The Silkie chicken is one of the most popular and unique-looking breed of chicken out there.
From their egg production to unique feathery crests, this family-friendly fowl has captured the hearts of many of us backyard chicken owners.
But if you keep a whole flock of hens, you need to know if they’re aggressive and will harm your other feathery friends.
Silkie chickens aren’t aggressive unless something threatens them, their eggs, or chicks. While they may be territorial at times, compared to other chicken breeds, these are kind and loving birds. Silkie roosters get cranky and protective, but less so than most aggressive roosters.
Of course, it’s not always so clear.
Sometimes you’ll end up with a cranky bird or a situation where your Silkie is fighting with others.
Look ahead to the rest of the article for more information on when aggression shows up and how to stop it from happening.
What Causes Mean Behavior In Silkie Chickens
Even though Silkies (often confused for Polish chickens) are known as docile and friendly birds, they do have a mean streak in the right circumstances.
There are some causes of this to watch out for and even some to take yourself to prevent the worst aggressive behaviors from happening.
All caring chicken keepers like you and I need to keep these in mind as we provide for our fowl.
As any parent of many kids will tell you: cramped quarters make for cranky folks!
The same is true with Silkies and all animals in general.
Your birds need a chicken run and a coop big enough for the size of your flock.
Inside the coop, your birds need 3-4’ square feet of space per bird.
In the run, aim for 8-10’ square feet of space per chicken.
Giving more space is better because it allows them to get some wiggle room without always running into each other.
You’d be surprised how many flocks eliminate fighting problems by adding more space.
Any bird will become an aggressive bird if cramped.
Related Post: Do Silkie chickens smell?
The pecking order of a flock is key!
There needs to be a dominant hen or rooster to guide the other birds.
But when you add new birds, things get a little dicey for a while until everything settles down.
Even though Silkies aren’t well-known for this fighting and pecking, it does happen in this instance, though usually with other small birds.
If you find one large hen or a mature rooster who won’t quit dominating or picking on the younger or smaller ones, cull them or remove them for a few weeks until the order settles itself.
Further Reading: Silkie chickens fighting and how to help
Threats To Territory
Silkies stay in place for long periods; they have territories.
When other birds or prey animals (squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) invade looking for food, the Silkies may fight to keep them away.
Angry roosters or dominant hens may even step up to fend off smaller predators.
Brooding chickens will do this, too, to protect their eggs if needed.
If you notice a lot of fighting and stress, one of the first areas I recommend checking is whether or not their coop and run are secure or if predators are bugging them.
Tighten up security and consider using some other animals who scare off predators.
Lack of Food And Water
A Silkie’s got to eat, and if there’s not enough food to go around, they’ll fight to ensure they get their fair share.
While hens and roosters are good at foraging for food, they shouldn’t do it all alone.
Silkies eat around 1/4 of a pound of chicken feed on top of what they find outside.
Make sure when you give them food, you spread it around enough to let several birds get easy access.
It’s better to err on the side of overfeeding rather than underfeeding.
Plus, the more protein you offer the hens, the more eggs you’ll get (and bigger, too!).
If you don’t have a local store you get yours from, I recommend this organic chicken feed I found on Amazon.
It’s convenient to get it online, plus I know my birds are getting the best product.
The same problem happens when there isn’t easy access to a lot of water.
Make sure you have plenty of fresh water available at all times.
Add more waterers if you notice your Silkie acting aggressively around the watering hole.
Bullying From Other, More Aggressive Chickens
Silkies typically sit pretty low in the pecking order.
Other aggressive breeds, like Rhode Island Reds, tend to pick on them.
Further Reading: Silkie chickens and how well they live with other breeds
A Silkie exposed to bullying like this may start to show some aggressive tendencies to survive.
Mean birds will stop others from eating or drinking much, so getting picked on is a big deal if done in excess.
If you notice this bullying, you may have to intervene.
Remove the bullying chicken (if it bullies everyone else, too), or remove the Silkie.
A new home may be a good option, but don’t forget to consider culling and sending it to the stew pot.
It seems mean to cull (kill for food) for some folks, but this is part of owning farm animals.
And in the long run, it’ll be kinder to the flock.
Are Silkie Chickens Friendly?
Silkies are one of the few breeds of chickens considered friendly.
Some owners say they even like to be cuddled!
While I don’t know how true this is (it depends on the bird), they make great hens for a family farm.
They get along with kids, aren’t overly skittish, and tend to be quiet too!
They’ll run up to you when you come to feed or check on them.
It’s amazing how much personality these unique hens have.
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