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Silkie owners, I've got a couple of questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Darklingstorm, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    633
    6
    131
    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I'm planning on getting a breeding pair of Silkies next year. I've read a lot on here and on other sites. I'm hoping that the hen will be a mama wannabe and hatch some of my large breed eggs for me too. I'm trying to learn as much as I can, so I can be as prepared as possible. Would hate to get the darling and end up killing them because of not knowing.

    1. How much room does a broody Silkie with around 6 chicks need (planning for the future)?
    2. Can the roo stay in the same coop with the hen and babies?
    3. I live in Southern Oklahoma and the temperatures get pretty hot and humid or freezing overnight, is there anything special they will need? All they say is that they can't stand extreme weather, but that is about all we have here. Its either hot & humid or freezing cold. I think we have 1 week in the Spring and one in the Fall that is nice and mild.
    4. any special considerations to be made with coop design, like fence spacing or height (read they can't fly so everything has to be low)?
    5. any special concerns pertaining to water and food, don't really plan on showing them - but if I get a beauty I just might.

    Any suggests would be greatly appreciated.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

    937
    10
    141
    Aug 17, 2009
    Hiles
    Quote:Please keep in mind that while a lot of Silkies go broody, not all of them will. 6 eggs might really be pushing it for a Silkie to sit on. I have 4 under mine and that seems to be a comfortable number (these are Silkie eggs and are much smaller than standard size eggs)/
    1. Typically Silkies don't require much room, but with little ones, I would say a pen about 4' x 8'. A lot of grass is good for all of them to munch on and play in. I would provide a shady spot with really good ventilation because of the hot weather. They would probably prefer under a tree or bush.
    2. If it's a good breeding pair and the roo isn't aggressive it may work out. I have one that loves babies and 2 that there's not a chance of having in with babies.
    3. Just make sure that they have a coop with very deep shavings or something that is insulated for the really cold and like a said before about the shady well ventilated area for the hot.
    4. Make sure the other chickens can't get at them, but as for the height of any fencing for them, 2' is plenty. You also have to make sure that no other predators can get at them. Some people put a top on their pens of some kind, whether it be wire or something. If you are building a coop, check out the coops that they have on here. They have some really awesome ones. They don't perch per say. I have a little perch about 4 inches high that they will sit on occassionally but not very often.
    5. Of course they always need plenty of fresh water. I add vitamins to the water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help keep down bacteria. As far as food goes everyone has their own ideas but they do seem to need a little higher protein and for the babies the crumbles seem too big for them to eat right away. I know many people feed gamebird. You can also give vege's and fruit and plain yogurt.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    777
    70
    181
    Jul 9, 2009
    Texas
    The best mama hen I have is a welsummer (go figure). I have had 2 welsummer mamas, 1 golden phoenix (or jungle fowl - not sure which), 1 silkie-mix, 1 silkie, 1 buff orpington mama, 1 bantam cochin, and 1 black australorp mama. That is out of a hundred hens or so. I think it's kind of luck of the draw to get a good broody hen, so maybe when you're buying one, you could just post a wanted-ad for a good broody/mama type hen that has taken good care of babies in the past.
    Once they hatch the babies out, you can put them in a big dog crate with the babies, and just let them out in the day when the babies get to be 4 days old or so. Once the babies are a couple weeks old, I haven't had trouble adding a rooster to the mix. One of the welsummer mamas chases away all the other hens, but likes to have a welsummer rooster hanging out with her and the babies probably to help watch for hawks. She has never yelled at him once, even when he's right next to the babies eating with them. We also have some babies that snuggle under a silkie rooster at night - cute!
     
  4. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,586
    20
    191
    Feb 24, 2011
    Michigan
    my silkies have hatch up to 12 eggs
     
  5. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,586
    20
    191
    Feb 24, 2011
    Michigan
    a mom with 6 babies well do good in a 36''by36'' area i dont like the broodies to have too much room other wise they loose there babies and i dont let broodies take there babies out side un till at least 4 to 6 weeks
     
  6. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,586
    20
    191
    Feb 24, 2011
    Michigan
    if ur going have a out door runs i would make the tallenuff to stand in strong enuff to keep out dogs with small wire arounf bottom to keep chicks in
     
