Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The case for silkies on a working homestead

Now I know what you're thinking.... silkies on a working farm, ha!
I've heard the negatives about silkies too for a working farm or homestead... poor layers... bad foragers...
not enough meat to eat on them....delicate , not hardy ....not a chicken for a practical minded subsistence farm such as myself!
basically they are thought of as a novelty good for nothing but pet or show chicken....
My darlings,,,, how wrong i was.... and how wrong you are.....

The silkie chicken is the easiest chicken I've ever raised!
They have been such a joy to have for so many reasons....
They have not been delicate... they live in my barn with muscovy case you didn't know ducks are messy! As you can see below it has not a reflected badly on the health or beauty of my silkies....
they have been very low input and easy to raise! Even when our temperatures got down to 0 this winter,,, they were fine.
extremely economical to feed! Try the least expensive I've ever raised chickens!
As far as them being poor meat producers.....they are delicious.... honestly, this was the most delicious chicken I've ever ate in my life! Yes the skin is black...and yes it was good too! That one little roo fed me and my husband to our fill for dinner,
 then made a wonderful rich bone broth the next day.
the smaller size made processing a breeze, super easy to pluck. The meat to bone ratio was very good.
best part... well, next to the fact it was the best chicken i ever ate...
this meat cost me pennies... they eat so little. 
The hardest thing was the slaughter because they are such nice birds,,, but the roos weren't being nice to each other and someone was going to end up dead.
so it had to be done... and it was a blessing the meat was so amazing!

some say it is healthier than regular chicken... check out this link...
So what about being a bad forager... they forage plenty... all day,,, they just can't forage destructivly and scratch everything up! So they are perfect for areas you may prefer not end up being bare ground!
They don't wander far away, are easily contained away can't fly over my fences! 
Which means they are safer because they have to stay with my flock guardians.... and means I don't have to chase them down and clip their wings!
this saves me so much time.... an animal that is hard to manage can suck the day away from a busy farmer that has had her fair share of dealing with high input and hard to manage livestock,
I truly appreciate how easy these guys are to deal with... they are so calm...

as for eggs... 
my hens lay on sprouted grains and pasture, needing no fancy layer they are not heavy layers,
yes the egg is small... but it's cost me pennies to feed them. So I will take it!

they are supposed to be excellent mothers... I've not had a broody girl yet so I can't comment on that.
But I sure do look forward to the day they do!
I will be expanding my little flock ... they fit in here... 
Cause me no drama... take little of my money or time. Wonderful low input chicken... I didn't think there was such a thing ;-)
I tried them on a whim,, so glad I did! They have been a joy and and blessing

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