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spicycauldron

Silkie cockerels: safe around chicks?

I've heard say, but not from someone with first-hand experience, that Silkie cockerels are okay to keep with a brooding hen and, subsequently, her chicks as well. Is this true? Allegedly, Silkie cockerels are the only breed of male that not only are safe around chicks they consider their own offspring but have been known to even sit on eggs/chicks like a hen!

I ask because right now I've got my Silkie cockerel in with a Silver Dorking sitting hen. Despite being huge in comparison to him, she is one of 'his' and he seems to be guarding her. This is especially so at bedtime, when he stays close to the coop door. When she emerges to do one of those mighty big dumps that stink like nothing else ever, and to eat and drink, he lets her alone for five minutes or so and then chastises her back into the coop and onto her eggs!

He's the sweetest cockerel ever, never being nasty to birds or people, although he is very brave when he thinks there's a threat (irrespective of its size because he thinks himself a BIG man!).

Can I keep him with the hen come three weeks' time and she has chicks running around the pen (no other hens are present) - or should I remove him now or at any point prior to the eggs hatching?

The actual eggs are Pekins and Polands. Not that he knows they're not 'his'...

Thanks all! Smile

Andy
Mutton

We run mongrel chickens that have a bit of Silkie in some of them. Did have a silver sussex and a buff sussex cockerel at one point too. Never seen a cockerel attack a chick.

Hens and cockerels might take a swipe at a chick that tries to take the food from under their beak but not seen more than that. Even quite a junior (in the pecking order) hen turns into a raving psycho when protecting chicks.

Others may have had a different experience of course.
Woodburner

I wouldn't say absolutely every silkie cockerel is 'chick safe' but they do seem to be soppier than the Sussexes, (LF) and even they are pretty soppy. I've put quite young growers in with a LS cockerel and while he looked highly bemused in the daytime at all the little things running about his ankles, even he would put his wings out over them at night!
All these sort of things are at the end of the day a matter of judgement, e.g. when growers will be safe to put in with the main flock.
ime cockerels in general are better than hens for accepting chicks, but it is really the individual cockerel's temperament that is important.
spicycauldron

Thanks Mutton, Woodburner

I think I'll leave him with the hen, then, take the chance and watch him carefully. Nature is amazing - I still marvel every day at the fact that he definitely knows his hen is having babies, only lets her eat for five minutes then chastises her back to the nest.

Doesn't stop him wanting to get to his silkie girls, of course, in the coop next to that one. He's not allowed until their mop-tops grow back.. Never mind saddles, my silkie hens need bonnets like the Cranford ladies! Smile
Green Rosie

Please some-one tell me I wasn't the only one who read that title as silly Cockerel Embarassed
12Bore

Please some-one tell me I wasn't the only one who read that title as silly Cockerel Embarassed

Nope, just you Wink
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