New to having a Silkie. Advice?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DangerChickenHouse, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    If I would have done my research, I would not have bought her. But, I love her and she's going to stay. Now, I need advice on how to accommodate her. I have a backyard flock of four: Golden Comet, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, and the Silkie. They all seem to get along fantastically. In my city backyard, they have an A-frame coop and free range the side of my house during the day. The bottom of the coop is open (hardwire cloth) and the top is covered with a roosting bar and loft.

    1) I didn't realize that Silkies can't fly and won't climb ladders. My three other girls are going to bed in the loft of the coop. She waits at the coop door every night for me to pick her up and put her with the other girls. It's not that high, so she can easily hop down during the morning. Even though this routine is cute, it's gotta stop. We will be going out of town for Christmas and the Silkie needs to know how to put herself to bed.
    My question: What should I do? I can put a small house/nesting box in the coop. Will she get cold by herself?

    2) I didn't realize that Silkie's were big targets for predators. We have cats roaming around the neighborhood. I'm not concerned about hawks. In the past, cats have entered my yard and watched my chickens. They get close, but they just hang out and groom themselves as if they are just chicken watching.
    My question: Should I worry now that I have the small Silkie? Is there anything that I can do about it?

    3) If my Silkie can't get to the nesting box. How is she going to lay her eggs?
    My question: If I add a little house inside the coop for her to sleep in, will she lay there too? And, will the other birds try to follow her lead.

    Thanks in advance for your answers!
     
  2. tlcarnes2176

    tlcarnes2176 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can only give my input on #1: My flock of 40 is a very mixed bunch but 2 of them are white silkies. When I introduced them into the flock they would stay together and didn't mingle at all. I would have to get in the run and push their butts up the ladder/board every night. I always had a light on for them to find the coop opening, but they just sat at the bottom of the opening. After about 3 weeks of doing that they finally started going up the ladder/board by their selves. I hope this helps you. The ladder /board I'm talking about is a 2 X 6 board with pieces of 1 x 4 strips across for their footing.
     
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  3. SilkiesnFrizzle

    SilkiesnFrizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silkies will climb ladders and do roost. She might not go up the ladder herself becasue she knows that every night, you will come and put her up. I would leave her alone for a few nights and see what she does. When she is ready to lay, she will. None of mine use thier nest boxes, they will lay in the middle of the coop if that's what they decide to do. How big is her crest? She might not be able to see very well, and this also might be why she doesn't go up the ladder. Her range of sight might make her an easier target for a predator, but I would worry about hawks just as much with any breed. If her crest is big, trim it away from her eyes, she might surprise you then.
     
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  4. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    She's still young. Maybe 6 months?

    Thanks for the advice. I'll trim her crest tomorrow.
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Los Angeles
    Silkies can climb ladders and ramps if they aren't too steep but she may need a lot of encouragement and training. It took me about a week to get mine to do it. I would use mealworms to get her to slowly climb up the ramp and would practice everyday. I would also put her up every night so she got into the routine of sleeping there so she would want to try. Some roost and some will not. Mine never did no matter how hard I tried -- didnt seem to be able to get onto anything higher than mid chest. A haircut could help because vision is a big issue for them. Also, a second silkie to sleep with could really help with warmth and social behavior.
     

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