Silkies For Sale – 7/7/19

Here is what is available for the week of July 7, 2019.  My next scheduled hatches are for July, 12, July 21 and July 26th.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No Shipping/Pick up only.  Chicks are unsexed.

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Pen 21 – Newborns hatched 7/6 – 4 White, 5 black, 4 buff, 2 grey, 1 partridge – $11 each.

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Pen 20 – One week olds hatched 7/1 – 3 black, 3 white – $12 each.

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Pen 6 – One week olds hatched 6/26 – 2 black, 1 white – $12 each.

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Pen 7 – Two week olds hatched 6/21 – 3 white – $13 each.

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Pen 8 – Three week olds hatched 6/16 – 2 white – $14 each.

If you have questions or would like to set up a time to come out and pick up some silkie chicks you can text me at 612-756-1414 or PM me at  VJP Poultry on Facebook.

Silkies For Sale – 7/2/19

Here is what is available for the week of July 2, 2019. My next scheduled hatches are for July 1, July 6, July 12 and July 21st.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery. No shipping /Pick up only.

Pen 21 – Newborns hatched 6/26 – 4 white, 6 black – $11 each.

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Pen 20 – Newborns hatched 6/26 – 1 splash, 1 buff, 3 grey partridge – $11 each.

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Pen 6 – One week olds hatched 6/21 – 4 white, 1 black, 1 buff, 1 gray – $12 each.

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Pen 7 – Two week olds hatched 6/16 – 2 white, 1 black – $13 each.

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If you have questions or want to set up a time to come out and pick up some chicks you can text me at 612-756-1414 or PM me at the VJP Poultry Facebook page.

Silkies For Sale – 6/26/19

Here is what is available for the week of June 26, 2109.  My next scheduled hatches are for 6/26, 7/1, 7/6 and 7/12.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No shipping/Pick up only.  Chicks are sold unsexed but ask us about our rooster return policy.

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Pen 21 – Newborns hatched 6/21 – 5 buff, 1 splash, 4 gray/partridge, 1 partridge – $11 each.

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Pen 20 – Newborns hatched 6/21 – 7 white, 5 black – $11 each.

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Pen 6 – One week olds hatched 6/16 – 3 white, 1 black, 1 grey/partridge – $12 each.

If you want to set up a time to come out and look at silkies or if you have questions, you can contact me through text at 756-1414 or PM me at the VJP Poultry Facebook page.

Correct Brooder Temperature and Introduction to Outdoors for Chicks

20190227_151759-1It is both fun and exciting to have baby chicks in the house.  Many first time chick owners fret about what the ideal brooder temperature should be. As the chicks grow and their space needs expand many people wonder when would be the best time for integrating the chicks outdoors with the rest of the flock in the coop.  We will be exploring both of these questions in this article.

When deciding on a source for brooder heat you need to think about the air temperature surrounding your brooder. A brooder should be inside to regulate temperature and moisture and to prevent predators from getting at the chicks. Inside means that it can be in a garage, laundry room, shed or barn.  It can even be inside of your coop.  You will want to have some kind of cover on it to keep out predators.  A cookie rack or screen works well.

A newborn chick’s body is covered with down. The newborn will have a hard time controlling it’s own temperature since it does not have real feathers yet.  They will warm themselves by huddling close together.  Chicks need an additional heat source until their down gives way to hard feathers.  Chicks raised by a mother hen will be seen darting in and out from under her wing as they use her body as a heat source.  A hen’s internal temperature ranges from 105-107 degrees F.

The rule of thumb is to start your brooder temperature at 95 degrees F (35 C) and reduce it 5 degrees F (3 C) each week until the brooder temperature is the same as the room’s temperature.

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This chart from Roberts Farm is a good resource to judge what temperature the brooder should be for how old the chicks are. It also can give you an idea of what age they can transition to the outside according to the outside temperature.  For example, if your chick is 6 weeks old, it needs to be at least 65 degrees F for it to be outdoors.

Make sure that your brooder heat source is up and running for at least 24 hours before you introduce chicks to it.  Chick brooder temperature is measured with a thermometer placed 2 inches (5 cm) above the brooder floor. You may want to measure it with several different thermometers as sometimes they will each read differently.

Many people use a brooder heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb.  The red heat bulb helps to prevent picking among chicks and can help with night time light. Start by hanging the lamp with an adjustable chain at about 18 inches above the chicks. Don’t rely on the clamp to hold the heat lamp safely. You need to add a chain and hang it from a hook above the brooder.  You must take safety precautions when using this type of brooder heater as if they fall they will cause fires.  As the chicks grow, you can shorten the chain to decrease the temperature in the brooder.

