Silkies are more fragile than other chickens. They lack functioning barbicels in their feathers and have vaulted skulls. Because of this they can not wick away water like normal chickens, and they are susceptible to head injuries, respectively. Ideally silkies should be kept in a coop with deep shavings, or on wire and kept off the ground. Silkies should NOT be free ranged as they have huge crests that can blind them to predators. When temperatures are above 90℉ we keep box fans on our silkies to help cool them down. Silkies typically do better with other bantam breeds and not with LF chickens.
A. Vaulted Skull B. Normal Skull
Silkies need higher protein when they are chicks. I recommend a chick feed with protein between 22-24%. These feeds are usually meatbird feed, or game-bird starter.
Our adults get Nutrena Country Feeds All Flock Feed 18% with Calf Manna 25%, and a mixture of millet, wheat, black oil sunflower seed, and cracked corn.