my computer is running backwards so it might take all day


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:09 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
Here is a mummy mop

Image

Mike

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Retired Now. Have moved and now officially a Tuross Head resident.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:22 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 92
Location: Hastings, Florida
Thanks to you both for the mummy mop idea!

I've opened the nest box of the silkie chicks so they can enter and exit. They seem to be enjoying that. I've temporarily blocked off the ramp to the ground level because the ramp ends 8-12 inches away from the ground. While they could easily descend it they'd have a hard time using it to climb back up to the nest.
Tomorrow I plan to extend the ramp so it reaches the ground and also to add ridges that correspond to their size. Presently the ramp has ridges of semi-circle wood as steps for the adults. If I add several ridges in between those that are already there the chicks will have an easier time using it.

My next task is to figure out how to give the 3 new standard size chicks a larger environment. I'm learning as we go.

Everyone seems to be doing great!
I am so grateful to the people of this forum for the help and sharing!


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