Our Peeps Have Arrived

Our new brood taking an afternoon break together.

We ended up being offered 5 chooks from our generous friend who raises all kinds of chickens.  They are all siblings from the same parents and are also the same exact age: 13 weeks.  Since silkies in particular are extremely difficult to sex before about 4 months of age, we were given the ones that our friend determined “the most likely to be girls”.  In another month or so when we figure out how many are in fact ladies, the boy(s) will go back to their original home at our friend’s chicken sanctuary.  Talk about a lucky deal for us!  In my post “To Chicken or Not to Chicken”, one deterrent in obtaining silkies was their sole availability as straight-run from hatcheries and local live stock stores.  This problem was solved by establishing a connection with a friend who raises chickens.  It’s all in who ya know!  The way I see it, we’ll end up with 3-4 female silkies if all goes well.

Some quality free range time today supervised by yours truly.

The issue of names is an interesting one.  How do you name chickens that all look identical?  I’d love to come up with some creative names with the help of my daughter.  Perhaps they will differentiate themselves slightly as they mature to full-size.  The typical “white feather” inspired names have to come to mind…Cream Puff, Sugar, etc.  What can I say, I do love food!

They are quite the little eaters!  As someone who’s never spent much time around chickens, I’m surprised by how much they eat!  I’ll be going through the Purina Start and Grow quicker than I thought!  We also supplement with table scraps, such as broccoli, black beans, peaches, bread, etc.  No onion or garlic!  I understand that not only do they not care for it, but it can alter the taste of their eggs!

It seems that in the short 2 days that we’ve had them, they are already getting used to me.  I try to handle them each day and get them used to my voice.  They are really sticking to their coop, even when I open the door they primarily stay inside or come out just a few feet.  If I try to get them out onto the grass, I have to do it quickly otherwise they will try to run back to the coop to be with the brood!

Happily and luckily my gentle, sweet Maine Coon cat, Paris, is pretty relaxed around them.  She is interested in them, but has not exhibited any aggression thus far.  She is only out if they are in their run.  Many times she’ll lie down on the neighboring swing and watch them.  Let’s just say I’m quite relieved!

Bedtime is so sweet!  I wish it was this easy with human babies!  Just before it’s completely dark my husband, daughter and I help them to bed.  We’re aiming for complete self-reliance in the near future….they’ll just know.  For now we encourage each one up the ladder to the coop and carefully put each one on a roosting bar.  They soon fall asleep and are locked up safe and secure until morning.  I never worry about them after bedtime.

We’ve made a couple alterations to the hss09 coop to ensure the silkies’ safety.  The nesting box roof/lid did not come with a latch or lock to secure it from nosey predators.  It was fairly easy to lift.  I could just imagine a coyote or raccoon nose lifting it without a problem.  So we installed 2 latch hooks on either side.  There was also a small gap where the nesting box roof meets the coop.  We installed a piece of rubber there that bends when the lid opens.  Don’t want rain getting in that coop, not only for the chickens’ sake, but for my clean-up, too!

Welcome home, Silkies!

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