Silkies in the winter!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Silkie2, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Silkie2

    Silkie2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    (Sorry I don't know where else to put this?)
    Winter is coming! And here in new england we get quite a lot of snow...a lot of snow....this I my silkies first winter and my first winter with silkies, my question is, how hardy are they? Currently their in the barn in a stall because they got a little wet and I don't want them freezing, in the stall they have wood shavings and hay (I ran out of wood shavings and thought they may like to nest in the hay) twix seems ok but jade is starting to make me worry, jade won't move much, she can stand and walk, she looks fine and doesn't have diarrhea, but she just prefers to stand and not do anything? She sometimes "shakes" her neck??? Her crop seems a little hard?? So yeah my two final questions are...is jade sick? And how hardy are silkies? (Remember I live in new england and it can get freezing cold) forgot to mention the barn is a shed and there are no outlets for heat lamps or anything like that.
     
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    As far as hardiness my sillies survive just fine through -25°F winters without any heat. Draft free and well ventilated coop is all they need. Keep them dry, if they get wet they don't do well when it is cold.

    Check jades crop first thing in the morning. It should have went down in size and be empty(or close to it). That rules out sour crop if it goes down. Check closely for nasal discharge or eyes bubbles also
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Your one bird does sound sick. Maybe you could ask about her in the disease forum to see what they think.

    I have had silkies and currently keep frizzles. I have found them to be just as hardy as other breeds. I don't provide extra heat in any way. They don't go outside as much as other breeds on really cold days( cold here is -20, with -40 wind chills).

    I have always put down hay for them to walk on outside. During winter I start giving slabs of hay for my chickens to pick through and I end up with a nice bedding mix of shaving and hay that gets them off the floor a bit, just don't use hay during the warmer months as hay will mold, but during winter we use it liberally as food and bedding. We also use them as roosts and to block winds and we also build a hay tunnel outside leading up to the pop hole to block the winds.

    A south facing window will be welcome if you have some to bring in some sunshine for them to lay in. I also give them fresh warm water twice a day and on really cold days they get a warm dish of oatmeal mixed w some of their ration.

    Silkies are hardy from my experiences, so yours will be fine.
     

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