Are Silkie chickens normally clumsy, etc?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by festivefeet, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Hi there.

    I am new to having a Silkie chicken. She isn't full grown just yet. I have noticed that she does not roost like all the others, she does not roost at all (should I have a lower roost in the hen house for her?). She sleeps in the nesting boxes at night. She doesn't seem to flap or fly up at all. I also noticed that I can not drop her to the ground from low distances without her just flopping to the ground, where all the rest flap down gently. She seems clumsy. Maybe it is the bizarre feet she has. Who engineered these creatures anyway. Their feet seem to make them hobble along and the puff ball makes it hard for them to see. It's like something from Sesame Street or the Muppets. I feel bad for the poor thing. She has to cock her head sideways just to look up at me. She is the easiest chicken to catch in our coop though. [​IMG]

    J.
     
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    The feathers of a silkie are not "hard-shafted" like regular bird feathers. (The lack of the hard shaft is what gives them the beautiful, puffy, hair-like feathers instead of standard feathers). In hard-shafted feathers, the air goes around and is pushed & directed by the resistance of the feather. With silkies and the lack of a firm center shaft, the air goes THROUGH the feathers instead of around. This is why silkies can't fly any real distance. I do have one silkie who roosts with some young bantams on a low roost area (approx. 2 1/2' high), but there's a reason so many refer to sleeping silkies as "the silkie pile" [​IMG] They sleep together in a pile for warmth & companionship.
     
  3. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it bad that I only have one Silkie then? Won't she freeze in the winter if everyone else is up on roosts and she is down on the floor of the hen house?

    J.
     
  4. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    This is just my opinion, but I would get at least a couple more so they can share body heat. (and just because they're so darn cute!) [​IMG]
     
  5. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What size are their eggs? Ours isn't laying yet.

    Not sure I will be able to get another Silkie before winter. Since the chick season is over.

    Jessica
     
  6. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    I just checked your location, and see you are in MI. I'd definitely get a few more silkies or you very well may lose the one. I don't know what type litter you use, but having DEEP litter will also help insulate the floor and keep them a bit warmer. [​IMG] It also cushions their feet for when the others jump down from the roosts.
     
  7. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually use about two or three inches of pine shavings and then change it out every couple of weeks.

    J.

    Where in the world do I find a Silkie this time of year?
     
  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:What about getting some from a breeder? They wouldn't have to be chicks; you could get some 6 mos.-1 yr. or so. If you do get adults or started chickens of any kind, do yourself a MAJOR favor and keep them quarantined for a MINIMUM of two weeks, and 3-4 weeks is even better. Their eggs are smaller than a regular size egg, but a bit larger than a bantam OEGB egg by comparison. I'm guessing a rough estimate would be about 2/3 the size of a standard leghorn egg. My Buff Orps and Australorps lay eggs of varying sizes, and some poor girl out there lays HUGE ones!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009

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