Can you keep Silkies in a LF layer flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sure this has been covered here at BYC, but my forum search didn't yield the answer. My apologies.

    I also think I know the answer to this, but I want to be wrong!

    I would like to get some Silkies as broody hens. But I have a LF flock, and no real wish to keep any caged birds or any way to keep yet another separate flock. Can you keep Silkies in a pastured large-fowl laying flock?
     
  2. Blondiechic

    Blondiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My silkies are out with my big girls - they all hang out together ... although I don't let the fluffies go in the paddock (they are a bit small) so they hang with the girls in the garden area - mind you, at the moment, no one goes in the paddock due to a daytime fox!
     
  3. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a couple of silkies in with my LF flock and I haven't had any problems. The silkies get picked on once in a while, but just as much as any less dominant bird and it's never been violent. I actually plan to get a few more silkies. I just love the little balls of fluff. Good Luck with whatever you decide!
     
  4. Adenium

    Adenium Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ditto on this. We have 4 silkies with 2 large fowl, and there's no unusual bullying. These guys did all come in one shipment and have been together ever since. I think it might be hard to introduce them later, as introducing hens can be tough regardless and they are more vulnerable.

    None of ours have vaulted skulls, as far as I know. But my husband worries horribly that the big girls' pecks will damage the little fluffbabies. So far they're fine. And yes, terribly terribly cute. Dumb, but cute.
     
  5. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't even think about the possible vaulted skulls. Thanks for mentioning that. Ours don't have them either, but if they do, I would be worried about the damage that could be caused from the pecking.

    It would still probably be fine, but that is something to watch for. If you are going to pick out the birds or chicks yourself, I would avoid the ones with vaulted skulls since they would be kept with large fowl.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Excuse my ignorance, but I've never even held a Silkie. How do you know which have vaulted skulls?

    We have lots of room to range, but they'd have to sleep in the hen house with the big girls and boys.

    I have a few Cornish that are supposed to be good mamas, but I *really* want to stop brooding chicks and I was hoping I could get some girls to do it for me. Can Silkies protect babies from LF flockmates? We've had chicks killed by flockmates before, which is why I got the Cornish, since they are MEAN.
     
  7. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a quick article on vaulted skulls: http://www.hattricksilkies.net/articles_vaulted_skull.html

    I'm not sure if it would make a difference, but I imagine that damage could occur if a silkie with a vaulted skull were pecked in that area. You could probably simply feel the head for a vaulted skull. If there is a round bump protuding from the skull, it's most likely vaulted.

    Silkies are good mothers and will protect their babies at all costs and I'm pretty sure they would be able to do it sucessfully, though there will always be some risks.

    Can I reccomend a different breed? You might want to look into LF cochins. They would be the same size as the rest of your flock and fit right in. They are very good broodies and excellent mothers. They are also extremely docile and friendly. They come in many colors such as buff, black, blue, white, partidge, silver laced, gold laced, barred, lemon blue, as well as others. Here's a picture of one of my mothers. She's with one of her chicks in the second picture. I'm not trying to sway you, but if you're are looking for non-agressive good mothers to raise your chicks for you, you may want to look into these guys.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    That might be the perfect solution. I'd never considered Cochins. Thanks.
     

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