Can I use Silkies to keep my chicks warm?

BuyanBuyan

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
36
0
24
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?
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
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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.
 

BuyanBuyan

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
36
0
24
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?
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
133,470
448,228
2,097
New Jersey
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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