When my son chose to raise Silkie chickens last year for his 4H poultry project he picked them first because of their looks, second for their famously gentle personality & lastly for their broody nature.
Well, let me tell you, the chicks were more work than your average breed. Their fluff really holds on to poo. So each day for the first few weeks in the brooder you must check their feet & bottoms for “pasting.” We spent a lot of time washing little upset chicks with warm water & gently drying them off.
So why would we choose to do it again? Let me show you…
In late December she tried to hatch a clutch of eggs, but it was just too darned cold. So last month she started again, with just 3 eggs. Late last week I found one egg had been broken when a big hen tried to stuff herself in behind the little silkie – the chick inside was almost ready to hatch & didn’t make it. Of the other 2 one was pipping and the other making noise so we waited.
The next morning was very cold and the pipping chick was almost completely hatched, but we brought him in to the incubator to warm up (and that is our little Uno). The final egg remained with the hen. By this past Tuesday I thought it might have been a dud and planned to throw it out to give the hen a break, but ended up leaving it until the next day (yesterday) and I am so glad I did! Because at lunch time the kids came running to say the egg had hatched!
We are very proud of our son’s little hen. These Silkies are really proving themselves to be tough & dedicated. They don’t lay an awful lot of their own eggs, but they sure will hatch anything you set them on! We believe this chick is from our Dark Brahma hen bred by a Red Breasted Phoenix rooster.