I have some questions about silkies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peachesbabychick, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi guys, I just well, had some questions about silkies!

    Are they some what cold tolerant? We get lows of about 10 and highs of about 35 in the dead of winter.

    Would they be ok with the rest of my flock? ( you can see what my flock consists of in my sig.)

    Can I bathe them?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BunsNChicks

    BunsNChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have silkies and I just love them, dont know how cold tolerant they are but from what I have read you DO NOT want them in with your other chickens because they have a soft spot on their skull and your other chickens can peck them to death.
     
  3. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. Well hopefully they will do ok with my other girls. They free range so they will be able to get away. They should be pecked a few times though to establish the pecking order.... I will be watching them very closely though.

    Has any body added silkies to their non silkie flock?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Silkies can be kept with other chickens, depending on the size and aggression of the others. Many people keep them fine with other bantams or very docile larger chickens. I do not keep them with other chickens, but they are with guineas a lot. Silkies are sweet tempered and fun to have, but they cannot be free ranged. Their puffs on their heads make them blind to predators above. They don't run for cover as other chickens. It is true they are more prone to brain injuries as well. They are cold hardy, I have harsh winters as well. They need a good insulated shelter with a lot of hay and good ventilation. They aren't very good about putting themselves in the coop though. I have to put mine away every night or they'd freeze. They pile up in front of the door to the coop instead of walking through it, but I have to have that up to keep their coop warm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  5. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi thanks! Would a deep layer of shavings be appropriate for bedding? The ventilation they have is the air coming in through their little door.
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Shavings is fine, and try to enclose them in a smaller area for warmth. The like to huddle together, and if you don't have a roost in there, they don't mind huddling in a corner. To see whether it's not too cold for them, just take a look at them in the morning. Shivering would not be a good thing. How cold do they look? Do they look cold stressed, or go about their business as usual? Let the birds "tell" you if it's okay.
     
  7. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thankyou! Would a small crate with some hay in it work? I could put that up on their roost for them.
     
  8. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    Mne do fine with my LF. I would watch the RIR though, they have a reputation for aggression. they go in the coop w/o help and roost with the others. In fact they sometimes go underneath between the others. So far they have tolerated 20F w/o any problems. You can bath them in fact most owners do for showing. Use either Dawn or baby shampoo.
     
  9. mojomamma

    mojomamma Out Of The Brooder

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    I learned the hard way with silkies:( A sweet man gave me 3 silkies, I kept them in a pen inside the run for a couple weeks so my 4 hens and 1 roo could get used to them. When I let them out, everything was fine for months, they were low on the pecking order, but I didn't notice any horrible behavior...The main problem was they would not go into the coop at night to roost with the other birds, our coop is about waist high. For weeks we would pick them up every night and put them in the coop, they never learned by themselves and if we forgot to put them in, they would just huddle in the corner of the pen under the coop. They had no problem getting back out, but would not go up. I know now that the coop was way to high off the ground for them....One day it had gotten very wet and then very cold, we forgot to put them in the coop and within 5 days all 3 were dead, I think they caught Pneumonia? I still feel horrible about it. If I had done my research I could have avoided this....I would eventually like to have some silkies or bantams again, but I would go about it totally different. They would have their own coop and run and I would make the coop lower to the ground....I have only had chickens for about a year and am no expert. I have learned the hard way, but I hope my experience will help you some!
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=99105
    bathing a silkie tutorial

    They do get cold faster than the Large Fowl in my experience. Also when they are soaked and stand there in the cold rain they seem miserable. So here are some things that I have found silkies like in my experience (which keep in mind is very wet winter/fog/damp/alllll winter long pacific northwest weather):

    1. They don't like ramps (but are trainable)- especially with wide ramps.
    2. They don't like roosts (but sometimes learn to roost).
    3. They need shelter outside the coop from wind and rain b/c they will stand there freezing.
    4. They need protection from bullying as they have a hole in their heads like a baby (susceptible to brain swelling if pecked/wry neck).
    5. They appreciate a light bulb to huddle under before everyone else gets cold.
     

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