So I thought I would do a few articles introducing each chicken because as the keeper of the coop you notice each chicken, just like any animal has their own personality. I decided to start with Gabbie the Silkie first because she is the newest addition (aside from the two little ones she came with) and we got her as a friend for Maggie (little dark partridge colored silkie.). Gabbie is just about a year old, she is a mostly “buff” silkie, but she looks more orange/ginger color, with a splash of black on her wings and because of that she probably wouldn’t win any major awards (coloring is very important with show chickens!) however I’ve been told she might do OK in a local small show despite the black color on her wings. She’s still a beautiful bird with a nice stance, puff ball, and poof tail!
Now, sure, showing chickens sounds fun I think, but she caught my eye on craigslist because she is adorable! Maggie just seemed a little depressed lately (yes chickens can get depressed!) When we got Maggie – we should have also bought her friend she had in the same pen but we didn’t and we didn’t know better that we should. So we just had Maggie and she became very friendly with people and we enjoyed her company and watching her antics. Silkies have a tendency to look quite dumb, there isn’t a whole lot going on up there and they are extremely easy targets for predators, so when we let them out we have to be close by to stand watch.
So when we found Gabbie on Craigslist I was super excited. Silkies in general are hard to come by in our area especially really pretty ones. So we rushed over there the next morning to pick her up. The lady who had her had a lot of animals! Little adorable piglets, geese, ducks, rescue dogs, cats, etc. so we talked for a while and I promised her the little buff would have a wonderful home. So then she handed us a little blue silkie baby and a little white one and was like “here take these too!” Well you just can’t say no to fluffy silkie babies??!! They are about 11-12 weeks old now and although we can’t exactly tell their gender we think they are both girls except maybe the blue we think it might be a little roo, we named him Eddie!
So flash forward we needed to expand, quickly, and we built a larger rabbit hutch for the garage because silkies don’t like the cold and especially the babies they would die in the current weather outside. So all four of our fluffy butts live in the garage currently and we keep a small heater on during the day so the garage warms up. We let them out on nicer sunny days to free range (under supervision only!) any of them would make a very tasty snack for one of or local hawks! Sometimes we even put paper down and just kinda let them roam the garage – because they only move a few feet per hour lol! Andrew built a small ramp for their hutch and they are learning to use it slowly. (Silkies do not do well with ramps either lol). They don’t usually roost on perches, they dogpile sleep on top of each other and it’s really quite adorable.
So we have Gabbie, and although she seems to be “head hen” in the pecking order, and picks on the babies from time to time, she’s just a total sweetheart with people. She will actually stand by your feet if you are sitting in the garage and “beg” until you pick her up and place her in your lap. She seems to like the attention.
Now the other day we left the ramp on with the little door open, not expecting anyone to use it because it was still “new” and again, silkies don’t do ramps well at all, but I did show her once how to go down the ramp not really thinking she would retain this “training session” at all!
So about an hour went by and we came back out to the garage to check the silkies and have a cup of coffee or whatever it is we do out here, it’s a place to sit and have a break, our garage has posters up and Christmas lights so it’s like a hang out spot during winter. We have a little cheap card table, a few chairs, and for some reason I’ve taken to sitting on the blue and white cooler, (less places for spiders to hide on a cooler!) So the cooler is my “spot” and every day this is where I take my coffee, and this is where I sit on my breaks.
So we come out to th garage and I open the door and there is Gabbie… Sitting ON the card table in MY spot! She had used the ramp like I showed her, jumped to my seat on the cooler, and then jumped to the place on the table where I put my coffee or soda lol! She was having a nap and waiting on me! It was the cutest thing! It really warms my heart to know you helped train a chicken (of all animals!) to do something they normally wouldn’t do, and to find them waiting for your return… so she got what she waited for she got to sit in my lap for a while before going to bed.
Silkies make great pets. They are docile enough for children, they are slow, they don’t mind sitting in your lap, or sitting in a small basket while you work at your desk, they are good company, they can be chatty, but not too loud, they sometimes sing a little trilling song or make funny noises, they are cute, fluffy, and interesting to watch… what more can I say? They steal your heart and won’t give it back. If someone asked me why do you have these funny looking silkie chickens? I would simply say because they make me happy, they make me laugh, and they warm my heart.
A few pictures of our Gabbie, including the pic of her waiting for me to return to the garage lol