Keeping my silkies warm in Michigan

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 5cutechicks, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    We have 3 silkies and live in michigan and I am so worried about keeping them warm, they are 6 months old and I think they quit growing, they are all only a few pounds, tiny little chickens! We have 1 confirmed roo and think the other 2 are hens but no eggs yet. They are family pets and we love them so much we don't want them to die. The lady we got them from said they do just fine in the winter here and only lost 1 last year and it was fridges here, but she also had LOTS if chickens! I have been reading about a snuggle safe disc that people sometimes use for outdoor pets and wondered if anyone has ever used them? I do not want to use a heat lamp/light bulb, I am terrified of it starting a fire. I've read alot and people seem to have mixed feeling on heat or no heat, I tend to feel its not great for them since chickens have survived hundreds a of years with out heat and birds seem to do just fine in the winter! We have 1 other chicken she's a Rhode Island Red and she survived last winter just fine and we used no heat for her just tons of bedding and closed her up in her coop. She doesn't get along with our silkies so we added an apartment to our coop for them. My silkies don't seem to be really smart like or Rhode Island, they won't go in there coop at night they sit at the top of the steps in front of the opening to there coop so every night we have to put them in the coop and close the door. They sit right in front of the closed door, they will not roost at all. Wondered if anyone out there has silkies in a cold climate!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello, they will do just fine in the cold. Silkies are surprisingly cold hardy. And really, you already know how to keep them warm. Lots of straw for them to cuddle in during the winter is the key, if they don't seem to want to roost. I wouldn't use any artificial heat either.

    I think they will grow a bit bigger for you. They're still pretty young. It did take my silkies longer to start laying than some of my other breeds of chickens. And with winter coming, it's possible you may not see eggs until spring, when daylight hours get longer.

    I'm in Ohio. The sucky thing about winter for me is frozen water. I change the water twice daily when it's winter. I use rubber buckets, and the tops freeze. I keep two buckets. One at the house, and one in the coop, and I just exchange them twice a day. You can step on the bucket since it's rubber and it flexes, and the ice will just pop out. If you get a heated waterer, that is awesome, but I also like to get out to the coop anyhow and check on things, so it really isn't that bad to just take a bucket down each time.

    A friend of mine had a coop that was pretty small, like a rabbit cage. Her chickens all slept in there, with lots of straw, and they were fine each winter. My hen house is big. It's an 8x12 storage barn type, with an attached, covered chicken run. this weekend, I'll be putting tarps around the run to ward off the wind, and then I like to put a bail of straw in there for the flock to roost on and they will scratch around and spread it all over the run. A flock block is good to give them something to peck at, and it helps with boredom.

    Take care and stay warm up there!
    Sharon
     

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