Silkies For Production in Canada
By Tania McGuire
Peers, Alberta, Canada
Edited by Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
Yes! They do very well. I have to concentrate on this factor to spark
Canadians' interest in the breed. Yes, you can eat the eggs they are
no different, except they are smaller, two for your egg sandwich instead
I have raised many breeds over the last twenty years and have found
the Silkies to be the most cold tolerant, there were no Silkies lost
in my flock of last year, due to frostbite. Even through a few ups
and downs in the weather reaching down to -40 Celsius or so. I had
one young hen that got chilled and needed assistance to lay an egg.
Two days in my house, third day back out and no further problems.
A healthy five hens that were in a camper trailer with no artificial
light, or heat source until the last cold snap in March still managed
quite well at popping out five eggs almost daily. In this trailer
I had one barnyard chicken with a normal single typed comb amongst
them, and this bird had caught really bad frostbite around on the
face and comb. The bird was in severe pain and had to be put down,
the damage was extensive.
You see my job is twice as hard here; I have to concentrate on laying
ability as well as beauty, to promote these fine birds. And now with
the cost of power rising I’m sure feed too, will rise. We people in
these cold wintering Prairie Provinces have to find the breed that
will tolerate more cold than the traditional layers.
I am hoping that more interest will spark and that way I will have
new Silkies to fall back on in nearby areas; I keep on struggling
to make our little cutey, the Silkie, a popular chicken.