Should silkies free range?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by joebryant, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    I'm afraid to let my blue silkie and her white chick out in the yard to free range. It seems to me that her being so small and the chick's being white splashed with blue makes them both easy prey for a hawk.
    Am I being overly cautious? I let my 22-week-old Orpingtons out daily to free range in the yard, but the silkies remain in their coop, run, or in a 6x6 PVC roofed pen in the yard.
  2. Only if you are watching them. Because they can't fly, and sometimes have impaired vision, they are very good targets for prey such as Chicken Hawks. Do not let them free range if you arent there to keep a close eye on them.
  3. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I don't know if they should, but mine do. They get very upset if I let the big chickens out and not them! [​IMG] I'm always here to keep an ear out just in case though. How old is the chick?
  4. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    I've always free ranged my silkies.

    Make sure they can see by trimming around their eyes.
    Make sure there are plenty of hiding places like bushes, under porches, etc.
    Other things that are helpful.... having a rooster and a watchful dog.
    I can't stress how important a watchful dog is!

    With these safety measures, I've never lost a silkie to a predator.
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    This is my first year with Silkies and I let them free range with the rest of my flock. My Silkie Roo stays by himself most of the time, I am more concerned about him but he hangs near the coop most of the time. My other Silkie (I'm hoping is a pullet), stays with the flock all the time.
  6. i don't let any of my silkies free range without me being there. Even with that, i had a neighbor cat sidle up and come within inches of killing one of my Showgirls, right in front of me. i don't have a rooster or a dog, so tend to be extra careful.
  7. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I free range mine....also...they usually stay close to the coop and hang out with the Polish. They are NO dummies....and stay close by.

  8. CountryMom

    CountryMom Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    We let our three free range with the rest of the flock. They are absolute nuts though. One of them decided she didn't like my poor sweet lab and went after her. She flew (yes they can fly a bit) up onto her back and dug her claws in and started pecking. Poor dog just ran and yipped. She hasn't hurt any of our chickens or game birds to warant an attack. Another one doesn't like being alone, so she starts screaming like an alarm call and the rest come running to see what is wrong. Then she is quiet as a bug. And are sweet little grey silkie is notorious for teaching our cats their manners. I haven't found them to be afraid of much and very much able to take care of themselves in our herd of big chickens. They have plenty of places to get under and into. Even though they are mostly on the floor of our coop, when we did have a possum attack, only a black orp young roo and our Welsummer hen were taken. Our alarm silkie sounded off the entire time I was taking care of that critter too. She finally shut up after I hauled his remains off. They are very fascinating little chickens.
  9. Quote:Thats an understatment! LOL
  10. chickenma

    chickenma Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    My silkie free range with the rest of the flock.
    And she is friends with this big RIR rooster that 's playing the role of the BOSS.
    She grew up with the RIR and isn't afraid, and sometimes they even fight.
    It's helpfull tough to have a big friend like that.
    If some chicken is looking for trouble with the silkie, the RIR has her back. [​IMG]
    They are a funny couple [​IMG]

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