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Great pets, Good hatchers, so-so mothers

JJSS89
Posted · 140360 Views · 3 Comments

Pros: Extremely friendly and broody, gentle

Cons: No defensive instincts, terrible in wet climates, not alert to dangers

I like silkies but it is a myth that they are "The Most Broody Hens"  They are consistently broody but pathetic when it comes to raising chicks in anything but a secured environment.

 

If you want the most low-maintenance broody bantam, go with a cochin or better yet, an American Game Hen.  This way the chicks will grow up with a clue on how to forage and survive from threats.

 

They are perfect for little kids and folks that have a place to put a defenseless puffball  :P 

3 Comments:

I just had my first silkie momma hatch this spring.  She locked on the nest.  She forages minimally but I agree with you, she likes the cover of the run and the coop.  I call her institutionalized.  LOL .   She is feisty and will put up a fight to protect the chicks.  Got her with another silkie that was complete opposite and super docile.  That one is dead ...this one is still living.  So there are different personalities in them...but in general I think they lean toward the docile.  One thing I'll say about this feisty one is that her crest is not full on top and she can SEE. and WELL.  I think this is the difference.  The fuller crested sister I lost couldn't see past her beak and didn't have a chance and stood in place most of the day.  Long nails, the works....  Good, honest review.
I free range my silkies and they are great with their babies. We have hawks and once they learn the babies are targets they do what they have to and go where it is safe for them until the babies are big enough. I use all my silkies and sizzles to raise chicks anytime they go broody. I think they're amazing and they protect their young even from my husband and me. They raise bantams, LF, and our turkeys for us. They are small, yes, but if you don't use them to show, then trim their crest so they can see and they do fine. Show birds aren't free range birds. As to predators....what hen or pullet can fight off hawks, coons, or coyotes? That's why we have dependable large roosters. They guard everyone, even the bantam roosters in the yard.
I agree that they are so-so mothers.  However, they will sit and hatch eggs like crazy.  I have to put my hen and babies in a area where the hen can't get out.  If I don't this, she will abandon the babies, and will go to roost with the rest of the chickens.  Sometimes after about a month, the hen will start chasing off her babies.  I had a silkie hen hatch out a polish.  Polish chicks need more attention than silkie chicks, and also for a longer time.  My silkie hen couldn't handle the neediness of the polish chick, and started pecking at it when it got close.  Anyway, excellent review on silkies.
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