How to Care for Silkie Chickens
Silkie bantams are a small and delightful breed of chicken. Due to a lack of barbicels that normally hold a feather together, the silkie has soft feathers that resemble a silky fur. Best known for its unique and beautiful feathering, the silkie chicken is also valued for its gentle disposition. Care for the silkie chicken is similar to that of other chickens, although their diminutive size and inability to fly require special attention to feeding and sheltering them.
Feed your silkie chickens layer crumbles rather than pellets, as pellets are sometimes too large for silkies to eat. You can feed them a mash made of bran, grated apple and carrot mixed with meat meal and a little vegetable oil once or twice a week. Toss out table scraps such as vegetables and bread for your chickens.
Grit is a necessary part of a chicken's digestive system, allowing it to grind coarse feed in their gizzards. You should provide your silkie chickens with a supply of grit in their coop if they are rarely free-range. You can collect small, angular stones for the grit, or you can purchase grit feed from a feed store.
Provide a secure, predator-proof coop for your silkie bantams with at least 3 sq. ft. per chicken. Include a roosting house with roosts no higher than 3 ft. from the ground.
Clean your silkie's coop at least once a month. Remove old bedding and spray the floor with a solution of bleach and water, flushing manure and debris form cracks and depressions. Spread fresh pine shavings on the floor when it is dry.
Check your silkie chickens every week for mites and lice. If you notice pests on your chickens, use an avian pest-control spray on the chickens. Spray again in a week. Mites are easily prevented if your silkies are maintained in a clean environment and inspected frequently.
Provide fresh water for your silkie chickens, and scrub the water pan every week. Keeping their water supply fresh and readily available is one of the most important aspects of chicken care, because chickens can easily get dehydrated .