a few silkie questions on: feather picking, winter, and size.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by HyperTree, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. HyperTree

    HyperTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2010
    uh.. yea pretty much what the title says. i was wondering because i wanted one and where i live, winters are rather bitter so i've been avoiding bantams. so, is there a standard-sized silkie? or do you think a silkie would do alright along with 4 other hens in sub-zero weather? and finally, i heard that having 1 polish hen with the rest of te flock being non-polish usually winds up with the others attacking and plucking the poor polish. is this true with silkies as well (im planning on getting an EE, a BA, a SLW, and a RIR). i dont actually have the chicks yet (no chickens at all yet.. [​IMG] ) because i have to wait till spring so i can raise the funds for the coop and stuff (my parents say since its my project/obession, i should be using my money, something about responsibility..) but i wanted to get all the details ironed out so i can focus on earning the cash.
     
  2. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I had 2 Rhode Islands, 1 Polish and 1 Silkie (all hens) last winter. We get good winters, lots of snow and blowing wind, ice. Their water froze every night, and I replaced the bucket every morning with warm water. I had no heat or electricity in the coop, but had the open mesh mostly covered with clear plastic, so they still had venting, but no drafts. The Silkie and Polish did fine, and they tended to sleep together, while the two RIR slept together. They were in a deep litter pine shavings system.
    The RIRs did pick on the crested birds (both the Polish and Silkie), and sometimes relentlessly. I think it is better to have bantams and or crested birds separate from standard size non crested birds. The Polish just couldn't get away fast enough because she didn't see as well.
    The RIRs I recently processed as they were eating their eggs, older, and not producing many eggs any more. I replaced them with young Bantams, as I think they will be happier all the chickens being more the same size. The Polish and Silkie were always at the bottom of the pecking order, lest to get treats, etc, and I think it was partly their size and partly the RIRs were more aggressive.
    We only have one size of Silkie in North America, which is partway between the bantam and standards in Europe, or so I understand.
    I hope this helps.
    Zoomom
     

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