building a coop for silkies

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by abhaya, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    a couple questions how big do the nesting boxes need to be?
    I have lots and lots of old lumber and tin roofing what would be better to cover the coop sides with?
    anything special i need to take into consideration for a coop for banties only my big girls have a huge coop and free range the banties will only free range supervised so a run will be a must.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    One thing about Silkies is that they don't shed the water from rain very well. They will look like ragamuffins and be uncomfortable if they aren't provided a nice place to sit out of the rain.

    What I did was build a 4 x 8 shelter with plastic roofing (next time I'd use metal) and firring strips. Then I put a canvas tarp on one side as a windbreak (well it drapes over two sides and some of the top).

    I put a pallet on cinder blocks under the shelter for them to perch on. They LOVE to hang out under there. That is where their food is too.

    For silkies the standard 12" x 12 x 12 nest boxes are fine. They go broody a lot, so make sure you have enough boxes. They don't like ramps generally but will use them eventually. I actually have my 11 Silkies in a large rabbit hutch with no roosts.

    Also they don't like roosts generally but some people's silkies do roost. Mine sleep in a pile on the pine shavings, and that is quite common.
    Keep your feeders and waterers low, level with their backs.

    Here are common questions about silkies:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92702

    Here is how to bathe a silkie:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=99105

    Here are GRAPHIC pics (if you even want to see them) of silkie skulls- important to note that silkies have a soft spot like a baby in the top of their little heads, so you don't want to let them get beat up by the larger chickens. If pecked in the head they can have neurological problems or death. Quite a few people have their silkies mixed in with other chickens (I don't) with no problems at all.
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/HoleInHead.html
     
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Because they are banties, they will take the summer heat better than a large breed but need a little extra consideration during the winter, so it depends on how cold you get. Their type of feathers are also not as good at keeping them warm. My banty coops are wood, insulated and I put a heat lamp in there for them during the winter. (On really cold mornings I find them asleep under the lamp.) I also put a nice thick layer of hay on the floor since mine don't roost, they snuggle down in the deep hay.

    I have a couple of silkies that have really fluffy heads, I have to periodically trim around their eyes so they can see, so you might want to watch out for that. Also, I have a few that like to dip their heads in rather far when they drink and if they have a fluffy head, their top knots get wet. During the summer is no big deal, but last winter I came home and two of them looked like they had dread-locks. Their top knots had frozen in long hair like sections. Needless to say they got a haircut that winter. Just FYI.
     
  4. bmerg999

    bmerg999 New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Wisconsin
    I have been wanting to get some Silkies for a while now. We have about 40 other chickes with different breeds. We also have one duck with them. I thought about building a new smaller coop to hold the 15 Silkies that i want to get. I heard that they dont usually roost? That should be easier when building the coop. How big will the coop have to be, area wise? I will put a pen leading out of the coop a possible area under the coop so that they will have some shade, or i will put something on top of the pen to create a shaded area. I was also wondering if 15 silkies is a good number? That is the order minimum for efowl right now. If anyone knows a different online website selling Silkies let me know!
    -Brandon
     
  5. NC ChickenKate

    NC ChickenKate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    My two bantam Silkies roost right along with the rest of the bantam flock (EEs and Welsummers) because, I believe, they were all raised together and since tiny chicks they all had small ramps, pint size roosts and other home built "jungle gym" toys to play with. As they grew the size of their toys grew along with them and now all of them troop up and down the ramps to the nest boxes and up to their second floor roost. The silkies get absolutely no lift at all when they flap their wings but BOY CAN THEY JUMP UP!! But please don't ask them to jump down off a roost because they drop like a sack of potatoes!
    I was led to believe the Silkies would be the bottom of the pecking order but mine are always bossing around the Welsummers. When I move items around in their large yard, which I do almost weekly, the Silkies are usually the first to come and inspect what the new chair, toy, dish, food, waterer, etc. is. I keep an old metal chair in the yard to read the days mail with them and if I'm eating a muffin it will be either the head EE or a Silkie that jumps into my lap to share the news (and the muffin). When an occasional puddle happens in their yard the silkies are the first to walk into it and start scratching and pecking. Fearless or too dumb to be afraid or somewhere in between? I don't care and they don't either.
    Yes my Silkies have gone broody, but then so did two of my four EEs and for a longer time than the Silkies. My 8 gals average 5.5 eggs a day and, lucky me, my Silkies lay soft pink eggs. I'm happy my gals roost together so they aren't sleeping in their poo. I would certainly have Silkies again, LOVE 'EM!
     

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