So..We may be getting Silkies. I have questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Debbienmousey, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Debbienmousey

    Debbienmousey Songster

    Hi.

    My mom has taken my interest in Silkies to heart and is considering picking up some hatching eggs from a lady nearby. The lady has only black silkies I think, although Mom likes the blues and whites also, and I'm not sure if they're bearded or not. So I have a few questions.

    First here's a little bit about our current flock of poultry. We have 1 coop and 1 good size run attached to the coop. In the run we have a smallish area sectioned off for the "nursery" (Currently the fattening pen, lol.). The birds get to free-range on most days. We have 6 roosters which we're keeping that are in with the flock and 3 cockerels which we're not keeping that are in with the flock. We have 30+ hens of mixed ages and some of mixed breeds. We currently have 3 mommy hens raising their chicks. We have 5 adult guineas, 7 6 week old keets (In the brooder which is in the basement), and about 14 1 week old keets inside.

    We have the following breeds: Columbian Wyandotte, R.I.R., Araucana, Cuckoo Maran, Red Star, New Hampshire Red, maybe acouple more which I'm forgetting, mixed bantams, and of course mixes of all those breeds.

    So onto my questions:

    1) How do Silkies do in with standard/heavy breeds?

    2) How do Silkies do in hot, cold, and wet weather?

    3) Do you think the Silkies will get treated differently once integrated into the flock because they look different?

    4) Might the Silkies make better moms if raised by a hen instead of by us?

    5) If the Silkies are raised by a hen will they be less friendly?

    6) I've heard Silkies don't really roost because they can't fly. Can Silkies hop up from roost to roost?

    7) Do I need to take special precautions with Silkie chicks because of their feathered legs?

    8) What if my Silkies crest, or "topknott" gets too big towhere I don't think it can see well?

    9) If I let my Silkies breed with my other birds could the offspring possibly have crests and feathered legs?

    10) Are Silkies okay free-ranging?

    I think that's about all my questions but if I have more I'll definitely post them. Any other advice and PICTURES are greatly welcomed [​IMG]

    P.S. I think this belongs in this forum?
     
  2. k2chickens

    k2chickens Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    in reguards to your first question...

    I do not know by experiance...BUT..i have been told that if you introduced new silkie banties to your allready established flock..."in controled ammount's of time" that you would be fine.

    I asked the same question to a few members on here and they told me to build like a seperate crate or box with poultry wire or whatever you have and or can afford. And take your silkies and "seperate" them to a spot inside your run. You could even just make a small blocking fence in an area of about 5 to 6 ft or so. Let your silkies stay in this spot in front of your flock for controled ammount's of time. Then remove the silkies at the end of the day or whenver you choose. This way, your old flock can get use to seeing your new silkies!!! So when you introduce them into the flock by themselves...hopefully...your girls will be so use to seeing them allready.. that their should be next to no problems. But like allways, keep a watchful eye.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:They do fine. I have a small silkie hen who will happily beat the tar out of any standard hen (or other silkie) she takes a dislike to.

    2) How do Silkies do in hot, cold, and wet weather?

    Cold is not a problem; hot they need cool water and shade; wet is a problem.


    3) Do you think the Silkies will get treated differently once integrated into the flock because they look different?

    No

    4) Might the Silkies make better moms if raised by a hen instead of by us?

    Possibly; I haven't really noticed as to whether that impacts motherhood or not. As good as they are setting eggs, not all silkies are cut out for raising the chicks.


    5) If the Silkies are raised by a hen will they be less friendly?

    Depends on the hen and whether she will let you interact with her babies. Personally, I don't give hens a choice. I mess with their eggs, including candling and moving the hen to count or mark the eggs, etc. When the babies start hatching I'll pick her up and check to see if there are any new ones.

    6) I've heard Silkies don't really roost because they can't fly. Can Silkies hop up from roost to roost?

    If they are inclined--some are, some aren't. I have my older partridge in a pen that has a "wire" (actually plastic) bottom suspended about 2' high--some make it p on their own, others choose to pile on the ground and some I lift up if I am in the area at the right time. I keep meaning to make them a ramp---and keep forgetting.

    7) Do I need to take special precautions with Silkie chicks because of their feathered legs?

    not really--clean toes off gently if they get muddy

    8) What if my Silkies crest, or "topknott" gets too big to where I don't think it can see well?

    It's not the size of the crest that can be the problem, it is the location of feathers that block the eyes. This can also occur on smaller crests. Either use hair tape and tie the crest up into a ponytail (Pebbles Flintstone style) or trim the feathers in front of the eyes--this is as often muff feathers as crest feathers. Hold the bird at eye level and trim the feathers that block you seeing its eyes. Once you can see the eyes, it can see.

    9) If I let my Silkies breed with my other birds could the offspring possibly have crests and feathered legs?

    Yes, those are both dominant genes

    10) Are Silkies okay free-ranging?

    depends on your predators and any dangers such as a swimming pool. If you trim their crests as described above, it shouldn't be an issue (except for predators, which would be an issue for all chickens).​
     
  4. Debbienmousey

    Debbienmousey Songster

    asylum11, thanks! Like I mentioned we have a nursery and the birds can see each other through the fence. We also have various cages that we keep mother hens in when they hatch chicks. Do you think I need to put the Silkies out in the nursery/cage for an hour or two a day but still keep them mainly inside? Or once they get to be 6-8 weeks should I just keep them in the cage outside in the chicken run until they're big enough to actually join the flock?

    Yeah, I always make sure that everybody is getting on OK together. I expect a little pecking or sparring, but that's mainly to settle the pecking order and then there should be no pecking.


    Sonoran Silkies, thanks a ton for all the answers [​IMG]

    That's great to know about the Silkies doing fine with heavy breeds.

    So cool weather is OK, hot is like with all poultry, but wet is more of a problem?

    Heh, okay about roosting, we'll just make sure that they don't get pooped on.

    Thanks for the hairdo help [​IMG] I'll definitely keep that in mind.

    As for free-ranging, no we don't have a swimming pool or a pond so no worry there.


    Thanks Sonoran Silkies and asylum11 [​IMG]
     

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