A heated panel uses radiant heat.  It only heats directly below the panel.  This makes it easier for chicks to move away from the heat. Ecoglow can have its heat adjusted by lengthening its legs.  Sweeter Heaters are hung from above and can  be raised and lowered to change temperature.  Heated panels are not a fire hazard and will not burn out like a heat lamp bulb could do, which would chill your chicks.

A chick’s body language will tell you whether or not they are too hot or too cold.  Chicks that aren’t warm enough will crowd towards the heat source.  They will peep shrilly and constantly. Their poo will begin to paste up on their bottoms.  Pasty Butt can clog their vents which could lead to death.  In an attempt to get warm while they sleep, the chicks could pile up and smother each other. Piling often happens at night when the room temperature drops.

Chicks that are too warm move away from the heat source. They spend less time eating and grow more slowly. They pant and crowd to the edges of the brooder. They keep their heads down and are very quiet.  If the brooder is hot enough to raise their internal temperature above 117 degrees F, they will die.

Chicks at the correct temperature are happy chicks.  They wander around their brooder making musical sounding noises of contentment.  They breathe through their nostrils and do not pant.

Chicks need one half square foot of space each for the first two weeks.  They grow fast. You will need to increase the amount of space as they head into three and four weeks of age. You will need a bigger brooder or split the group and get a second brooder.  They can be off of the heat lamp when the temperature of the room they are in matches their age on the chart above. Chicks hatched in winter or early spring will need a heat source longer than chicks hatched in late spring or early summer.  Larger breeds will be sooner than bantams.

When they are ready to transition outside (They must be feathered out) start by letting them outside during the day.  Chicks can be vulnerable to predators such as hawks and the neighbor’s cat so be sure to keep an eye on them.  A dog kennel or fencing keeps them protected and doesn’t let them escape.  Bring them back inside at night.

If they are too cold outside they will let you know by puffing up their feathers and peeping in a frightened way.  Don’t leave them alone as they could become chilled quickly.

Don’t be in a hurry to put them with other adult chickens. Ideally, they should be the same size as the rest of your flock. Pecking order is a real thing and they will be pecked at by the larger birds.  Start by having them close together but separated by a barrier.  They will be able to see each other but not touch each other.  Gradually give them more opportunities to be together.  The integration process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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How to Treat a Chicken That Has Been Attacked

20181218_152126-1There is nothing more devastating than finding one of your flock on the ground bleeding from an open wound. How you handle the situation will go far in determining a positive outcome for your bird.

Chickens are attacked in one of two ways. Males fight each other using spurs, feet or beaks and females will peck at another bird repeatedly, ultimately drawing blood. Predators will leave terrible wounds using teeth, claws, beaks and talons.

Wounds can either be on the surface or the worst could be puncture wounds that go into internal organs. Wounds close to the skins surface can be doctored at home but a deep wound will need the attention of a veterinarian.

If you find a bleeding chicken with a cut under the skin, it is important to act quickly.  Wrap it up in a towel and remove it from the rest of the flock. Bleeding, red wounds are attractive to other chickens who will want to peck at it. If the puncture wounds are deep, keep the chicken quiet to prevent shock.

For shallow wounds,  clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide.  You can use styptic powder to help stop the bleeding or apply pressure with your hand.  Wounds can also be cleaned with Betadine, Chlorhexadine 2% solution spray or Vetericyn wound care spray.   Dakin’s solution is good for deep or dirty wounds.  Dankin’s solution is made by adding one tablespoon of bleach plus one teaspoon of baking soda to one gallon of water.  This needs to be made fresh daily.

After the wound has been cleaned out, you will want to use a a product like neosporin (don’t use the kind that contains pain relief) or triple antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.  If infection does set in, clean the wound 2-3 times daily. Contact a vet for antibiotics. Redness, pus or heat  indicates infection.  If it is warm out, apply a wound dressing to prevent flies from laying eggs in the wound.

Keep your patient separated from the rest of the flock in a dog crate or dog kennel for better observation.  Cage cups can be hung from the side for food and water.  Always make sure that your bird is eating and drinking.   Offer water on a spoon or dropper if they can’t drink on their own. Add electrolytes and vitamins to the drinking water to help with shock and recovery.  Hand feed if necessary with spoon or dropper. Add water to food to make a mash or try a bird formula if needed.

Chickens do feel pain but will go to great lengths to not show it. If you feel that pain relief is needed an aspirin drinking solution can be offered.  Add 5 aspirin (325 mg X 5) tablets to one gallon of water for up to 3 days. Only use if there are not internal injuries.

When scabs have healed over, you can consider returning her to the flock. Remember that any redness will cause other hens to peck at the wound so make sure that she is fully healed. Because she has been gone for more than a few days, you will need to reintroduce her back to the flock as if she is a stranger to them.  How To Integrate New Chickens Into Your Flock  is a good refresher.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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