some questions about Silkies

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by yomama, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I have 4 hatchery stock Silkies that are about 11 weeks old now.They are (supposed to be) two female Buffs, one female Partridge, and one male Partridge. They are still in the brooder, with 7 other standard breeds (yes, I know, they should be outside. Coop building had to be put on hold till just recently. Almost done. [​IMG] ). I have noticed that when I go to interact with them, they seem to be the most shy. My two buffs actually act terrorfied sometimes. I have had them since they were two days old and have handled them frequently. My first question, is this normal? Because I thought that Silkies were supposed to be very docile chickens. Almost all my other chicks are ok with being at least being touched. The partridge roo is ok, but the girls are very skiddish. Also, I have heard that as adults, they aren't always the sharpest knives in the drawer. Is this true for the breed, or is it because sometimes their feathers from their face and head interfere with their vision, making them appear less alert or for a lack of a better word, dumb? Thanks!
     
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    trim their head gear... when you pick them up and they can't see you, they'll become shy... but after they get use to it, they'll be ok.
     
  3. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    Quote:Unless you got them from My Pet Chicken, no hatchery sexes Silkies as they are bantams and hatcheries do not sex bantams. So not sure what you mean they are "supposed to be" females, chances are they are not all females and one male. Hatchery silkies see better than private Breeder birds, they are not the same quality so likely will not have crests as full as the show ones. Its normal for all birds to go through a terrified stage, as they are prey animals. Silkies are more so but will likely calm with time though, you say that you have them in with 7 other standard breeds, and tha fact that some act terrified could also be that they are getting pecked on by the standards when your not looking. That is a huge red flag for me, as breeds with crests will likely be afraid of everything and cannot defend themselves very well against birds who are generally more aggressive and dominant than they are.
     
  4. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    It seems like silkies can be sillier than other breeds during their "juvenile" time...from about 6 weeks until about 3 months. Give them time...they'll probably come around. Just continue to interact with them daily.
     
  5. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Unless you got them from My Pet Chicken, no hatchery sexes Silkies as they are bantams and hatcheries do not sex bantams. So not sure what you mean they are "supposed to be" females, chances are they are not all females and one male. Hatchery silkies see better than private Breeder birds, they are not the same quality so likely will not have crests as full as the show ones. Its normal for all birds to go through a terrified stage, as they are prey animals. Silkies are more so but will likely calm with time though, you say that you have them in with 7 other standard breeds, and tha fact that some act terrified could also be that they are getting pecked on by the standards when your not looking. That is a huge red flag for me, as breeds with crests will likely be afraid of everything and cannot defend themselves very well against birds who are generally more aggressive and dominant than they are.

    I actually did order them from My Pet Chicken. I examine them regularly, and have not seen any signs of pecking, though like you said, who knows what happens when no one is there. I'm a stay at home mom, and the chicks are in my laundry room. Needless to say, I check on them multiple times a day. Not to mention, they have a huge brooder, about 6' long and 3' wide. Not ideal for long term, but they do still have some room. As for their feathers getting in their way, the buff ones, who act more scared, have very little fluff on their head. One has pretty much none. [​IMG] Hoping that changes, but not sure it will. Thanks for all the replies. I will definitely keep interacting with them. I know alot of chicks act scared, my first group of chicks in early 2010 were very skiddish, with the exception of a few. Just so weird that all the Silkies are scaredy cats. Oh well, patience I guess. [​IMG]
     
  6. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    how do you handle them? i find sitting on the floor with them, or hold them in your lap for awhile each time, not just a few minutes- generally mine will handle ten minutes and then get restless-
     

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