Silkie Batams Run Size


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 29, 2011
Hello, new here, just ordered 6 silkie batams shipping april 30th. I think I decided on a 4x4 quaker style coop and trying to figure out the run. I have seen the suggested run sizes and not knowing much they seem small to me. I'm sure everybody has an opinion but I am trying to get some ball park sizes. I have plenty of room and cost of building is not an issue. Due to the town restrictions I can only have a max of 6 hens, so I will never have more than that. While I have every intention of letting them out to free range every afternoon, being realistic that isn't going to happen so they will spend a considerably amount of time in the run. So I am looking to build something large enough that they will be happy little chickens as well as I assuming that the larger it is the less amount of time in terms of cleanup etc. I am planning on a construction sand base. I was thinking of something around the 120 square foot size, but did not know if they really only need and want 10sq ft per bird? Any opinions or suggestions would be great!
Hi! I also have 6 silkies. Here is a picture of their coop. I would let them out all day to free range but after a hawk attack I put a dog fence around the coop, uncovered but at least they were contained. I have since moved the entire coop into the empty 3 car garage for the winter (we're in Wisconsin). It's a really light weight coop that my husband put a plywood floor on with about a half inch space for easier cleaning.
Let me know if you have any other questions. I actually bought the coop on ebay and then did all the painting/landscaping myself.


and of course, a picture of the "crew"
No, the 10 sq. ft. of run space often suggested here on BYC is a minimum recommendation. They will LOVE having more space. I have 2 silkies and a d'uccle (much smaller than my silkies) in a covered, 44 sq. ft. run (so almost 15 sq. ft. each) and they pace up and down, back and forth, waiting for me to get out there each day to let them out to free range with my big girls. When it comes to chickens, even mild mannered bantams like silkies, the more space they can have the better. If you can give them 20 sq. ft each, then all the better!
There's no such thing as a run too big. If you make it long and narrow, rather than square or wide, it will be easy to cover. The wider you make the run, the more issues there will be with air defense. : /
The more space the chickens have, the fewer issues of *any* kind.
thanks for the reply's! I was thinking 8X15, by code it can only be 6 feet high, so I'm thinking some sort of flat roof so I can stand under it. I assumed more room the better but didn't want to get this large run and have them all huddle over in a corner and never use it sort of thing. My idea was to pour a 4" wide foundation 12-18" deep to keep predators out and for a solid base. I saw the following link and thinking of making it like this

had planned on also digging down the soil and putting stone in for drainage and then the construction sand on top of that
Oh, don't you worry, those chickens will use every square inch of whatever you give them.
Runs in the link looked nice! If it was me though, would want at least a little slope on the roof, hard to imagine flat not leaking INTO the run at some point. Don't know if snow is an issue where you are. The concrete moat thing is an excellent deterent to anyone tunneling in! Some people just use a hardware cloth apron instead...easier, cheaper, faster. Just a thought.
You know not to use chicken wire for anything, right? : ) Pretty much anything that does not have 'chicken' on the label is appropriate, ironically.
i am in rhode island, so we get snow, but i am near the water so we don't get ton's. I am thinking maybe a 1" pitch for the snow and rain. I am going to put a metal roof on, so assuming i do it right, it shouldn't leak

i now know not to use chicken wire, I do have raccoons, and hawks in the area, I started putting out a live trap to see what is out there and try and deter now before the chickens come, so far I am just running a catch and release program with the neighborhood cats.
Silkies love lots of space in the run just like any other chicken. I haven't read through the replies yet, but I just wanted to tell you what my experience tells.

1. Give as much space as you can in the run.

2. Give a shelter from wind, rain, and sun in the run, as they are loathe to enter their coop again during the day (unless it is a shed with no ramp). They will stand in the rain rather than re-enter the coop. In the winter, if you have a shed, they might spend all day inside the shed rather than stand outside in the cold. IF it is a regular coop, they won't go in necessarily.

3. If I were to put six silkies in my smaller run that is about 30 feet by about 10 feet, that would keep them pretty happy.

4. They can't see very well, and have a hard time sometimes with roosts and ramps. Sometimes they will just sleep on the floor and not go up the ramp. You might find them huddled at the bottom of the ramp at night, waiting to go inside the coop.

5. They go broody a lot, so be prepared with enough nest boxes. (For six I'd have at least two nest boxes, close to the floor so they don't have to hop up high, and large enough that a couple can fit in there together.)

6. They seem to get cold faster than the other breeds I have had, and appreciate protection from the elements whilst standing outside (a windbreak).

7. If you have trouble getting them to go up the ramp, make sure that you keep the food inside the coop. This will encourage them to go in and out.

8. If you have a ramp, make it WIDE.

9. If you are going to have roosts in the coop, I'd not make them higher than maybe 6 inches to a foot above the shavings or floor. They fall with a sickening thud on ones higher than that (3 feet) from my experience, or wait for you to take them off the 3 foot roost in the morning (that they hopped up with stair-steps). I'd also make the roosts wide as they are unable to fly- I'd use 2 x 4 's with the wide side for their feet.
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