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Questions for Silkie owners

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ed62, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Ed62

    Ed62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Why Silkies? Why are so many people attracted to them? My wife decided she wants a few Silkies in the spring of next year. Do they require different management from my Speckled Sussex? In other words, do they have special needs? One more question....Do they have combs that are covered with feathers, or do they just not have any at all?

    Ed
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies are special. They have a vaulted skull with a hole in it, a soft spot like a baby. Never let anyone peck or bully your Silkies. It could kill them or leave them brain damaged. They are very docile and sweet, but tend to be near the top of the pecking order.

    If you have older chickens you will need to integrate them carefully: scroll down for adding to your flock

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    Also silkie questions answered:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92702

    They are absolutely my favorite chickens. I have 11 of them. They make MUCH less of a mess in their coop (poo less). They roos are supposed to get along with each other better, and not be too aggressive to people (although some have had aggressive ones).

    My roosters have already saved the lives of the hens. They do go broody quite a bit. So don't get them for just eggs. You won't get that many at times. They are cuddly. Also don't make them stand in the rain without shelter, as their feathers don't shed the water.

    Give them a very dry and sheltered place for winter. In case they are wet when they come in. Definitely no drafts but good ventilation (see Pat's ventilation page).

    ALSO- they don't really like ramps, but will use them if forced to (mine do). And they usually like to sleep on the shavings. Not roost. Mine don't even have a roost in their coop because in their prior coop, they didn't use it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Why have silkies? Because my brahmas refused to go broody for me and I want, no I NEED a broody. [​IMG]
    I got two silkies to increase my odds of having a broody next spring, although I got several breeds known to be broody, so I may have shot myself in the foot.
    The guesses I've gotten from other BYCers so far is that both of my straight run silkies are pullets.
    Jethro is sweet, acts more like a "normal" chicken. Has the vaulted skull. Roosts about 3 1/2 ft. off the ground with the rest of my layer chickens, with a boost up from Mama.
    Ellie Mae is standoffish. Doesn't have the vaulted skull (hatchery quality). Doesn't have any interest in roosting, except occasionally she will roost during the day on a roost we built for chicks, about 6" off the ground.
    Ellie Mae shuns the other layer birds in favor of my cornish Xs (rescues that are the same age, 16 weeks old). She bosses the CXs around, spars with my 14 lb. CX rooster, which is a sight to see. When the CXs won't move out of her way she jumps on their backs and walks over them. She's quite the character, I just wish she was more friendly towards humans.
    I don't treat the silkies any different than any of the other birds and they are doing fine.


    By the way Ed, I love the pic of the dog in your avatar. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ed62

    Ed62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks very much for the replies. There's a lot to learn. [​IMG] And........
    Quote:Thanks for the compliment. I'm sure you probably realize I could say the same about yours. They're great dogs, aren't they?

    Ed
     
  5. Bring

    Bring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
    New Mexico
    I got a single silkie hen because i wanted a broody that was also very gentle and sweet. Cinderella, as named by my son, is very sweet unless she's brooding. Then she will tear your hand apart if you try to touch her eggs or babies. She is an excellent mother as well. Very protective and very good about showing the chicks what to eat and where to find food. Plus they just look "odd". No other chicken looks like them. Blue skin! My favorite color is blue. Extra toes, strange feathers. Just weird looking.
     

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