Amazing Baby Silkie Story

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CoopedUpChicken, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. CoopedUpChicken

    CoopedUpChicken Chirping

    May 20, 2015
    My silkie hen hatched one chick. The hen and chick spent 5 days in my living room. I handled the chick on occasion, but most of the time the momma was teaching her chick how to eat and drink.

    On the chick's 6th day I let them outside. A few days later, unbeknownst to me the neighbor's cat grabbed the chick. The neighbor saw a small white peeping chick running around their porch and brought it back over to our house. The silkie hen and chick were so happy to be reunited. I can't believe the cat had not injured the chick in any way.

    A couple of weeks later the silkie hen was taken by a fox while they were sleeping in their pen. I had not closed the door that night... shame on me!

    The 1/2 silkie baby spent most of the next day very agitated and confused. We have 2 roosters - 1 silkie and 1 not silkie. The chick's dad is not the silkie rooster's chick. I don't know what it is about the pairing of the silkie hen to the other rooster - but this chick has the softest feathers I've ever felt in my life.

    Later that day, the lonely chick saw the rooster's silkie white butt waddling across the yard. I think the chick was convinced that the silkie rooster must be another momma for it. At first, the silkie rooster was a bit confused. All of a sudden he had a little white fluff ball chasing him around everywhere and trying to nuzzle under him to stay warm. The chick was persistent and the rooster didn't try to chase her away - he just seemed puzzled.

    The silkie rooster would roost in the pen (he was too small to fly up into the tree like the other chickens) - the silkie chick couldn't fly up to where the silkie rooster was - so I made sure to set the chick right beside the silkie rooster for the night.

    The next day - the rooster adopted the silkie chick! He began to show her where the food was with that special food notice roosters are so good at giving. They were inseparable for 2 months! If they happened to get separated because of the silkie rooster's lust for the hens, the chick would peep and look everywhere until she found her new daddy.

    A couple of days ago - the silkie rooster lost his life after being hit by a passing car. I wonder if they aimed for him? My heart was broken for the second time...

    At this point, the silkie chick had just started to spend more time away from her daddy - so I knew she would be okay, but I hoped the other chickens would take her in. She mostly stays by herself, but I do see her mingling with them at times. The night her daddy died, I made sure to tuck her in to her roost that night and give her some petting. She seemed happy to see me and was vocal. When her daddy was alive I would come in and pet them on occasion before I closed the pen door.

    Last night, I saw the chick spreading her wings and wanting to fly up into the tree with the other chickens. She finally gave up and went into the pen. I went into the pen, picked her up (which she was a bit scared of) and put her into the tree. She took 10 minutes to find a "spot" but seemed really happy to be there with the other chickens.

    Tonight, I again saw her looking up at that tree and spreading her wings - thinking about trying to fly an impossible distance. She's quite small. She finally gave up and walked into her pen. I got out of my chair on the porch and started to walk toward the pen to get her again. When she saw me approaching, she ran out to me as fast as she could and waited for me to pick her up and put her into the tree.

    I could keep my chickens in their nice sizable pen - and all of their lives would be preserved. The week I started to give them supervised free ranging - it was all over. One chicken found the tree next to their pen to roost in and one by one it was impossible to ever get them down. My chickens LOVE to be free. They LOVE to travel all over our acreage and it's their choice not to roost in the pen at night.

    Losing them is heartbreaking - but watching them enjoy life is a blessing.
    I'm really lucky to have had the experience of keeping chickens.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Chickens don't know what is best for them. If they had never been allowed to roost in trees they would have been quite content without doing so. Sleeping in trees makes them sitting ducks for owls and raccoons. Once they notice them, they will pick them off. They do not have the capacity to determine what is safe and what is not, that's why they do best with human caretakers. They aren't feral chickens, they are domesticated birds.
  3. CoopedUpChicken

    CoopedUpChicken Chirping

    May 20, 2015
    I know there are a lot of people who would agree with you.

    In fact, I spent weeks building my own huge Fort Knox chicken pen for our first chickens with hardware cloth on the top, bottom, sides and door with no gaps at all. I wanted to do everything I could to protect them.

    After raising our first chickens, the chickens have convinced me to switch sides.
    They hate being in the chicken pen even though it is huge and has food, water, clean sand, roost bars, etc..

    I realize the risks, but it's now my preferred style of chicken keeping.
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    A very cute story.

    My chickens are penned/cooped at night to protect them--they are convinced to go in since I feed them inside the strctures around dusk. I had a massacre early in the summer by a raccoon family (they found a way into the pen I hadn't considered) that wiped out 40 birds...all that was left was half a body and a leg, they carried everything else off. I built the pen, it was my fault, and I felt terrible for weeks. They free range during the day though, which still has its risks, but like you I would rather they get the exercise and the opportunity for the various chicken behaviors that would not be possible while penned up.
  5. Goosegrrl

    Goosegrrl Songster

    Jul 16, 2015
    Central FL
    Chooks are totally trainable...
    My crew is allowed out during the day, but come RUNNING to me when I shake the mealworm bag.

    Because I have three naughty dogs... one of which is a very high drive 97lb GSD, if it runs(and isn't another dog) he is on it... I have to let them out and put them back up twice a day most days. I have one or two little OEGB hens that don't respond as quickly as the others, but if I go to near where they are and call again they come along just fine.

    I don't give them a ton of meal worms either, they get a bit of pellet and scratch each time and I toss in a handful of the wormies. All happy chooks! They have an auto feed bin in the coop, so they can free feed as desired, but prefer to be out on the grass and under the shrubs when they can. And still always come to the call and shake of the bag. Most of them will come with simply calling(chook, chook, come one ladies), but it's much easier to get everyone into the pen with food. LOL

    Give it a try... takes a week or two, and daily reinforcement imo, but it's not hard.

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