A question that I am often asked at VJP Poultry is “How do silkies do in a mixed flock?” It really depends on so many things. They can do well with other birds but remember, they will probably be at the bottom of the pecking order. Because of their docile, laid – back lifestyle, they will not be the ones causing problems. The do not fly, so they will not be flying up to roost at night with the rest of the flock. They will sleep on the ground in a corner with hopefully another silkie buddy. They don’t wander far from the food dish.
Silkies are classified as Bantams. There are many different bantam breeds and many of them would make good companions for silkies. Because bantam breeds are smaller , they are nearer to the same size as a silkie is. Not all bantams are good choices. Seramas are small but do not do well in a colder winter. Some bantam breeds can be very aggressive and would also not be a good fit.
Bantams are breeds of chickens that are smaller than standard size. There are true bantams which are breeds only available in bantam size and then there are bantam varieties of standard sized breeds.
Bantams are great for the urban or suburban flock. They eat less, take up less space and cost less to take care of. There are several breeds that are similar to silkies in that they have fluffy foot feathering and docile temperaments. I am going to suggest five different breeds that would be a good fit with silkies. I am including pictures. These are not my pictures but were taken from the internet as examples.
Barred Plymouth Rock Bantams have lots of personality. They are very friendly. My all time favorite chicken was a Barred Plymouth Rock that we had years ago. They are cold hardy and great egg layers.
Buff Brahma Bantams are gentle and quiet. They make a great over-all pet. They have feathered feet and small combs which make them perfect for our cold winters. They are mini versions of the larger sized Brahmas.
Cochin Bantams have a calm disposition and an ornamental look. They are wonderful mothers and are good at hatching out any egg you give it. They come in many different colors – buff, partridge, golden laced, barred, mottled , black, white and red frizzled.
Mille Fleur d’Uccle Bantam’s name means “thousand Flowers” in French. They have heavily feathered legs and a bushy beard. This is an example of a “true bantam”‘ as opposed to a smaller version of a large fowl.
Salmon Faverolles are calm and docile. They have beautiful feathering on their muffs, beards and legs. The male is straw, redish brown and black. The female is creamy white and salmon brown. It is easy to tell the males from the females.
These are just five examples of good companions for silkies. Look for other gentle breeds that won’t bully Silkies. Silkies do tend to be picked on by more aggressive breeds. If it is not working out, you may need to separate you silkies in a different area. All birds have individual personalities so you just need to find out what works for your flock.