Single Silkie Pullet, Feather and Smell Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mimiywan, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. mimiywan

    mimiywan In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2012
    Arlington, MA
    We purchased a single Silkie pullet at our local poultry auction about a month ago (14 weeks now) and I have been placing her in a pen within our run alongside our 5 other chickens who are about 6 months old (EE, Australop, Golden Sex Link, Cuckoo Marans, RIR). I have a few questions.
    1. When I let the Silkie out to mix it up with the other chickens, my Golden Sex Link came right over and pecked her on the head. I don't think she would have stopped if I did not intervene. Will I ever be able to integrate this single, smaller chicken into this flock? We live outside Boston and the cold weather is coming. The coop can accommodate another chicken but I worry that they will peck her to death because I purchased only one Silkie when I obviously should have bought 2 or more. I am not sure our Silkie can survive the cold on her own.
    2. The Silkie's feathers on her wings seem to stick together a bit, is that normal?
    3. Whenever I hold her to move her into her separate pen area--I move her back and forth from a covered dog kennel at night to an enclosed pen in the daytime--she leaves a really strong odor on my hands that my other chickens do not seem to. Are Silkies stinkier than other chickens? If not, what could be wrong with her?
    4. If I cannot successfully integrate her into this flock, should I keep her in my house at night, to ensure she will survive our coming cold weather?
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    oh my, first off, give her a bath. sticky and stinky probably go together. you can blow dry some chickens all smell the same so unless she is sick theres no reason for her to smell any different. some times they have hard feathers at the wing tips, is this what you are seeing? you are right on should have got two but thats water under the bridge now. i THINK you can buy some kind of guck to put on their head to discourage picking but i dont know anything about it.unless you have a tiny helmet laying around? lol
  3. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yeah I agree my silkie smells no different than my other chooks. She may have something on her. Do a search here as there is a good thread on how to wash then dry your silkies.

    As for integration I suspect it will be a hard process. There is something about silkies gets them sent straight to the bottom of the pecking order and just tolerated by other chooks. We have only one silkie and got it with some others at 3 weeks old. It has never really fitted in though and often spends time alone. We also should have got two.

    I would give lots of time where they can see but not hurt and then make sure she has time in the main coop without them so she can learn the layout and find some hiding places before you let the others in. I'd also integrate in a free range situation to start with so there is less defend territory behaviour from the others.
    All you can do is try and keep an eye it doesn't get out if control but they will continue to peck her till they are sure she knows her place. So allow it but intervene if it looks to be getting out of hand or drawing blood v
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies should smell the same as other chickens unless they are sick. I agree - give her a nice bath and blow dry. Yes she needs a buddy as chickens get terribly lonely and she will have no one to huddle with.

    Silkies sometimes need to be in a separate flock if the other hens are too aggressive.

    You can put pinless peepers on the other hens and that may work. She needs to be in a coop IMO for the winter. You could put her in a dog carry crate inside the coop (or cage) so she can stay warmer but safe. It will also help the other girls get used to her...but it sounds like they may need the peepers (blinders).

    It would help if you can select your most docile chicken to be in with your silkie so they can become friends. Then when you put the two of them in together with the others it will not be just one new chicken.

    Silkies have hard wing feathers that stay together.
  5. cailynne

    cailynne In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2013
    wichita ks
    Their feathered feet can get kinda nasty walking in poo and the floofy butts can sometimes hold onto bits of poop. I use sand for the inside coop to help with poopy feet.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    x2 sand inside my coops, scoop every day with kitty litter scoop (wear mask).

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