are silkies delicate?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by MomMommyMamma, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    I'm learning that many chicken keepers have differing opinions on many things having to do with chickens. So, I thought I'd ask away...
    Another local chicken keeper & I were chatting tonight and she was saying that silkies need more care due to their not having standard feathers. That they can not be out in the rain, that they need a heated coop (our average lows here in WV according to weather.com are in the 20s in the coldest months). It rains here throughout the year and at times it will rain on & off for several days. I can't imagine trying to keep the chickens dry all of the time.
    Are silkies more delicate? I would really appreciate any silkie care/tips you can share since I've already purchased hatching eggs that are supposed to ship next week. I went back and rechecked the breeds section here as well as a few others and they make no mention of these things (which is why I felt OK purchasing the eggs).
    Thank you!
     
  2. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    My Coop
    I have lost Silkies to: lice, mites, stress, heat stroke, theft, predators, unexplained dehydration (they had plenty of water) and getting wet in the cold. Some of them will pass out when slightly stressed from handling, bathing, etc.., so I will say yes, they are very delicate. I've also had Roos with big creases in their big combs get bacterial infections in the nooks & crannies. And keeping their feet feathers clean- Silkies are high maintenance. Some almost died 'cause their crests were so big they couldn't see and they shut down. My Cochins are Sooo much easier to care for. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  3. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion they seem to some tough little birds. Mine have gotten wet and lived. They seem to hold their own against my standard sized girls as well. Think you will be just fine I live in southwest Missouri and temps are about the same if not colder throughout the winter months.
     
  4. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Quote:Lol - now I'm nervous. Would not have bought the eggs had I known these things. [​IMG]
    Now I'm wondering if there are other breeds that are also delicate or is it primarily silkies? I have children. If they can die from stress then we're really in trouble. Not that my kids harm our birds at all - they don't. But it can get loud here and of course the kids and the chickens share the property so they will be in contact with each other. I'm a little frustrated that the breed charts don't mention this. I have only read these things about meat birds (can die if stressed, etc).
     
  5. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    My Coop
    The better (show) quality the Silkie is, the more susceptible they are to these things, especially stress. Cheap yard birds from hatcheries aren't quite as delicate. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    No need to be nervous~~everyone has different opinions and experiences.

    All I raise are Silkies.....I live in the mountains of NC and my winters get very cold; also get alot of snow and ice. NONE of my Silkies have ever suffered from the cold...so long as I keep their water defrosted. Unfortunately, they also choose to stay out in the rain instead of going under cover~~none of them have ever exhibited any ill effects from it.

    Sure, they get pooh in their feet feathers, but I don't think thats a big deal. I handle each bird almost everyday, so I just pick out the dry pooh (yes, I use hand sanitizer). None of my birds have every exhibited any signs of stress either, and I'm always picking them up, trimming their toenails, trimming their beaks, putting VetRx on their combs, etc....

    I DO have to make sure those with exceptionally large crests are maintaining their weight, they sometimes have difficulty finding their food.

    To me, the enjoyment I get from their wonderful personalities more than makes up for any extra care/work they require.
     
  7. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Quote:Better... [​IMG]
    What is VetRx and why do you put it on them?
    And also why does one trim a chickens beak?
    And, a crest - this is the puff of head feathers? Can you or should you trim it a little if it seems to be in the way? I've never even thought to watch my little polish for weight issues. Well, I guess I do watch to make sure that she and the other bantam are getting time at the feeder and get their fair share of treats. So I guess I do watch, but I didn't realize it. I was just watching because they're small, not due to her feathers possibly keeping her from seeing the food.
    This why I love this board - always so much knowledge being shared!
     
  8. chikincrazee

    chikincrazee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi we have had silkies for a few years...when we lived up in Canada the silkies handled the cold just fine...my son when he was 6 use to grab his favs and play all kind of games with them the birds did not die from heart attacks and seemed to enjoy the attention as he could always catch them easily...they are not good if they get wet but i think they arent really any more delicate than any other chicken and we still have some of his originals which we moved from Ontario Canad to Illinois and we didnt lose any in the move...and some of them are old birds. also they are very common in petting zoos due to their docility....so dont be too nervous about them being too delicate...[​IMG]
     
  9. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    I only trim their upper beak if it protrudes past the lower beak.

    VetRx is a liquid med you can buy at just about any farm supply store. I use it on their toes, combs, and wattles to keep it moisturized and looking good.

    If it's a Silkie I won't be showing, I DO trim their crests to improve their vision.
     
  10. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    I only trim their upper beak if it protrudes past the lower beak.

    VetRx is a liquid med you can buy at just about any farm supply store. I use it on their toes, combs, and wattles to keep it moisturized and looking good.

    If it's a Silkie I won't be showing, I DO trim their crests to improve their vision.
     

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