Coop for silkies

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bairdfarm, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. bairdfarm

    bairdfarm New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Sometime this week I will be getting two young silkies; I have plenty of regular chickens, but I have never kept silkies. I have this coop. http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/sto...heavy-duty-chick-n-hutch-2-4-chicken-capacity
    I am wondering if it will work for them during the winter. It will be just the two silkies in it and the the whole front of the coop is just wire. The weather where I live (Tennessee) isn't too bad and it most likely won't get below 0 but it will get to the 15-20s several times throughout the winter. Would this coop be too cold for them? Do I need to put wood across the front so it will be warmer for them? Any other silkie advice would also be appreciated! Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies can initially have a hard time with ramps. So what I would do is keep the food inside the coop and don't help them DOWN the ramp.

    I have this coop as well and I have silkies but they don't stay in that coop. (But I have had them in there in the past.)

    You definitely need some plywood across the front and sides. The bottom will vent it more than adequately. I have also used plexiglass but the chickens really like the security of being hidden away from predators. For a nest box you can use a small covered kitty litter pan with some sand in it and scoop the sand with kitty litter scoop (edited to add) if they poo/sleep in it in the morning, which they probably will. They prefer to huddle together and some silkies won't even roost at all.

    I buy the "project" plywood at Home Depot which is already cut to the perfect size and I string wire across the top of the inside of the coop (open the lid first) from one side to the other to hold the plywood in place (takes two plywood panels across the front)- but I do this in the front of the coop so the plywood is between this wire and the front door. I like this wire across it since sometimes I also wire a heat lamp in there (hanging with wire at least two ways so it won't fall, and put a 60 watt or 100 watt bulb in there).

    If you put a light bulb in there make sure that it is wired so that it won't be too close to all the plywood or other flammable surfaces.

    On the sides I drill a hole in the plywood and use a bolt and nut with a large washer to hold the plywood onto the wire mesh. You can also do this for the front but then they can't get out the door. If you want you can make the egg door the exit for the coop...I saw one person had done that on here.

    I often just keep the roosting pole out of there, since it seems to get in the way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  3. bairdfarm

    bairdfarm New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Thank you so much! Wonderful reply. I will put plywood across it now because I want those little fluffy silkies to be as comfortable as possible.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Also, if you use the front door as the entrance, it helps to place three bricks stacked - right at the entrance- to keep them from placing their feet on that wire, which will give them bumblefoot quite possibly.

    You are welcome! I don't consider this coop extremely predator proof (only 1/2 inch hardware cloth will keep out rats and weasels which kill chickens), but I use it to raise chicks and for broody hens (temporary coop)- and they don't hold up in the weather more than a couple or three years from my experience. So I'd be trying to construct something in your mind for a next step for them.
     
  5. bairdfarm

    bairdfarm New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Can you elaborate on the bricks?
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When you have a piece of lumber as your ramp leading up to the front door, they won't have to put their feet on the wire mesh that comprises the door (the front part of the coop). Then you wouldn't need the bricks.

    However, if you use a table in front of the coop as I did for them to stand on before they enter the coop, and put your ramp on the table, they will step on the wire pop door opening and hurt their feet. Hence the bricks stacked in the doorway (inside the coop) prevents them from standing on the wire opening to enter, as they will step on the bricks and not the wire.

    I didn't like the ramp on the doorway itself since it fell down several times and they were having a hard time getting in. At least with the table they can jump up there and get in.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

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