I don't free range my silkies. They have covered runs, just because of hawks, etc.
They do fine in the winter. I consolidate the pens in the winter so the birds have eachothers body heat to keep them warm. They go out everyday in the winter unless were getting a blizzard or freezing rain/sleet.
personally, our silkies are too stupid to make it in the real world, and to be even more specific, most of them cannot live in a cage that's big enough holes for them to get their head through. Simpily, if not for my wife thinking they are cute, and they're incubator ability... they would not be around.
Quote:silkies should not be free ranged they get lost too easy
and they do ok in a draft free barn
do they really get lost?
My silkies are free ranged with the rest of my chickens. I really don't know where someone is getting their helpless stupid silkies who get lost, but mine are just fine. If anything a bit smarter than my others, I've lost 5 chickens to predators so far and my silkies have been safe and sound everytime. I worry a little about hawks, but just because they are smaller and easier/ not because they are stupid.
They went outside last december when they were about 6 weeks old. It gets and stays below 0 in the winter here pretty often, and they did great.
ETA- When I go lock up the girls for the night I usually have to put a few stupid chickens inside who couldn't find their way to the door. These are usually my wyandottes, delaware mixes, or barred rock. My silkies have never not found their way to bed.