  7. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Please keep in mind that while a lot of Silkies go broody, not all of them will. 6 eggs might really be pushing it for a Silkie to sit on. I have 4 under mine and that seems to be a comfortable number (these are Silkie eggs and are much smaller than standard size eggs)/
    1. Typically Silkies don't require much room, but with little ones, I would say a pen about 4' x 8'. A lot of grass is good for all of them to munch on and play in. I would provide a shady spot with really good ventilation because of the hot weather. They would probably prefer under a tree or bush.
    2. If it's a good breeding pair and the roo isn't aggressive it may work out. I have one that loves babies and 2 that there's not a chance of having in with babies.
    3. Just make sure that they have a coop with very deep shavings or something that is insulated for the really cold and like a said before about the shady well ventilated area for the hot.
    4. Make sure the other chickens can't get at them, but as for the height of any fencing for them, 2' is plenty. You also have to make sure that no other predators can get at them. Some people put a top on their pens of some kind, whether it be wire or something. If you are building a coop, check out the coops that they have on here. They have some really awesome ones. They don't perch per say. I have a little perch about 4 inches high that they will sit on occassionally but not very often.
    5. Of course they always need plenty of fresh water. I add vitamins to the water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help keep down bacteria. As far as food goes everyone has their own ideas but they do seem to need a little higher protein and for the babies the crumbles seem too big for them to eat right away. I know many people feed gamebird. You can also give vege's and fruit and plain yogurt.
    Hope this helps.

    Pennie...4!?! Just 4 eggs!?!?! Mine can sit on 4-5 standard eggs and up to 12 of their own eggs. I dont like them to sit on 12, I usually knock it down to 8 - they can fit more than comfortably on 8 - they have loads of fluff and body to cover that # of eggs well.

    If I only have 1 broody, I seperate her when her chicks hatch into a 4X4 tractor type coop - the box is on the ground and the run is roofed - I do this till about 2 weeks old then let her and babies back into the main flock of silkies. Right now I have 4 hens who have broody at once, so I now have 4 out of 7 hens with babies this week, so they are all in the main coop (5X5 coop) and the run (roughly 150 square foot) by 3 weeks I let them free range in the yard with the moms. they tend to do shared bodyguard duty of the babies and my silkes are vicious mothers. [​IMG]
     
  8. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

    937
    10
    141
    Aug 17, 2009
    Hiles
    Quote:Please keep in mind that while a lot of Silkies go broody, not all of them will. 6 eggs might really be pushing it for a Silkie to sit on. I have 4 under mine and that seems to be a comfortable number (these are Silkie eggs and are much smaller than standard size eggs)/
    1. Typically Silkies don't require much room, but with little ones, I would say a pen about 4' x 8'. A lot of grass is good for all of them to munch on and play in. I would provide a shady spot with really good ventilation because of the hot weather. They would probably prefer under a tree or bush.
    2. If it's a good breeding pair and the roo isn't aggressive it may work out. I have one that loves babies and 2 that there's not a chance of having in with babies.
    3. Just make sure that they have a coop with very deep shavings or something that is insulated for the really cold and like a said before about the shady well ventilated area for the hot.
    4. Make sure the other chickens can't get at them, but as for the height of any fencing for them, 2' is plenty. You also have to make sure that no other predators can get at them. Some people put a top on their pens of some kind, whether it be wire or something. If you are building a coop, check out the coops that they have on here. They have some really awesome ones. They don't perch per say. I have a little perch about 4 inches high that they will sit on occassionally but not very often.
    5. Of course they always need plenty of fresh water. I add vitamins to the water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help keep down bacteria. As far as food goes everyone has their own ideas but they do seem to need a little higher protein and for the babies the crumbles seem too big for them to eat right away. I know many people feed gamebird. You can also give vege's and fruit and plain yogurt.
    Hope this helps.

    Pennie...4!?! Just 4 eggs!?!?! Mine can sit on 4-5 standard eggs and up to 12 of their own eggs. I dont like them to sit on 12, I usually knock it down to 8 - they can fit more than comfortably on 8 - they have loads of fluff and body to cover that # of eggs well.

    If I only have 1 broody, I seperate her when her chicks hatch into a 4X4 tractor type coop - the box is on the ground and the run is roofed - I do this till about 2 weeks old then let her and babies back into the main flock of silkies. Right now I have 4 hens who have broody at once, so I now have 4 out of 7 hens with babies this week, so they are all in the main coop (5X5 coop) and the run (roughly 150 square foot) by 3 weeks I let them free range in the yard with the moms. they tend to do shared bodyguard duty of the babies and my silkes are vicious mothers. [​IMG]

    My little momma to be (hopefully) is tiny and 4 seems to be pushing it. It's her first time. And guess what? I think my other Silkie is going to go broody on me. And wouldn't you know it? I have the last of the eggs that I want to hatch in the bator. I might just take some out and let her hatch them. She's a first timer too and is the smallest Silkie I have ever seen. This winter I had her and her man in a clothes basket in my kitchen for 2 weeks. They loved it. There wasn't a top on it or anything. I'd let them out on the kitchen floor for about a 1/2 hour every day. They are my 2 favorites. Total house chickens if it was up to them. I can tell she's wanting to go broody because she growled at me when I opened her door and tried to pet her. She has NEVER done that before.
     

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