Silkies For Sale – 12/22/17

Gifts For Silkie Chicken Lovers

61PGBXVTpGL._SL1000_People who love silkie chickens enjoy everything about their special birds. They are soft, fluffy and always up for a snuggle. Here are some gifts especially for people who own silkie chickens and can never have enough of them.

Starting off we have a silkie a holic  T – shirt. Perfect for a Christmas gift.  Cafe Press has a coffee mug which features a silkie trio.  A plush silkie stuffed animal is perfect for any child in your life.

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A stainless steel travel mug with chicken knowledge on it is just the things for traveling in your car.  A long sleeve silkie hoodie brings out your inner silkie spirit. A women’s silkie pajama set is perfect for sleeping and dreaming of silkies.

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If you are looking for a silkie Christmas ornament, they have one with the silkie trio on it.  How about a white silkie rooster throw pillow for your living room couch?  If you like  silkies, here is a smooth silkie t-shirt with one on it.

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A baby romper with  #silkies on it.  A very bouncy, springy silkie on a coffee cupis very cute.  Also, we have some fluffball silkie socks.  A silkie tote bag for taking to the grocery store and bringing home supplies in.

A white silkie phone grip to decorate your phone .  A springy silkie notebook could also be used to take notes on at the office.

There are so many silkie gifts to choose from. They are all very adorable.  If you are looking for other chicken gifts check out Gifts For Guys Who Like Chickens , Gifts For The Chicken Lady , Chicken Lover’s Gifts For The Home , Gifts For Kids Who Love Chickens , and Gifts For Silkie Chickens.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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How To Winterize a Chicken Coop Built From a Kit

20170919_130948.jpg     It is never too early to start thinking about winterizing your coop.  Most coops fall into two groups. One type of coop is made from existing buildings such as part of a barn or an ice house.  DIY coops could be put in this category too as they were all probably insulated when they were built.

The other group of coops are the kind that are built from a coop kit.  You can order these kits online or purchase them at DYI big box stores.  They turn out to be cute, little coops that hold less than 10 chickens.

The problem is that these coops do not come insulated.  You may have bought them in the spring when it was warm and now we are headed towards winter.  What can be done to them to help them remain a cozy home for all your birds?

The first thing that comes to mind is insulation.  I would suggest using reflective insulation.  You can easily measure, cut and attach the insulation using a staple gun or with spray contact adhesive.  Just cover the sides and the ceiling of your coop with the reflective insulation and tape the seams with aluminum foil tape.

I have found that the chickens do not pay a whole lot of attention to the shininess of the insulation.  They will, however, peck at the pink insulation or the styrofoam  insulation and eat it as well.  That is why I do not recommend using that kind. The birds have never pecked at the silver insulation and it has worked well for us.

Make sure that there is adequate ventilation across the top part of the coop.  You do not want drafts at the bottom where the silkies sleep, but you do want there to be air exchange inside of the coop.  Moisture build up is not good for the birds and causes respiratory issues.  If you see a frost build up inside the coop on the walls and doors, then you need to have the windows opened wider.

I would also suggest wrapping the run in clear plastic.  The plastic cuts down the sharp, cold wind inside the run and keeps the snow out.  Silkies do not like walking on the snow.  You want your birds to have fresh air, so I don’t wrap all of the run.  Make sure you do the north and the west side as that is where the winds are the strongest. I do not wrap the door.  When spring comes, take down the plastic and save it for next fall.

You will need some way to keep the water dish from freezing.   Some people use heated dog bowls.  We use heated bases with galvanized metal waterers on top.  You will need to run aheavy duty electrical cordout to the coop to run either of these water options.

Chickens generate a lot of body heat when they are together.  Silkies tend to huddle up together to keep each other warm.  Heat is also generated from the heated water bases.  If your coop is small, this should be enough to keep things warm.20170919_131219

I do not think it is healthy for a chicken to go from hot to cold temperatures every time they go out in the run.  Both places should be about the same temperature. If you use the insulation and the heater bases, these small coops should be warm even with a small number of chickens.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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October Fall Chores at VJP Poultry 10/29/16

20161028_113851October is the time of year for finishing what didn’t get done this summer and planning for what will be happening this winter. One big project that needs finishing up is our new coop and run. We started it last fall and we still need to put the last finishing touches on it.

My husband, Dennis, is the handy man in our family. He has been busy this month finishing ramps and doors for the four pop door openings in the new pens. We painted today (purple) and hoped that the white silkies stayed white and did not turn into purple Paints!  We also finished up the fencing in the run and closed up any holes that are left.

Since October is the month for planning, we measured all of the runs for the plastic sheeting we wrap around. In past years, we used clear plastic that came on a roll. We measured, cut and zip tied it but by spring it looked pretty beat up.

This year we are going to order clear tarps that have grommet holes. They will cost more than the roll of plastic , but we will be able to use them for possibly three years. Again, we will use zip ties and bungee cords to hang them. They keep snow out of the run and create a kind of greenhouse effect inside it. The plastic cuts the wind and lets the silkies come out of the coop when it is well below freezing.

While ordering the tarp, I decided to also stock up on heat lamp bulbs. I ordered six 125 watt bulbs to be used in the chicks room. Better to have some on hand than to have a crisis occur and be out of them.

Another chore to plan for is water transporting. By the end of October the hoses are put away and I need to start carrying water out to the coops. In previous years, I carried the water in two, 5 gallon buckets. Not my favorite chore. This year I will need twice as much water since we added another coop. I found a few 5 gallon buckets with lids which will work nicely. I plan on using the  otter sled to bring the water down to the coops. Always trying to improve the way we do things around here.

One last chore is to go through all of the birds individually. We check to see whether it can see. If not , we trim the feathers around the eyes and underneath the eye with curved scissors. We trim the beak and trim away any long toenails with diagonal wire cutters.  We are now set for winter. The birds will be snug in their coops. All it takes is a little October pre-planning.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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