Silkies not wanting to play out in their pen


8 Years
Jul 20, 2011
Fort Wayne, IN
We moved our silkies into a bigger coop on Sunday, and we had to go into their pen to get them to go into the coop for the night and ever since then only one or two will leave the coop and play in their pen for some yard time. Its a two level coop it measures about 4ftwx5ftLx4ftH the access to the pen is from the top level. They do have a ramp to get up to the top as well as a perch and 2 nesting boxes on both levels. Their food and water are on the lower level, also. Is this normal behavoir for silkies? in the smaller hutch we had them in we could not get them to stay in their coop it was a real pain the butt to put them to bed every night because they wanted to be in their pen. Does anyone have any insight into silkie behaviors? It would be greatly apperciated. Oh and there is a ramp for them to get out to their pen also so they are not having to fly out/in the coop.
Really there is no one out there that has silkies that can give me some insight? We are new to having silkies so this behavior is a little puzzling to us.
I don't have Silkies, but my 8 week old New Hampshire Reds would not come out of the coop into the run for a week or so. One or two would stare out through the pop door and peer around. Once one came out and discovered the ramp, the remainder soon followed suit.

The first night, I had to put them back into the coop.

Since then, they have slept on the 6 inch wide porch on the coop. I figure that eventually they will grow to be too large to sleep on the porch and will go inside at night. My older chickens go in at night with regularity.

I have 2 silkies that I got in march. They are now about 23-24 weeks old. First time for me as well. As only having RIRs previously, Im finding my silkies are really dumb compared to the rirs. Don't get me wrong- they are very sweet and gental, but they just don't act/do "normal" chicken things. They won't dust bathe, they wont walk up the ramp to the nesting boxes (maybe because they aren't laying-idk.) they stay in the coop mostly when the others go out free ranging, they wont roost-they huddle together in a corner. (All the chickens get along-no bullying- but the silkies freak out when the rirs get too close to them. when i bring out their daily treats-they don't care or come running excited like the others either. They just stand there. thats it. very boring birds. no personality-so to speak. I love them but I know I will never buy more. Does my description sound like your silkies as well? If so, must be silkie behavior...if not I just have some "special" birds. lol
Today's Silkies, the ones with the big poof, big eyes, and fur for feathers, are not the brightest of chickens. They were bred to be the fuzzy poof-balls of the chicken breeds. I sometimes wonder what is lacking in their vision when I see them navigate their surroundings. Is their depth perception askew? Or are they blinded by all that poofy cuteness on their abnormal skulls-wait those skulls are normal for Silkies. Are they lacking neurons?

Anyway, Silkies are lacking in something, and do well with special needs equipment. They need ramps that are wide and have a gentle incline. Roosts need to be low to the ground and close together. Some Silkie owners state that if the poof is trimmed back from the eyes their chicken seem to do better. I've also been told that to not move things around. Leave the food and water at the same place as Silkies seem at a loss when these things are suddenly moved to a new area.

Bless their hearts, Silkies are adorable. They are the Barbie/Ken of the chicken world. And like your favorite doll, they need a little extra care to keep them safe and happy.
yes you guys have described my silkies to a "T". I changed out their floor of the coop to PDZ and they just about had a freaking heart attack. they are all fine now they do come and go from the coop. but mostly they sleep at the bottom floor corner in a nesting tote. They are really cute though. I guess that is their golden ticket for not being the brightest bulb in the box.
some silkies do not like to perch, the would rather sleep on the floor, if you have a way to put them in a very large cage they are perfectly happy. I have 1 roo and 3 pullets in a 6'x4' cage that is 4' high it is on barels as it was an old rabbit hutch. they love it and stay dry and puffy all the time. They need to be kept were they can stay dry as they will really look like drowned rats when wet. as I live in east texas and the weather is very unpredictable, and they are my favorites they are very protected.. Also anytime they go broody I put all the eggs i can under them. wonderful incubators and perfect mothers.. SILKIES RULE!!! if you love them they will love you and when the roo growls it is so sweet cause you know that he and his hens are happy!
My silkies are laying on the coop floor,,I'm trying to get them into the nice best box I made for them,,but NOOOO!!!
but they do have amazing personalities,and they're calm and gentle..most of them go outside,but there are a couple that prefer the indoors. They can't see well,
and I was told that they feel secure under roof.
mine dustbath though,,and suntan ,,a lot...very cute,,I would never again have any other breed ,I adore mine!
I gave the girls a haircut today and I have to admit, they seem to be liking the new world around them that they can now SEE!! They didn't seem to mind me cutting their "hair" either! Silkies are so cute.

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