Large Fowl Silkies

Large Black & White Silkies

Large Black & White Silkies

Last year (2011) we got some Large Fowl Silkie hatching eggs from Cheshire Poultry. They turned out to be great birds, all were large fowl. We have tried the bantams in previous years but found many of them ended up with a nervous complaint called ‘crook neck’ or ‘wry neck’. Treatment is possible, but in practice it is ardous, takes many weeks and not guaranteed to cure the condition. Added to which the treatment is stressful for both the bird and owner.

Although we have lost a couple since we first raised them, the large fowl varieties turned out to be more stable and robust on the whole. Crook neck is not caused by a virus or bacteria, but by an injury to the brain. Many crested fowl (including the Silkie) have part of the brain exposed by way of a hole in the skull.

White Large Silkies

Babes in the Wood

Silkies are highly entertaining, going mad at the afternoon feed time, you have never seen such a tight scrum. Overall they are delightful birds (a good breed for children) with a very noticeable pecking order and despite their looks, very hardy. Large fowl silkies are bigger than the bantam variety, but they still look smaller than other large fowl of other breeds.

It is prudent to house and keep silkies in their own coop and run, away from the more fiesty breeds e.g. Araucanas. This will avoid the real possibility of injury from other birds with a more aggressive behaviour. Silkies are also short sighted, worth bearing in mind if you have mixed flocks.

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