Do Silkies roost? How do they sleep? How can I set it up?

SavvySilkieMom

Chirping
Nov 27, 2019
68
71
82
I have two silkie chicks that will be kept indoors as ESAs. I have a 62" rabbit hutch in their own room where they free range. I am wondering where they would sleep when they move in? I have them in a broder now but I know once they move in they will have anesting box and a roost. Where do they usually sleep? Nesting boxes or on the roost? I want to know for poop cleaning purposes. I know the mornig poo is big, so I dont want a huge mess and i'd like to know more or less where it will be for clean up.

Thanks !
 

HeyHeyWW

Songster
Oct 9, 2017
167
446
136
Florida
I don't have any experience with Silkies either, but I think they would sleep on the roost.

How old are the chicks?

When I had chicks without a mother, I would put them in a box and cover them with a blanket. Don't worry about them suffocating, though, because it's never happened. I would only do this with a chick that was less than three months old. Once they were older than that, I got them used to sleeping in a roost. I just wanted them to feel like they were under their mother hen when they sleep. But, you don't have to do that. You could always let them sleep in the nesting box or on the roost. I think that they'd get used to sleeping on the roost.
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
1,998
4,806
527
Southeast Alabama
When silkies are small the usually sleep in a pile. Once they get older they will roost to sleep if you provide them with a low roost. Silkie feathers are different from regular feathers of other chickens. They aren't flight feathers so if the roost is higher than the silkie can jump, the silkie probably won't be able to get up on it. If you make one about 6 inches tall, they may use it. I'd put some poop boards under it to make clean up easier.
 

SavvySilkieMom

Chirping
Nov 27, 2019
68
71
82
When silkies are small the usually sleep in a pile. Once they get older they will roost to sleep if you provide them with a low roost. Silkie feathers are different from regular feathers of other chickens. They aren't flight feathers so if the roost is higher than the silkie can jump, the silkie probably won't be able to get up on it. If you make one about 6 inches tall, they may use it. I'd put some poop boards under it to make clean up easier.
The hutch i purchased has removable trays for clean up. If they roost to sleep why do they need a nesting box? dont they sleep in those or thats only for hens to lay?
 

Peepsi

Songster
Apr 1, 2017
439
1,501
222
Utah
The hutch i purchased has removable trays for clean up. If they roost to sleep why do they need a nesting box? dont they sleep in those or thats only for hens to lay?
They would love sleeping in their nesting box, but you do not want them to do that! Chickens poop through the night when they sleep, so if your silkies are hens, they will be pooping in the same nests that the lay eggs in, which means a dirty poopy egg for you.

You want clean eggs, so you don't have to wash them. Washing eggs washes off the bloom, which is there to protect them from bacteria. The eggs will go bad faster if you wash the bloom off.

So do not let them sleep in the nest box. Getting them used to sleeping on a roost between 4 and 6 inches high would be best for both you and them.

EDIT: of course, if your silkies are both boys, the egg problem does not apply. But you still want them to roost, so they aren't sitting in their own poop.
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
831
4,545
372
Idaho
Mine roosted on the ground in a huddle while they were little, but once they got bigger they upgraded to the roosts. The boys sleep on the high roost and the girls on the low. My silkies are hatchery quality so they have some "bad" silkie feathers, which lets them fly a little but not well.
 

SavvySilkieMom

Chirping
Nov 27, 2019
68
71
82
They would love sleeping in their nesting box, but you do not want them to do that! Chickens poop through the night when they sleep, so if your silkies are hens, they will be pooping in the same nests that the lay eggs in, which means a dirty poopy egg for you.

You want clean eggs, so you don't have to wash them. Washing eggs washes off the bloom, which is there to protect them from bacteria. The eggs will go bad faster if you wash the bloom off.

So do not let them sleep in the nest box. Getting them used to sleeping on a roost between 4 and 6 inches high would be best for both you and them.

EDIT: of course, if your silkies are both boys, the egg problem does not apply. But you still want them to roost, so they aren't sitting in their own poop.
So they will be covered in poo every morning? Oh no!
I will have to close the upper compartment of the hutch every night so they dont sleep in the nesting boxes. how thick should the roost be? I heard a 2 by 4 is good because it shouldnt be too thin or round so its easy to be on.Is that true? Also do roosters need a nesting box too?
 

SavvySilkieMom

Chirping
Nov 27, 2019
68
71
82
Mine roosted on the ground in a huddle while they were little, but once they got bigger they upgraded to the roosts. The boys sleep on the high roost and the girls on the low. My silkies are hatchery quality so they have some "bad" silkie feathers, which lets them fly a little but not well.
I see. Wondering if they are both roos do they still need a nesting box?
 
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