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Tell me all about silkies!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by secretagent, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. secretagent

    secretagent In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    In the spring we are hoping to get silkies. I am just nuts about them since we started to read into the various breeds.
    They will be in a loft house on their own, we find the loft good as the house gives the run a bit of coverage from the rain and it rains alot here in Ireland!!
    I have been reading up on them but i would like to hear of peoples personal experience with them. I know they are poor egg layers, i have no problem with that. They seem to be very friendly and like their humans. I believe they can be bullied by bigger birds, is this true? Our 5 other hens have their own house and run and have access to the garden most days. I would like to see them all mix well.
    Will they get mucky? As in really mucky, i have been told i have to watch out for that as i might end up having to bathe them regularly. Do i need to put paving stones in the run to prevent them getting mucked up to the eyeballs or stuck in the muck!
    How big is a standard silkie?
    How often does your silkie lay?
    Are they are broody as what i have been reading?

    Any pro's or con's on having them as pets are welcome!

  2. WOW....there are about 100 threads already all about silkies. I would suggest that you do a search and read them. Then you could ask specific questions if you don't see your answers.
  3. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    Yep, just do a search and read though the Silkie threads here and you could learn all you ever wanted to know about Silkies, and probably some facts about them you never knew, or would need to know. In fact, many of your Google searches will lead you back to BYC.
  4. JayDee

    JayDee In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    Er, WOW to that first reply. [​IMG]

    Secret Agent DID search -- google and BYC extensively. The Silkie threads are mostly photographs and they are a hundred pages long. Who has that kind of time?

    Those were the specific questions she had.

    This forum has a lot of really helpful people, but the snotty replies are a bit much. If you've nothing to contribute, why reply?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  5. Rathbone

    Rathbone Songster

    Oct 25, 2010
    Mojave Desert
    I am going to second JayDee. Most of us come on here because we like to chat it up. So, my response is...let me tell you all about my silkies.
    I don't have exact answers to your very specific questions - because I live in the desert. So muckiness aside -
    I always hear people say that silkies are poor layers. Mine are excellent layers - stopping only when they go broody. And that is probably what most mean when they say poor layers. When my ladies are not brooding, I can expect an egg a day. They go broody, I give them a clutch of eggs, they raise the babies and when babies are between six and eight weeks old, they start mating again and within four more days are back to laying. This is not a problem for me since I enjoy seeing new babies and in fact I use the silkies to raise babies from my other hens - which will then become my new layers or - soup.
    They are docile - but each hen has her own personality. Some are friendlier and enjoy more contact. I have one that likes to hop on my lap, one that likes to play in the water, one that is a little piggy when it comes to treats, and one who is bossy in excess - so are they picked on by my standard sized hens??? NO. Miss Bossy is the head hen and she rules the roost. If any hen is going to pick on another, it will be Miss Bossy.
    And my rooster Amador - he is the best roo I have ever known. He is kind to his ladies, goes into the nest boxes and scratches around in the hay helping the hen get ready to lay her egg, then sits next to each one as they lay. He scratches up bits of food and calls the hens to eat - he even holds tidbits in his beak, clucks to the chicks and then drops morsels for them to eat. At night, he cuddles the chicks that the hens have recently cast off as they go back to laying eggs.
    I love my silkies. You are gonna love your silkies.
  6. Will they get mucky? As in really mucky, i have been told i have to watch out for that as i might end up having to bathe them regularly. Do i need to put paving stones in the run to prevent them getting mucked up to the eyeballs or stuck in the muck! I use sand in the runs. Helps the water drain so they stay pretty clean. Obviously if you plan to show them you will need to keep them on wire or in deep shavings to keep the feathers in good condition.

    How often does your silkie lay? During the spring/summer and early fall they lay almost every day.
    Are they are broody as what i have been reading? My girls try to go broody, but its pretty easy to break them.
  7. secretagent

    secretagent In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    Thank you Rathbone and SundownWaterfowl. This is exactly what i was looking for.
    Love;y story about your roo Amador Rathborne, he sounds like a cutie!

    Sand in the run sounds perfect, something i never thought of. Would it benefit me to put perspex up on two of the sides of the run to give better protection from the wet and rain? They will be pet only but i want them to be comfortable.

    Good to hear they can stand up for themselves too, i was quite worried. I am not sure if we will go for bantam or standard, but the standard are still small.

    Really appreciate it guys! Thank you!

    Oh when you say its easy to break them SundownWaterfowl, how do you do that?

  8. Quote:When I see somebody trying to go broody, I will put her up in a wire stilt pen. The bottom is about 5 feet off the ground, and it is made of 1/4" hardware cloth. They need to have the cool air hitting their chest/bellies. Usually within 5-7 days they are done trying to go broody.

    Some of my coops, the smaller ones have tarps over the top, usually those are where the younger birds just out of the brooders go.
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:I don't think asking someone to do some more research is "snotty". As far as "Who has that kind of time?" Well, I could do the same research, asking and searching for all the various answers, but is it really fair to ask someone to spend hours condensing info just so I don't have to? No, not in my opinion.

    There are MANY threads about silkies and info all over. JayDee, I am assuming you know secretagent, since you say the OP did "extensive" research, something the OP doesn't claim?

    BTW, sometimes replies are just to encourage someone to use the Search functions, and sometimes it's meant as a "bump" up on the list of posts.

    JayDee, you posted in this thread - let me ask you this - "]If you've nothing to contribute, why reply?"
  10. featherbaby

    featherbaby Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    Quote:Those were not snotty replies AT ALL! Those of us who have been doing this for a long time know that the scope of your questions was HUGE and there is no quick or easy answer. Each question could be answered in several pages of information. The suggestion was for your benefit to learn the most from questions that have been asked by every newbie to silkies....including me, a couple of years ago. That way you have a knowledge base that will help you make sense of all the other stuff. The people on here are VERY nice and VERY helpful as long as you don't get defensive on them and prejudge their intentions from a few words. Please relax and go with the flow.....we'll be glad to help you as you help yourself to the wealth of knowledge already available in the archives. You can't get all you need to know instantly. Fortunately, learning about silkies is a lot of fun and I'm enjoying learning more about them all the time. Sort of like the movie: The Neverending Story.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010

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