Now on my third week raising the chickens and I wanted to share some tips to share that no one told me (I'm sure it is somewhere on the BackyardChickens forum - but for a newbie that site is pretty intimidating).
1. Don't skimp on the incubator.
I was pretty nervous about my ability to actually hatch chickens, so I did not want to spend much on an incubator (some are REALLY expensive) and found one for $25 on Amazon. Unfortunately, the eggs stopped developing after about two weeks and it was a manual egg turner so it was pretty stressful to know if you are doing it right. For my next try, I decided to get one with an automatic egg turner at a little pricier amount, but it worked (video below)! Here is the incubator.
2. Get a water container that you can hang or place on something elevated.
I have to change the water container several times a day because the chicks like to kick the pinewood chips into the basin and it constantly needs cleaning. I wish someone would've told me this before I purchased the ones I did on Amazon. I would suggest this as the perfect fit for whatever living situation you create for your chicks.
3. Use boxes for containing chicks during the first few weeks.
I tried to buy a large plastic container for the chicks, but within a week they were already too big for the plastic container! I would suggest using different sized boxes (moving from small to large) as they grow. It saves on money and is much easier to find than big plastic boxes.
4. They LOVE corn!
After a few weeks you can begin to "treat" your chicken. I first tried dried mealworms, but they were not very into the bug. However, they would do just about anything for some corn. I love watching the chicks get SO excited when I bring in half of a corn stalk. You can also use corn from a can, but they are very entertained when picking it off the stalk.
5. Don't forget the sand.
It does not have to be sand, but any type of "grit" you can get will work in keeping their digestion healthy. My silkies are obsessed with this type of sand and just can't get enough.
Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you learned some great tips for your silkies and please feel free to comment if there are any more tips that should be added!