Help!!! I don't want to have a popsicle Silkie!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by earnhardtlvr, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    I have a 7 month old blue silkie who is not doing well with the cold weather here in Western MD. She is only about 2-3 lbs. This coop used to b a smokehouse and is heavily insulated. My Dad built this about 40 years ago. We have straw in there and the only opening now is the prop door and the 2 vents out the top. We got her a heavy cardboard box and put straw in it and she now sleeps in the box. She always feels warm when we pick her up, but we think she pretty much just stays in that box during the day (the food is inside the coop, but have to walk out the prop door to the run for water). We let them out every evening to free range in the yard for about an hour or 2. She usually will come out, eat and scratch for a bit, drink some water and then go back in and get in her box. The coop is about 7 wide x 17 long and about 8 tall. We have a 250 watt red bulb that we keep on for them 24/7. It has been getting down in the 30's & 40's at night. Tonight it's supposed to b in the low 20's. Thermometer says it's about 45 degree in there now.

    So now with all that background and the fact that I do know silkies dont do well in cold weather (my roo silkie weighs about 5-6 lbs, is the same age, and is doing fine) what should I do for my little Furball? hould I bring her in the basement where it is limate controlled?? Leave her out there and add another bulb closer to her little box....HELP????!!!!!!

    U can see pics of the coop on my BYC page if u have more questions.
  2. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Aug 2, 2011
    This is my first winter with my silkies, but we're getting cold weather like you are and my silkies are all doing fine. Some of them are pretty small too. It sounds like you have a good setup to keep her warm enough as long as it's not drafty. Could she be broody?
  3. mshuey1

    mshuey1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2011
    San Antonio
    She sounds real tiny. I would bring her in were I can watch her and know she is doing well. Also start her on some cracked corn this will help by adding some warmth because of the sugar. Continue to gave corn w her feed until weather is over. I hope this helps.
  4. CAChicklette

    CAChicklette New Egg

    Oct 18, 2011
    Both our silkies (one rooster, one teeny tiny female) are pretty much loaners and don't nestle in with the other chickens (9) I just turned on my lamp now (in a 6X8 coop). I start with 175 watts and work up to 250 by mid the great white North (snow today).
    Anyway...try making a cubby out of the 2" styrofoam they have. I inserted it in my nesting boxes in the back (the part that juts out by itself). They're still laying eggs in it and seem comfy.
    Hope that helps. The other option I've used is putting a small plastic dog crate in there (so it has to work less to keep warm and is covered all the way around). Mine love those spots.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would also wonder if she is broody. My 2 silkies are 7 months old have both gone broody. I have to pull them out of their next boxes each evening and put them on the roost. If you keep putting a heat lamp in their coop, I wonder if they will grow their feathers out for winter? I think I might try them without the heat and just keep their protein level up around 20 % (like Flock Raiser or Chick Starter.)
  6. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Quote:I'm not sure about the broody thing. She used to lay her egg in the corner where her box is now. I haven't been getting an egg in her little box and since I have 23 hens i don't know if she is laying in one of the nest boxes. Does she have to have an egg under her to go broody? This is my first year with chicks. She is very active in the evening once u take her off the nest. She runs around and eats, scratches, and drinks good.????
  7. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Quote:She is very tiny. She was the runt of the litter. She gets cracked corn every night as their treat. We throw it out in the "human" yard and she runs around scrathing and fiding it. She has a full little crop every night. If I have to bring her inside I can certainly do that. Her only little friend tho seems to b my silkie roo. They were from the same hatch. Can I take the roo away from his girls at night????
  8. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Quote:She is the only one having a problem. WHen I pick her up and take her outside to free range I normally hold and pet her for a little bit. She is definately my baby. I can feel her shivering. I definately don't want to do anything that would hurt her and am scared to take the heat away. right now it is 29 degrees outside and 46 degree in the coop.
  9. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    When our little blue silkie hen really WAS brooding on a clutch of eggs, she became infested with mites. They nearly sucked her bone dry before we noticed. What we had interpreted as "broody brain drain" was actually weakness from her anemic blood loss from the mites infestation. Really, she was loaded. So was the coop.

    Thankfully she is fine and healthy today, two years later. She is the first to moult and the most richly feathered. She adores the winter cold. She is very strong and healthy today!

    My story. I hope it might help you poke around all your possibilities! Broody? Runt? Sick? Bored? ...Fine? I wish you luck figuring her out [​IMG]
  10. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    We've lost our favorite Silkie pullet already this Winter, despite the heat lamp. [​IMG] I wish everyone's Silkies do better.

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