Can I use Silkies to keep my chicks warm?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BuyanBuyan, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. BuyanBuyan

    BuyanBuyan Out Of The Brooder

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    I am interested in raising my own chickens for meat purposes. I read that you can use Silkie chickens to keep baby chicks warm as an alternative to using a brooder light. Has anyone done this? Is it a good idea? How many baby chicks for one Silkie is the right ratio?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] It will work fine if the silkies are broody, but non broody hens will not generally accept chicks. I have had silky hens hatch and raise as many as 8 large fowl chicks.
     
  3. BuyanBuyan

    BuyanBuyan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    How do I know if a Silkie is broody? Is there a way to encourage it? Once they become broody, how long do they stay that way?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A broody hen will stay in the nest only coming out once or maybe twice a day to eat, drink, and poop. Normal incubation period is 21 days. You MAY be able to encourage broodiness by allowing the hen to build a clutch of eggs in the nest. (In other words don't take the eggs on a daily basis.) Most silkies require very little encouragement. Most broodies will set far longer than that if they have fake or non viable eggs.
     

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