can a tiny silkie cover 5 LF chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jojomojo, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. jojomojo

    jojomojo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW New Mexico
    I have a little silkie who has been broody for a while and REALLY wants some chicks to mother. The little bit of time she spends off the nest she spends clucking to her imaginary chicks to come get treats :)

    I happen to have 5 EEs in the brooder that I don't want to brood indoors [​IMG] They hatched out on the 4th, so 4 days today.

    The plan is to eventually put the 5 EEs in the main flock, and move the silkie to a broody coop with the 3 silkies that are also in the brooder. It would be so much easier if she could raise & integrate the 5 EEs for me!

    Do you think a silkie can keep 5 chicks warm? It's getting pretty cold, down to 21 last night. Even the days are pretty cold (some days high is in the 40s). Even if she can cover them now, what about 3-4 weeks from now when its even colder? Only one way to know for sure - test it out, but it would be good to have some opinions before going through the trouble :)
  2. jojomojo

    jojomojo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW New Mexico
    Just to add - she has been sitting on a full nest because I've been thinking about giving her eggs. She has 5 golf balls and 4 wooden eggs. At first she just had the 5 golf balls, but she kept sitting AND laying eggs. As soon as I gave her a bigger clutch, she stopped laying lol
  3. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2013
    I can't give you any definitive answer.. but I do know my silkie who is 1 year old and smaller in size than my other silkie, has hatched 12 silkie-size eggs in the past.

    I would guess my silkie can cover 8 LF eggs, and I am letting her nest indoors right now on 4 LF eggs and 4 silkie eggs.

    I figure the warmer environment ensures she covers them. To help her cover all the eggs, I also put a wicker basket in the nest, filled with hay which she then shaped into a silkie-sized bowl. I thought that having a bowl shape at the bottom would also help her cover them. The wicker basket is surrounded by deep hay, so it's embedded and doesn't move. This is just what I did...

    I think 5 LF eggs would be no problem :) But there is only 1 way to find out!
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Yes, she can. I have bantam cochins who routinely brood 6 large fowl eggs and raise the babies for me. Sounds like a perfect number, I'm just not sure if the chicks are too old. Give it a try and see how it goes.

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