Silkie Coop Questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jencleg, May 21, 2011.

  1. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2011
    Jasper
    I am trying like crazy to get the coop done so that they can know where their home is before they are all too big for their doggie crate, but I had some questions:


    1. Do silkies roost? I wanted know if I need to install roosts? Right [email protected] 6 weeks, they still sleep in a pile...like a multi-colored fuzzy rug [​IMG]

    2. How far off the ground do I have to raise it? It is a revamped rabbit hutch so I am pretty sure that I am furry critter proof, but the slithering critters scare me...what do I need to be on the defense of the most?

    3. I see that folks say to put them in it for about a week so they know it's home...but I have never heard all the details that makes this work!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    A lot of silkies prefer not to roost. If you do choose to let them roost (put one in the coop I mean), I would have it no more than 2 feet off the ground, because they really can't fly. And you will need some "steps" for them to get up to even that roost for them to be comfortable.

    Also they can't see well and so ramps make them nervous. So bear that in mind as you decide how far off the ground to make it.

    If you are keeping them in a rabbit hutch (I have done that for silkies), just be aware that rats and weasels can enter unless your holes are covered with hardware cloth 1/2 inch. I have kept my silkies in the prefabricated hutches for awhile and not done this but I was lucky.

    With silkies I have found that they are extremely reluctant to leave the coop at first (when they come out of the brooder). I have found that even putting their food and water down in the run makes no difference for some of them. I ended up watching them for an hour or two and then moving the water/food back up to the coop.

    Once they get the hang of the ramp, you can put the food and water wherever you want.

    This might give you an idea of what silkies are like:

    My silkies love the shelter under the tarp and sawhorses, and will readily climb up to the pallet and sit on it. The pallet to the right is a bit higher and they will NOT get on it. My other breeds do.
    [​IMG]

    The roost poles in this picture are NEVER utilized by my silkies. But my other breeds use them daily.
    [​IMG]

    I hope this helps.
    (BTW, it was a rainy day and thus all the chickens were soggy messes in these pics, lol.)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  3. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    U.S.A.
    1. Silkies aren't that different from most chickens, they like to roost. Only problem is, they can barely fly. They need to be able to jump up to the roost without having to use their wings (it would be a good idea to put in a platform that they can hop onto to get to the perch).
    2. I'd say about a foot or more off the ground. We have ours housed in a chain-link dog pen, so if we have the roosts hanging through the chain-link, we attach slitted milk-jugs to the ends to keep raccoons from grabbing the chickens and pulling them through the fence (yes, it is possible.)

    3. They need to know that they should go back to the coop when it gets dark. Putting them in for about a week or more aids this.
    Mine sometimes get a habit of sleeping outside, on the roof ( [​IMG] ) and they often get picked off by predators. Our fix is to go trampling around in the dark, climbing up and taking them off the roof. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jasper
    Quote:LOL!! I need a visual [​IMG] cause I am clueless to how all this works! Milk jugs? Pulling them thru where? I am truly imagination impaired! [​IMG]
     
  5. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jasper
    Quote:Thank you for the imput...it the wire on the bottom & 1/2 of the front are the wire with the very small holes in it, do I still need to use the hardware cloth? I am not sure of the size, butI cannot get my finger thru it...
     
  6. sben451

    sben451 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
    Anniston, AL
    Our Silkie pen has 1/4" hardware cloth all around the bottom. My Silkies do like to roost, but as previously stated they cannot fly much at all, so we have ramps up to the roosts and to the top of the nest box (their favorite place to roost). Mine get along with my Buff Orpingtons and some other breeds and the Silkie hens are excellent broody hens and mothers (for any eggs, not just theirs). If you keep your Silkies in their coop for a couple of weeks, then they should go back to the coop late in the afternoon. Try just letting them out for an hour or two before dark at first and keep an eye on them. If your Silkies are chicks you might want to wait until they're older to let them free range--especially if there are dogs or cats around.
    When we first got Silkies, we kept them in their coop and run (where they had plenty of room) until they were about three or four months old because we had 5 cats and two dogs. We watched them very carefully when we first let them out in the yard to make sure the cats didn't bother them. [​IMG]
     

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