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wellington womble

Chick hatching questions

We have had chicks hatching,which is quite the event, given that one of us is six and adores animals and the other has really struggled with the incubator temperature and humidity. Plus, the eggs were posted, so I'm frankly astounded we've got this far.

Anyway, now we have, I have some questions.

Will my silkie be able to keep cats away from the babies? We have a number visiting and whilst they don't bother the chickens, I expect they'd take a chick if they had the chance.

I've two more broody Silkies who seem quite determined. Can I put them in a house together (there are two nest boxes and space for half a dozen birds) while they are brooding and before the chicks out grow the space?
Woo

my cats certainly took an interest in the noises made by the chicks. however they were too frightened of the hens to get too close. sorry I cant be specific about silkies but from what I have read about them size isn't an issue when it comes to their ability to defend themselves/their chicks. as long as the chicks keep up with the hen...stragglers never did well on wildlife on one!

what fun. I bet you little girl is delighted, my kids still get all giddy about the chicks hatching.
Shan

We lost 4 chicks last year to a cat. The problem seemed to be that the chicks scatter and the mother can't keep an eye on all of them.
Bodger

Cats will get past the broody to get at the chicks and rats definitely will too. I like to keep broodies away from other hens.
chickenlady

I keep broodies separate too - even silkies. And, yes, a cat will be able to catch a chick, even when it's with its mum. As has been said, chicks shoot off in all directions when alarmed by a cat and are an easy target.
Woo

I must have been really lucky then... there are 6 cats in our small group of houses plus strays.
then again my hens have seen off a fox in the daylight so maybe they are just super aggressive...
good luck with your chicks Very Happy
wellington womble

Hmm, cat proof runs then. I had hoped to let them out in the garden when I was out there. I can keep an eye on them then. They certainly don't see off foxes (if only. We've shot nine, and they are still coming. In the day time, too. How long do the bloody things live?)

When I said about the silkies being in the house, I only meant with each other. I have two broody silkies, and only one spare house just at the moment.
dpack

cat proof makes sense

regarding the longevity of radgel iirc a few years is a good innings for rural foxes but traps and guns can reduce that quite a bit
wellington womble

If only. It completely ignores the trap. Even when baited with whole chicken. Or pork. Or liver. I have just worked out that my gun comes up at night to look for it, but all my recent attacks have been in the daytime. So it might be more sensible to try in the day. Especially if I let some of my less valuable birds out. It got the last lot within hours, even though they haven't been out of their foxproof run since the last attack in September. It's a menace!
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