We are also raising 3 Silkie chicks now. I was really worried about keeping the chicks safe and warm and stumbled across a turorial from this website http://www.utm.edu/departments/ed/cece/idea/brood.shtml. It was everything I needed for a small set up. Here is what ours looks like:
Here is approximated costs:
I got the tub at Target for about $6.00.
My husband had leftover hardware cloth and that is what he used to make the top. The hardware cloth is bolted on top. The light I got in the lizzard section of Petsmart. The light is a 70W output and cost 7.99 at Petsmart. The actual fixture cost $12.99 at Petsmart and is dimmable which I thought was a cool feature for when the chicks get older and they don't need as much heat. The waterer was about 2.50 at the Agri Supply store. I had marbles in it for the first week because I was worried they would drown. I also bought some aspen and pine shavings from Petsmart (a small bag cost $2.99) and I put a couple of rows of paper towels and sprinkle the shavings on top. I read Cedar shavings are bad so I avoid them. I put a shallow bowl with chick feed (+antibiotics) in there and they like to sit in it and peck. Anyway, I am HUGE fan of this set up because I have cats and a 4 year old and this makes me feel like they are safer than they would be in a cardboard box. By the way, my daughter decorated their tub for Easter with stickers in case you were wondering what those were.