Free Ranging Silkies? Do anything special?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greytmommy, May 24, 2011.

  1. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    I have a mixed flock. In this flock I have 3 silkies. They have been outside now for a few weeks, and are about 10wks old. We allow them to free range in our yard. Our backyard is fenced in and sometimes we open the gate and let them range into the front and side yards (we have 2.5acres and we are surrounded by woods). They are really enjoying all the cicadas, let me tell you!

    My question is, it seems that the silkies dont roam as much as the other chickens. So it is not uncommon for my silkies to be still in the backyard (or close to it) and the rest of my flock to be in the front yard. Do I need to be worried about them? Will they get to the point they are more comfortable roaming further from the coop (it is in the backyard)?

    do I need to trim the feathers around thier eyes? Only one has the face feathers all the way in, and it does seem to make it harder for her....at least it seems that way when I try to give her treats. Will it affect her ability to forage? The chickens do have food and water always avalible in the coop, so no one will go hungry.

    Also (This is just kinda funny), one of my silkies doesnt realize she is a silkie! She is my black one, and also my runt (she is TINY). She has NO issue w/ roaming, forages like a champ, and you always find her on the highest roost in the coop!!! I was always worried about her b/c she was/is so small.....but she likes to run w/the big girls!
     
  2. srpaint

    srpaint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    Illinois
    I don't have an answer for you but my silkies do the same thing. They are younger too. They stay pretty close to the coop. I have not seen them get more then 10 feet away.
     
  3. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Yes, trim their feathers so they can see. They are slower than your other chickens, so be prepared for them to be targeted first by predators.
     
  4. srpaint

    srpaint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
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    I never really thought about that but it is so true now that you point it out. My other chickens can run real fast back to the coop. But the silkies do move a lot slower. More at a fast walk.
     
  5. LovinThis

    LovinThis Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2011
    Wichita
    My silkies have never even approached the gate. They have no desire to roam, I guess.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My silkies are about 13 weeks now. I have two 11 week d'uccle chicks with them. My silkies are actually a bit bolder than my d'uccles, but all of them tend to stick close in to the sides of our outbuildings, under the cars, and they've just recently discovered the "big girl" coop. I think a lot has to do with their ages right now, with not venturing too far (based on the d'uccles staying with them). Thinking back, it took quite a while for my "big girls" to become bold enough to walk the full property. I'll bet by the time they're 4 months or so, they'll be all over the place - and in places you're rather them not be [​IMG]
    Both of my silkies that have big crests seem to have problems picking up treats (they do better when I hold something between my fingers to grab). I am going to trim the feathers around the eyes/face on those two. The other two don't have big crests, and do much better. I do worry more about the large crested ones being able to see predators, but they sure set up the alarm when geese, my cats, airplanes, and large bumblebees are around...lol [​IMG]
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    I've noticed this with my one silkie (a rooster) as well. All the hens and my big rooster roam all over the backyard, but the silkie just hangs out under the pines around the run or up next to the carpart. I haven't done anything special except to look outside occasionally to make sure he hasn't disappeared.
     

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