You could do eenie meenie meenie mo @Fancychooklady
Edited by chicken4prez - 11/7/15 at 4:00pm
You could do eenie meenie meenie mo @Fancychooklady
I used to own Silkies of all colors and patterns. We did try to stick with the color phazes but it was so interesting to see the different colors and muff sizes or uncrested, crest sizes, bearded or not.... At 1 point out of 17 all pure white birds we got 10 cockbirds. all were very personable but the roos were downright friendly.......to us, but they sure liked fighting each other. Dang they can jump...about 2&1/2-3 feet in the air, then kick. My wife is a far north girl(Churchill) and she got a real charge out of watching these little rascals. Once we saw 1 fake a jump, the other(#2) jumped and I honestly saw "Oh crap" in his expression. On his way down he(#2) was met by the other (#1) coming up and (#2) got it square in the face. #2 went down...KO'd. The fight was over. And we both enoyed their "songs". These little guys put more heart into their crowing than I have ever seen of any other cockbird. They would bend right over to almost have their beak touch the ground taking ever last cubic millimetre of air out of their little lungs. They kind of reminded me of a human taking a long very deep bow, and with their "hairdo" they looked like a conductor of an orchestra doing so. We no longer raise Silkies as it is a very harsh climate we have where we now live.
Silkies are my favorite breed. I don't think I can imagine life without them I originally got them on impulse, I saw them at a chicken swap and they were so adorable I just couldn't resist. Now I keep a pretty good sized flock of them around to use for breeding, incubating and yard art. Silkies are unique, they have lots of qualities that other breeds don't. They're docile and, of course, cute as can be. Here are some of mine...
Wendy, a blue hen:
Mary Jane, a splash pullet:
Early, a black rooster:
Betty Sue and Wynefred (aka Winnie), blue and black Frilkies (frizzled Silkies):
I'm a fan of the Buff Silkies.
This is Dixie Doo...
You'll note she is small crested. She is not a showbird. She works in our flock of free ranging birds. Basically because she can see. She's spunky enough to tolerate larger flock members and she has proved her worth in our flock as a broody hen and excellent mother. She has quite a bit of character & tenacity as you can imagine. She winters well in the upper midwest. A silkie with a larger crest would not really work well in our set up.
What a sweetie! May I ask if Dixie Doo is in a flock of larger dual purpose or layer breeds? I had a Silkie that I thought was either molting or was a poorly crested Silkie until I discovered a Cuckoo Marans was roosting next to her and picking her crest, beard, tail, and body fluff bald not to mention chewed off most of her comb which is permanently disfigured. I keep kicking myself for not realizing what was going on at the time!
This was my Partridge Silkie at approx 6 months old and had beautiful fluff all around including a pretty little crest.
Here 3 months later after adding the Cuckoo Marans to the flock the Partridge was starting to look tatty with crest, body, and tail fluff being chewed off. I was attributing it to molting but in reality it was the Cuckoo chewing her on the roost.
This is what the Cuckoo did to our poor Silkie before I realized what a vicious bird the Marans was and promptly re-homed her after she attacked another Silkie pullet in the flock who I noticed was also starting to get feather-picked. Eventually our Partridge girl grew back her crest and body fluff but her comb is permanently disfigured. It's a wonder my children and my pets ever survived my feeble attempts at raising them!!!
Food for thought - Other chicken breeds find the Silkie fluff so tempting to chew and since it is unusual for a Silkie not to have more fluff on their crest -- well -- I just thought your Dixie had the preliminary evidence of getting feather-picked by another chicken. I don't believe a Silkie of any quality should have that much crest feathers or beard missing without a culprit in the flock somewhere. You can notice in my middle photo how much beard and crest are missing from being chewed.
I started out with two Silkies. I kept reading that being broody cut into their overall production. But we found our Silkies are excellent egg layers in spite of being broody often and their egg size surprised us for such a little ball of fluff. Silkies are fun little birds, I never had an aggressive one, and require little maintenance except for routine monthly Poultry Protector for preventative lice/mite treatment of hens and their coop, and made sure they eat/drink/dust-bathe/exercise when they go broody. When it rains I keep them penned because they aren't feathered like normal chicken breeds and will get cold and wet to the skin.
I have enjoyed sampling other breeds in our backyard but after having Silkies for almost 5 years I wouldn't mind having just Silkies as my one breed for the backyard. I've re-homed a lot of breeds because they didn't play nice with our Silkies. Silkies are my DH's favourite and he can't imagine our yard without them! The only LF breeds we found that played nice with our Silkies is our Blue Wheaten Ameraucana and Blue Breda. All other LF breeds we had we re-homed because they were too assertive to outright bullies around the Silkies. We had a nice gentle alpha White Leghorn for 3 years but she eventually got assertive and had to be re-homed. I just don't bother with any LF breeds any more that are over 5-lbs. Heavier, dual-purpose, or layer, breeds are just too overpowering in flock politics for a little 2-lb Silkie to compete with them.
Silkies were my first choice for our backyard flock and I know now that they would've been the only breed I needed.
If they are same age brothers they might get along, if they are unfamiliar, they will do what any other rooster naturally does and try to be the dominant bird. From my experience, silkies are absolutely not quieter, and in some cases louder and with a longer crow.