Please Answer Questions About My Silkies!!!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Freeranger, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Freeranger

    Freeranger In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2009
    If anyone has any silkies or knows anything about them please respond!!

    How often do silkies go broody? How many eggs do they set on? Are they good layers? Can you let them freerange? Which is better for broodyness? Silkies, cochins, or other.

  2. I think a silkie is born broody. They have been know to sit eggs that are not theirs and hatch them out.
  3. Silkies go broody often. Ours mostly lay eggs to hatch so they don't lay them every other day. In fact, the first sign that the girls are going broody is that they are laying eggs. If you keep gathering them they'll keep laying for a while longer however, eventually you find one sitting there, refusing to leave the nest. When that happens you can put as many eggs as she can hold under her and 21 days later have a nest full of peepers. They are wonderful moms. I normally add eggs until she can't cover them easily - the number depends on the egg size.

    As an example, I've told this story before but Biddie deserves a re-tell. One time we ordered 25 baby chicks to be delivered in late fall. I was concerned it was too cold but the lady on the phone at Ideal convinced me to go ahead. Due to problems, our brooder didn't heat up as well as expected and of course the day they arrived was overcast and cold. The brooker was only around 83.

    The chicks were sluggish and at least 3 had that "I'm waiting to die." look to them. I knew that I had to warm everyone up fast. I ran out into the morning drizzle, grabbed Biddie off a nest and dashed back to the house. (I suspected the eggs had gotten cold but would candle them and put in an incubator if not.)

    I carried Biddie back to the sunporch. I could hear the cold chicks peeping two rooms away! So could she. She started that "You just come over here" chirp that mamas give, long before she ever saw the babies. Once she caught sight of the brooder she almost jumped out of my arms into it. I removed the water so just she and the babes were left inside (it's a plastic storage bin/brooder). Almost immediately she was burbling those mama hen noises and stuffing 25 chicks under her as fast as she could.

    In no time, she had the temp up and the 25 babies were all trying to figure out a way to cuddle up to one OLD silkie hen. She raised the babies just fine. It was so funny to look in at her with tiny heads popping out from everywhere - and I do mean everywhere! 12 of the 25 were silkies but the others were regular sized chickens which eventually couldn't fit under her so they would lay on top.

    We also have a cochin hen. She's young and I've never used her as a broody. She big so can probably raise more than Biddie but I doubt she'll ever be as good a mom. Biddie's daughters are all wonderful too. Not to mention so is our silkie rooster - he's raised some babies as well. Whenever Biddie has a small group he climbs right into the nest box with her and the babies - at the opening like he's protecting them.
  4. mbrobbins

    mbrobbins Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Powder Springs, ga
    THey are medium to good egg layers all year. THey can go broody anytime of the year; I have 6 silkie hens currently setting, and it was really cold last week, They can set on about 8-10 eggs depending on size. They are some of the best setters ever;Good luck. (I have about 7 hens and a roo (white silkies)$50 for all of them I live outside of Atlanta)I have plenty more, but I need to make room for some new silkie chicks that I acquired for some new bloodlines
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Read BYC long enough and you'll see that they will hatch eggs well.

    And rocks, toys, air, shavings, golf balls, each other...

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