Selecting what to feed baby silkie chickens can be a tricky affair. This is because baby silkies are very unique chickens. Care for the silkie chicken has always been a conventional issue; particularly regarding their feeding. This breed of chickens are usually selective pertaining to their diet; what to feed baby silkie chickens is a household question asked by both breeders and pet owners.
There are lots of good feeds for silkie chicken is a highly esteemed breed, Therefore knowing what to feed them is very imperative. If you own a silkie chicken or perhaps you are thinking of buying one, then I presume you should pay close attention to this article.
Silkie chickens are a small, delightful and very old breed of chickens. they are of different breeds of chickens. So here is our guide and recommendations on this matter of what to feed your silkies, you will also know the right diet and feeding it to them in the right way:
What to Feed Baby Silkie Chickens
Like all chickens though, the best way to get a silkie’s heart is through its stomach. Feeding them isn’t particularly hard or expensive, and we recommend the following diet for your silkie chickens:
Chick starter has sufficient protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins to support and enhance the growth of the chicks. We recommend that it be given for at least the first six to eight weeks and then you can try and mix your own feed at this point should you feel that there are any additional nutrients they need to grow.
This should be the sole ration and the ideal food for a baby chick’s first week. A lot of time and money has been put into researching and preparing mixtures that provide optimum nutrition for growing chicks by Feed companies out there and their hard work birth Chick starter.
Note that, Chick starter can actually be given to adult birds as well and if ever you want a respite from feeding your chicks ‘chick starter’ in the first six to eight weeks, then you can mash up hard-boiled egg yolk with ground up oatmeal as a temporary substitute.
After the compulsory time period of feeding the chick starter to them, there are other diets you could feed them for additional nutrients such as;
Grit is a necessary part of a chicken’s digestive system, allowing it to grind coarse feed in their gizzards due to its lack of teeth. You should provide your silkie chickens with a supply of grit in their feed or ground-up oyster shells as well.
You don’t have to worry about overdoing it as its unlikely they will eat more than they need; this is a general characteristic with chickens, they don’t overfeed themselves. Grits feed can be gotten from a feed store.
I’ve realized that generally, chickens like whole grains such as; oats, wheat, barley, maize and so on. These are all excellent for them. We recommend that you give these to them as a ‘scratch feed’ (one which is scattered on the ground so that your silkies have to ‘scratch’ for it).
There are Layer crumbles that are sold as chicken feed, you could buy these for your chicks. These layer crumbles are usually rich in the kinds of protein that chickens need in order to produce feathers, make eggs, and generally grow. Extra protein is needed while your chickens are molting, hence, you can also feed them a mash made of bran, grated apple, and carrot mixed with meat meal and a little vegetable oil once or twice a week to aid the process.
Silkie chickens are very fond of mealworms and corn. They love to eat and yes, they find mealworms very nutritious. This is a great way to earn the undying adoration of your silkies and also very handy for taming more cautious birds! Don’t worry about where to find treats as there are feed stores that sell ready-made chicken treats.
It is recommended that you feed them twice a day or allow them access to food all day. They will peck away at the ground and feed on insects and worms as they absolutely love mealworms.
Do this and I assure you that, in no time your silkie chicken will be happier, healthier, and will likely not need a distressing and potentially expensive trip to the avian vet!
Of course, there are other things you need to know when it involves taking great care of your silkie chickens and we have revealed them in the course of this article.
Also Read: Are Wyandotte Roosters Aggressive?
What You Should Not Feed Baby Silkie Chickens?
Here is a list of feeds you should avoid feeding your silkie babies, it’s very necessary that you take note of them:
Do not feed your silkie chickens pellets instead of layer crumbles, to avoid them getting choked because pellets are sometimes too large for silkies to eat. Note that, Layer Pellets has a lot of protein and nutrients and is generally considered a suitable diet for chicks but it’s not advisable to feed your silkie chickens this, it’s very probable that they might choke.
Some vegetables can be very harmful to your baby silkies, other Chickens tend to feed on greens such as cabbage, cauliflower, and your prized veggies but to the silkie chicken, this could be a bad option. Baby Silkie feeds are special so it is advisable that you avoid feeding them greens in other not to give them poisonous vegetables mistakenly. If you insist on giving them greens, here are a few examples even though not necessarily veggies, you must avoid feeding them at all cost:
- Anything high in salt
- Citrus fruits
- Raw beans
- Dry rice (any rice fed to your chickens needs to be softened by cooking, or it will harm their guts)
- Apple seeds.
How Much Should I Feed My Silkie Chickens?
Of course, this depends on the size of your flock, it’s advisable not to overfeed them. A handful of feeds won’t be a bad idea. But Just so you know, the focus here is not quantity but quality, if you go by quantity and the feed turns out not to get a healthy diet, then they could abandon their feed and go free-ranging elsewhere but quality ensures that your chickens eat a complete and healthy diet, that keeps them fit, happy, and balanced.
How To Care For My Silkie Chicken.
Feeding your silkie chicken a nutritious diet constitutes only about 40% of how healthy it becomes, the other 60% is largely dependent on its environment.
Providing a clean and comfortable surrounding for you baby chicks boost up their immunity against diseases.
Did you know that Silkies can be quite susceptible to Marek’s disease? It hardly ever happens but of course you can get your birds vaccinated when they have grown to a certain point.
Try these out if you are interested in providing a clean environment for your baby silkie chicken:
- Check your silkie chickens every week for mites and lice. If you notice pests on your chickens, use an avian pest-control spray on the chickens. Spray again in a week. Mites are easily prevented if your silkies are maintained in a clean environment and inspected frequently.
- Clean your silkie’s shed at least once a month. Remove old bedding and spray the floor with a solution of bleach and water, flushing manure and debris from cracks and depressions. Spread fresh pine shavings on the floor when it is dry.
- Provide fresh water for your silkie chickens, and scrub the water pan every week. Keeping their water supply fresh and readily available is one of the most important aspects of chicken care because chickens can easily get dehydrated and can drink up to half a liter a day when it is hot, so make sure your container is topped up.
- Occasionally, it needs trimming for hygiene and breeding purposes. You may also need to trim the feathers around the eyes to help them see a little better. Most importantly, ensure they are kept clean and dry always, failure to do this affects their body temperature and quite possibly their laying of eggs.
Baby Silkies are certainly great and amazing birds to have around. The earlier you serve your baby chicks with the good nutritional diet suggested here, the better off they will be their entire lives. If your baby Silkie is not functioning well or is malnourished, quickly analyze the feeds you give them. I assure you that if you change their diets and take the necessary precautions, you will have a better chick.