Silkie chickens steal their owners’ hearts with their soft and silky feathers, which is why they are so popularly entered into bird shows. People cannot get enough of a silkie’s cuteness, and if your silkie is having a bad “hair day,” you may wonder if you can do anything about it. Can you brush silkie chickens, and how do you do it?
Although dust bathing is how all chickens keep themselves clean, you can brush your silkie chickens. If your silkie chicken has dustbathed, they are probably full of mud or dust, giving you the perfect opportunity to brush it off them. You will need a baby hairbrush and brush against their grain.
Are you thinking about entering your most unique silky into a poultry show, or do you want to spend some quality time with them in your yard?
Silkies love affection, and when it comes to brushing, they will come running the first chance they get! So read on as we go through the steps of brushing a silkie chicken!
Grooming Silkie Chickens
Usually, chickens will give themselves a dust bath every now and again.
You may have seen them settling into a dry area of dirt or sand, using their wings to flip the dirt and sand deep into their feathers.
Dust baths are essential for chickens as they make their bodies unsuitable environments for lice, mites, and parasites. It also helps them to fight off infections.
Your silkie chickens will do this independently when they are provided with a location when free-ranging or in their coop. Therefore, they won’t need to have baths regularly.
That said, it’s okay to bathe a Silkie once in a while. Just know that after a bath, their feathers will be all over the place after.
This is where brushing and grooming them becomes crucial, especially if you don’t want them looking so untidy. Some chicken keepers brush their chickens if they are a breed with loose feathers, and silkies are the perfect example.
Experts recommend brushing your silkie chickens once every week to keep their feathers dry and fluffy, as a silkie chicken’s feathers don’t have the same water-resistant qualities as flat-laying feathers.
Most chicken keepers will only brush their silkies if they plan on showing them off at a poultry show. Are you looking for some tips on brushing your silkie chicken?
How To Brush Your Silkie Chicken Effectively
Although it is encouraged to brush your silkie chickens once a week if you live in a particularly dirty or dusty area, you may need to brush them more often.
This will help keep their feathers silky, clean, and debris-free.
Let’s take a look at the few easy steps involved in brushing a silkie chicken:
Get All The Tools Needed To Brush Your Silkie Chicken
The main tool you will need to groom your silkie chicken effectively is to invest in a good quality chicken brush. A baby brush would also work, as you must ensure the bristles are soft and gentle on your silkie’s delicate fathers.
You may also need a pair of scissors in case any feathers are extremely dirty, or you need to trim excessively long feathers.
Start By Getting Your Silkie To Come To You
When all your tools are ready to go, call your silkie chickens with treats and make sure they are comfortable around you. Choose the one you want to brush, and place them on your lap.
Starting The Brushing Session
Work gently with your silkie chicken, as you want them to enjoy this process as much as possible. Hold your silkie with your dominant hand underneath them, with the other guiding the brush. Start by running the brush through your silkie’s feathers.
Remember to always go against the grain of the feathers so that you will get under them for the most effective clean. If you notice any long and dirty feathers, you can use your pair of scissors to trim them.
Check For Any Signs Of Infestations While Brushing
Brushing and spending time up close with your silkie will give you the ideal opportunity to look closely at its feathers. As you brush against the grain, look for any signs of an infestation of mites, fleas, or parasites.
If this is the case, you will see red moving insects, along with small black or white sores. In addition, if your chicken constantly tries to scratch while brushing or biting at its feathers, this indicates an infestation.
If you look at the feathers and it seems patchy or matted, something is wrong.
End The Brushing Session With A Treat
If your silkie behaved well during the brushing session, you might reward them with a treat. This will let them grow used to the feeling of being brushed, allowing them to associate it with treats and other positive things.
Benefits Of Brushing Your Silkie Chickens
Even if you aren’t showing your silkie chickens, and you keep them for fun, brushing is essential, and there are a few benefits to brushing them:
Brushing Is Relaxing
Brushing could become very calming for silkie chickens once they know it doesn’t hurt or harm them.
If you have raised your silkie chicken from a young age, they will often fall asleep while you brush them. Also, brushing them can be a therapeutic and calming activity for you!
Brushing Helps To Distribute Your Silkie’s Natural Oil
A chicken’s natural oil is released from its uropygial gland, also known as the preen gland. Brushing helps to distribute these oils across your chicken’s feathers effectively.
The oil will also play a significant role in keeping their feathers dry and clean by repelling water and dirt.
Brushing Builds A Strong Foundation Of Trust
Brushing your silkie chickens will give you a reason to handle them and build their trust. But, unfortunately, chickens may see you as a predator until you prove them wrong.
Moreover, when they become used to and comfortable with being handled, it will be easier for you to care for them when they become injured or need human handling.
Brushing silkie chickens could become one of your favorite activities, and knowing how to do it correctly will ensure they remain still and comfortable during the brushing process.
Be sure always to reward them with treats for good behavior!
- Can Silkies Be Kept In The House?
- Are Silkie Chickens Good for Beginners?
- Do Silkie Chickens Make Good Pets?
- Do Silkie Chickens Like to Be Held?