Silkies!! in the winter, tips and advice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Shandina, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Shandina

    Shandina In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2017
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hello I reno our old 12x8 shed to be our coop. I sectioned off with chicken wire the front part for food storage and etc.., so they have a 8x8 area. I just picked up 6 4 month old silkies last night and they are my first chickens so I want to make sure I am taking proper care of them. The coop is insulated, with vents and two windows, I am not heating it, and I am using pine shavings as bedding. I plan on using the deep litter method for winter, so I put down about a inch of shavings for them to start and I will add once it gets dirty. My questions are:

    1. we didn't build our run yet, what should I do for the winter time in the run? it will be roofed and I was thinking if wrapping plastic around it. Or should I keep them inside all winter? I just want them to be safe and warm!

    2. I have to build the land up some because it is low where the coop is should I use gravel for better drainage? than put shavings or straw or sand down? I don't want it to be wet and freeze them to death, so I want the best bedding/drainage material to build the ground up some and level it out more.

    3. Should I let them out of the run to free range supervised in the evening before dark? just to make them happier?
  2. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    My Coop
    It sounds like you are doing good so far.

    1.You can just leave a tarp on the run and it should be ok, plastic wrap might not be a good option. As long as you allow the chickens to choose if they want to be indoors or not, they should be ok, especially since they have all of their feathers. Chickens are pretty durable.

    2.I don’t know how to answer this. Maybe @aart or @chickens really could help answer this.

    3. Depends. How many predators do you have in your area?
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello....With our up and down winter temps and high wind chills...Your Silkies will for sure require insulated housing and protection from drafts...Covering the run with a roof/tarp and putting vapour barrier around it will help...lower 2x4 roosts flat side up will allow them to sleep on their toes and the moisture from their breath to rise...I block off my West and North vents...pine shavings and straw will keep them warm...My Pal here Heats his Silkies all winter....
    TheFlyingFluffy likes this.
  4. TheFlyingFluffy

    TheFlyingFluffy In the Brooder

    May 2, 2017
    Normally, all sorts of chickens will huddle together and hate snow in the winter. Make sure to heat there water or it will freeze. Insulate your house and as "chickens really" said, you should lower roosts flat side up to make more moisture, basically making the coop warmer. Letting your chickens out in snow normally doesnt help them, my chickens took one look at the snow and decided they wanted to stay in the entire winter.

    I'm in NYC
    chickens really likes this.
  5. MollySunshine

    MollySunshine Chirping

    Jul 13, 2016
    Rhode Island
    I agree, you have the right idea. I have several Silkies in my coop; I also have a set that are 21 weeks. Last weekend was extremely cold and all did well. I placed extra pine shavings in the littles cage (still integrating...long story) just in case. For the run I cover with 6 mil vapour lock from HDX that I purchase at Home Depot. I leave openings for ventilation purposes and adjust as needed (monitor hydrometer). Even during these cold temperatures it's my Silkies who are the first out of the coop and into the run.
    Monitor your own situation and make adjustments as needed.

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