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are white silkies impractical for a backyard flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Oneacre Homestead, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chirping

    May 25, 2011
    Hi, i was thinking of ordering a few white silkies for broody hens and because they look cool, but i was wondering of they will just always be filthy or what. No that my bantam pen is very dirty, but I am not going to wash them or keep them on pefectly clean shavings all the time either.
    So do any of you have white silkies that live like normal happy backyard chickens? are their legs ok or super dirty looking? thanks!
    if i posted this under the wrong topic, sorry. I wasn't sure to do breeds or management..
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

  2. justin24

    justin24 Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    memphis tn
    go for black or another color and send me some young pullets plz lol
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I live in the Pac NW and it rains all winter.

    My white silkies (when I had them) were beautiful on the dry days. Somehow they always managed to look sparkling white. But on the rainy days they looked quite messy. The foot feathering does always look dirty.

    We are going back to large fowl for awhile and I miss them. They do need a windbreak and rain/sun protection in the run as they will stand there in the rain and get soaked to the skin.

    They also do not really like ramps or roosts, but can be trained. They don't fly and can't see well. I love silkies!
  4. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    I used to have silkies that I really liked. But because their feet are feathered they were always getting dirty so I often found myself washing them. Now I have some banty breeds that are just as cute and friendly but no feathered feet. Some of my favorites are Dutch Banties. They also go broody. Old English Games go broody often and come in so many colors. Banty Easter Eggers are cute too and lay green eggs but only a couple of mine go broody. So there are other options out there if you want low maintenance. Sometimes white chickens will look dirty, it happens, that's why I go for other colors.
  5. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chirping

    May 25, 2011
    Wow, thanks! I live in Northern California and it rains in the winter, but is hot and dry all summer, so it could work. They really just stand out in the rain?! Do they go in at night?
  6. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    My silkie pair is not white but I did have trouble with dirty feet until I got sand in my runThey also roost on a staircase turned sideways on the top with with my full size hens. In the summer they are out all day in a tractor but during the winter they stay in the run due to high winds.Then I let them freerange for an hour a day while I get eggs, feed & water, and of course just cuddle. They come in on their own as it gets dark and hop to the top of the roost w/o any help. If I want to go in before they do, I just get a scoop of BOSS & call them as I scatter it over the run. Mine also prefer to come in out of the rain.
  7. Mum

    Mum Songster

    Dec 23, 2011
    I had a white silkie and she was beautiful. No issues regarding getting dirty that I didn't have with other hens - and by that I mean, she was pure white when she entered the dust bath then grey when she stepped out of it - a quick shake of her body and back to white once again [​IMG]

  8. thistledewchick

    thistledewchick In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2010
    Pilot Mountain
    The silkie temperament's are great too! Very friendly, docile family birds that actually don't mind being carried and cuddled! [​IMG]
  9. I'm in No. Cal as well and my beautiful silkie did have muddy feet in the winter. But, oh, how gorgeous she was on the dry days!! I'd get a hundred of 'em if I could stand the broody!!
  10. babsbag

    babsbag Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    My white silkies get wet and dirty in the winter, but dry up quite nicely. When I first got them I figured it was probably a mistake having them free range but the four of them have done quite well for 2 years living with the goats and other chickens.

    My New Hampshire and Easter Egger banties go broody just as often as the silkies. But I wouldn't let a little dirt keep you from owning them if you really want Silkies.

    I too am in No. CA. wet winters and hot summers, but not this year...yet.

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