Speckled Sussex or Silkies? HELP!!

JakeBremer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 4, 2012
350
1
101
Quinlan, TX
Hello, i am wanting to breed either silkies or speckled sussex. My parents say i can only have one.

What are some pros and cons for Speckled Sussex?

What are some pros and cons for Silkies?

And what are some personal experiences with either one of these breeds?

I just dont know which one to choose!!
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Thank you
-Jake
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
675
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I have Silkies, so I can tell you about them!

Silkies are very sweet, adorable chickens. Now mind you, some of the roos can be overprotective just like any roo. But I have had some wonderful roos. The hens don't lay very many eggs. They also go broody frequently (I haven't kept silkies until they went broody- just long enough for them to lay- so cannot tell you how frequent) and stop laying when they are broody. So you can't expect many eggs from silkies.

Silkies don't usually like ramps or roosts, but will roost if they can easily get to the roost (can't fly) and other members of the flock are roosting. If it is only silkies in a coop I have found that they like to huddle together on the shavings/floor. They can be trained to go up ramps but REALLY can give you a hard time with this (best thing to do is keep the food in the coop and don't help them down the ramp).

Silkies can need toenail trimming- use a dog/cat trimmer and only clip the very ends off, trim again a week later to prevent bleeding. Have blood stop powder on hand.

They can't see predators very easily and are hawk bait unless you can give them shelters to stay under to hide from hawks or netting overhead (hawks can get into pens if not covered and thus this is not a guarantee- to have shelters.

Silkies can become very affectionate towards humans and enjoy being held if hand-tamed all along. They REALLY love the roosters (the hens). They seemingly can't get along without them very well. I had silkie hens that just were so aimless and helpless without a rooster to herd them along. They walked into walls due to their crests hiding their eyes. They couldn't find the treats on the ground.

Hatchery silkies have smaller crests. If you want the larger crests, go with a breeder. The breeder silkies have better personalities too- gentler. Right now I have lovely silkies from Welp and love them very much. They are beautiful and I am very happy. They don't have the large crests of a breeder though.

Silkie chicks and chickens seem to feel the cold worse than the other breeds in my opinion. They get soaked to the skin when it rains and I do give them a light bulb in the winter when it is much below freezing since we don't have too much very cold weather here. Others say they don't heat their silkies. I think it depends on your coop and how many silkies you have huddled together. (And whether there is a draft in the coop.)

The feathered feet of silkies do get muddy/dirty if they are on mud at all, and this staining doesn't go away from my experience. I do dump sand on the very muddy parts of the runs but the feathered feet are not an advantage. I would be so happy if this trait wasn't there.

Silkies have a soft spot in the skull like a baby, so don't let them be bullied or a peck to the head can cause wry neck (sometimes treated with vitamins) or death. Normal pecking order business is OK but not bullying. Surprisingly silkies are usually not at the bottom of the pecking order from my experience.

I love silkies and always want them in my flock! They are very much like having a cat or dog in my opinion. However, if you don't hold them they will not be tame (ours aren't tame right now). They will become friendlier with POL (point of lay) occurring as do all hens. They will squat and then you can pick them up.

Once I got rid of a roo and the hen stood at the gate forlornly looking as I took the roo out. I will always keep the boys. One silkie breeder told me that she keeps one roo to 5 hens and this works well, but she removes the boys from the pen when they are teenagers as they are unruly when young. When older they treat the ladies better (as do all roos, usually).
 
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JakeBremer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 4, 2012
350
1
101
Quinlan, TX
Thank you for your reply! You gave me slot of useful information. I have 1 silkie in my flock right now
And she is doing great! She has already hatched out 2 baby's. And me and my parents love her.
 

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