A benefit to keeping a silkie chicken or two is their docile nature.
Yet, you still might catch your flock fighting here and there.
What does it mean, and what should you do?
Silkie chickens fight for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, dominant birds may attempt to establish their place in the flock through these fights. Bored silkies may start scuffles too. If they don’t have enough access to food or space per bird, fights can break out as well.
If you notice your silkie flock of chickens fighting more than usual, don’t panic!
Read on, and we’ll discuss what you need to know about these docile chickens.
Why Are My Silkie Chickens Suddenly Fighting?
As mentioned, there are a few reasons you might notice your silkie chicken acting more aggressively lately.
Establishing a Hierarchy
One of the most common culprits is striving to move up in the flock’s pecking order.
Even among docile breeds like Silkie chickens, a flock has a hierarchy.
They establish this hierarchy early on too.
You might even notice young cockerels and pullets playing around and establishing dominance.
Most chicken owners see this as their young animals start chasing one another.
Another example behavior is chest bumps.
Once your chickens reach about six weeks, these games start to get more serious.
You might notice more signs of fighting as your silkie rooster or hen.
Often, an adult rooster will establish itself as the head rooster of the flock.
Without a rooster, a strong hen will likely lead the flock rather than a cockerel.
Further Reading: Silkie roosters and how to care for them the right way
If you notice your chickens starting to fight, they may also suffer boredom.
Even your Silkie chickens need a chance to experience new things from time to time!
If you have a coop, it’s possible to move.
A new environment can help.
After all, it comes with new ground to explore too!
If you have a stationary coop, don’t worry.
Chickens love the chance to take a bite out of new snacks, peck around in a hay bale, and take dust baths throughout their days.
Lack of Resources
If your silkie chicken flock doesn’t have enough food, water, or space, they’ll start fighting for resources.
As such, chicken keepers need to consider the needs of the entire flock.
You might notice this type of fighting on a smaller scale as well.
As it creeps closer to feeding time or the water feeder gets some dirt in it, your silkie chickens may start to fight.
Scuffles may break out until you resolve the issue.
Even flock mates who usually get along can start to disagree if they’re hungry or thirsty!
Related: Can chickens break glass to escape?
Have you ever met someone you don’t get along with?
The same dynamics can exist in your backyard flock.
Each silkie rooster or hen you have has its own personality.
This can cause a problem when you have a chicken with a more aggressive personality.
Luckily, silkie chickens are one of the friendlier breeds of chickens.
Introducing a single silkie chicken to an established flock at a time can put them at a disadvantage.
They risk running into chicken bullies who see the new bird as a stranger invading their space.
This can lead to aggressive behavior like scuffles.
Make sure there is plenty of space before introducing new chickens to avoid more fights.
How Do You Stop Chickens From Fighting?
The occasional scuffle between silkie chickens isn’t much to worry about.
If things start to get too aggressive, take some of these measures.
Assess the Environment
First, make sure nothing in the environment is leading to the upset.
Are your chickens low on food, or do they need some fresh water?
Solving these issues can sometimes resolve aggression.
Providing an area for dust baths can help reduce aggression as well.
Space to stretch their wings matters a lot to your silkie chickens too.
For the best results, ensure your silkie hens and roosters have plenty of space alongside their other resources.
Interfere with the Pecking Order
Some silkie chicken owners decide to take matters into their own hands regarding the pecking order in an established flock.
This is especially helpful when a chicken manages to bully their way to the top.
This is typically done by removing aggressive birds for a short period – usually around a week.
In this time, the flock will rearrange the hierarchy without the aggressive birds interfering.
While it isn’t foolproof, this can improve their behavior when they return.
Grab a Water Gun or Spray Bottle
When scuffles break out amongst your chickens, it’s scary, and you may need to break things up, depending on the scenario.
Getting between your chickens, though, can get you hurt as well.
Much like cat owners often do, it’s an option to use a spray of water to distract and deter your chickens when you catch them in the middle of a scuffle.
Yet, they won’t link the acts right away.
You may have to repeat the process through a few scuffles to see your desired results.
You have a few options for this, and a spray bottle works fine.
In an outdoor setting, a plastic water gun is often easier and more accurate.
Remember, don’t use a too-powerful stream!
Can You Keep Silkies with Other Chickens?
It’s possible to keep your silkies with other chicken breeds in a mixed flock.
While fighting is possible in silkies, these docile birds aren’t known for their aggressive behavior.
As a result, they tend to get along well with other chicken breeds as long as they have plenty of food, space, and water.
Some chicken owners do advise against keeping more aggressive breeds with silkies.
This is because if you come across a more aggressive bird, it may become a bully bird to a more docile silkie.
The best thing to do is watch your chickens’ behaviors carefully to assess any signs of fighting in the flock.
Read next: Will cats attack Silkie chickens?