Newcomer question: I thought I wanted all large birds, but the little silkie bantams seem to call my name. Is it going to work to mix the two in the same coop? Will the little ones get picked on? Thanks,
I have 5 hens. 3 are full sized, 1 is a bantum cochin frizzle and 1 is a bantum bearded silkie. They all get a long fine.
The one thing to consider with silkies is that they tend to need special accommodations. They can not fly AT ALL and can barely even jump so they can not go on most chicken roosts. They will either need a very very low roost or will sleep on the ground. I would recommend getting more than one so they can sleep together.
My silkie is definitely the lowest on the pecking order but they are not overly mean to her and she hangs out with them durring the day.
We have 9 Silkies with 30 Medium to Large Fowl plus 2 ducks...all get along fine. They even roost with the big girls. We also have 9 plus roosters so far so good. We only started raising chickens this past summer , very addictive.
thanks to all for the info on bantams with large sized chickens. Only going to have girls, no roos, so no problem with cross-mating.
I am so glad to find I am able to have both sizes! Hooray!
I have had several Silkies since I started raising chickens over a year ago and I even had Lavender Orps hatch & brood at the same time - they got along great. The silkies did however separate themselves from the LOs as they got older because of course the LOs were enormous compared to the silkies. HAHA! I do trim the topknot of my silkies because they freerange with the large fowl in the backyard and need to be able to see where they are going and keep safe.
I've had the alpha roo be large fowl at times too - which is interesting during their mating times - but not deadly to the silkie. It looks more frightening then it is because this really big (comparatively) bird is pulling the topknot and pushing down on the back of my wee small pullet. But when he's done she gets up and shakes it off.
I've never hatched any of the LF roo/bantam pullet eggs only because my broodies were not broody during that time and apparently my LF guys were busy with the LF girls to worry about trying to mate the smaller silkies.
My silkies do fine on the roost that's 24" off the floor and they have flown up to the roost without issues. I do however have a ramp style ladder to the roost and I think that helps the younger ones to get up there better.
The bottom line with getting silkies or not is will it make you happy to have them - because they aren't a very utilitarian chicken (tiny to small egg, little body with hardly any meat to them, can't see well because of all that hair) - but they are so much fun to watch and I LOVE to watch my kids pick them up like they're puppies.
Here are some pics I've accumulated over the year. My broody and her chicks, the LO and Silkies together in the brooder coop, and LO when they were at POL.