BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Silkie › Reviews › Niss's Review

Have yet to live up to the hype

A Review On: Silkie

Silkie

Rated # 5 in Chicken Breeds
See all 230 reviews
Purchased on:
Price paid: $4.00
Niss
Posted · 183239 Views · 14 Comments

Pros: Talkative, Fluffy

I am disappointed with my two silkies.  I wanted them because everyone says they are frequently broody (at nearly one year my two haven't tried) and friendly (they aren't, they are just slow enough you can catch them...mine growl at me and one freaks out if I touch her).  They were slow to start laying, but do give a good number of tiny eggs.  My son does like them (hence "fluffy") and I do enjoy the wide range of quiet vocalizations.

14 Comments:

Carefully trim the fluff around the eyes, they won't be as scared then. Part of the problem is they can't see you, the freak out when you touch them.
I was a bit bummed out myself. Got two silkies in Oct. 3 weeks later the oldest crowed, but he is very sweet. In Jan the other started crowing, but he is a mean little bugger. He will charge at me, and is now grabbing my pants leg. The sweet one, I can pick up & cuddle with no issues, but OMG the other, I have to chase him around the run to catch him in a corner. I was going to keep him, have 7 chicks that have almost feathered out, that are spending their first night out in the silkie coop. The silkie boys are very nice to the chicks, but I do not like the aggressive behavior of Mr. Nonnie.
I can't keep mine from being broody. Even if I won't give them any eggs they still sit for three weeks.
My first Silkie female didn't get broody until she was 18 months - having said that I have a 6 month old Silkie that is sat on three eggs!
Suzie
It seems Silkies have a wide range of "normal" for them. Just like people I guess. I have two Silkie hens that lay for about 25 - 50 days at a time and then go broody for about 20-23 days even if no eggs are under them. I have kept careful records of this. They were my most productive layers this winter laying right through the coldest weather and beating my same age SL Wyandotte and Australorp! I just couldn't believe the eggs I was getting from them even in January! They are wonderful free range forages and seem to tolerate both nasty cold and very hot weather. To me they are a wonderful breed that can reproduce naturally - that is a big plus in the chicken world today. Also I have a fantastic and gorgeous blue silkie rooster that takes great care of all the hens and is not aggressive to humans. He is so much fun to have around. So I really like my silkies and the suprising part is that they were substitutions I got from http://www.mypetchicken.com in spring 2010. I am very pleased with the quality of these hatchery chickens.
My first 3 were friendly, gentle birds. One became fat and waddled to visit. Not broody. The current 3 are fairly friendly, quiet, but not as much as the first group. I also had a splash that all the other girls wanted to kill for some reason. Intregatiog her was a 2 month job. Perhaps the first bunch were better as my flock was smaller at that time. They are a nice, calm quiet talkers but with small eggs are better pets than farm animals. My silky Roo is well behaved. Maybe my brody Cochins beat silkeys to the broody job.
Just like Suzie above: I had one Partridge Silkie just layed eggs like crazy for a year before going broody (around 18 mos). Then it was 6 months before she started up laying again. My Black Silkie went broody around 8 months and keeps going broody every few months every year. When the two hens are laying they lay 5-6 eggs/wk apiece at 1.25 oz each. But when they go broody they're hard to break but we let them brood empty nests to give them a break from so much egg-laying as lightweight birds. One bird is a hatchery stock and one is from a breeder. Both are broody fools now that they're mature! Also, so that lice, mites, worms, etc are not interfering with their health and productivity I treat them on a regular schedule.
I guess I got lucky. 4/5 went broody soon after laying their first egg at around 9 months old. I have 12 babies (right now in the winter time) with 3 silkie mommas. They got together and decided hey it's freezing cold lets sit on eggs! I can't argue with nature. Hopefully their babies will inherit the broodiness from their mommas :)
I have 4 silkies.  3/4 are babies. The one hen I got, I got from a Mexican guy at a farmers market, she is something else.. I don't think she was handled to much when she was young or even in her adult stage. I am not sure on how old she is, but shes pretty fat and heavy, I am starting to think she was a "chicken house silkie" or something. My Bantam Coch hen is more friendly and less jumpy then she is.
To Kayana - my Silkies are friendly and run up to us for their treats.  One will sit on my shovel or hoe when I garden so have to fence her off - too friendly and curious.  However something I noticed later was that Silkies are agitated when they are molting or new quills are growing in.  They will be lethargic, not have much appetite, and sometimes spend nearly the whole day in a nestbox as if brooding but really, they just want to be secluded during their molt.  Once I saw this in the Silkies I noticed the other breeds behaved nearly the same.  It's as if they had a sudden personality change.  But after a couple months of molt and feather regrowth they get back to normal activity.  They don't like to be touched or held during molt and will squirm uncomfortably when new quills are growing out.  Not all chickens will instantly become a pet.  Some take a while to build trust in their new human.  Ours have responded to gentle handling.  We've had new chickens fly over the 2 ft rabbit fencing separating the garden beds from their foraging area.  The Silkies obviously can't fly over it but my avatar (Ameraucana) flew over a couple times at first.  I gently ushered her out to an opening in the fence and she didn't do it again - smart girl.  Once she found herself inside the garden she was pacing back and forth along the rabbit fence trying to figure how to get back on the other side because she knew she was on the wrong side.  She was so confused yet knew it was not where she belonged.  She must've got spooked and jumped into the air and it carried her into the garden.  It happens with chickens spooking themselves - haha!
I agree with the aggressiveness, my roo is quite the attacker. I'd honestly get another silkie if it was a pullet. I do love the looks but the personalities on the ones I've met are nowhere near the hype I hear, haha!
@kherokee  Our Silkies as pullets were not instantly friendly or trusting.  We kept one in-house for 3 months until she was old enough to integrate with the flock so she is our friendliest.  Also, after we re-homed some bully LF the Silkies relaxed more and were not so timid around us.  I can't keep them away they are underfoot everytime I go outside. They love gathering around me while digging in the garden to catch worms and bugs! My oldest Silkie trembles when I pick her up she is so excited - she knows she is getting a treat!
@sylvester017 aww thats so sweet to hear! I do hear a lot of nice things about Silkies (ladies to be specific). My boy was raised inside as one of my best buddies until puberty hit. He's all hormones now I suppose 😂
I agree my rooster trys to attack anything that moves and my hen freaks up if I touch her but ive been handle them every day and now there really tame.
BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Silkie › Reviews › Niss's Review