Silkies are quickly becoming one of the most popular chicken breeds for the modern backyard farm. They are perfectly well-mannered, produce nice quality eggs, and are ridiculously fluffy and cute.
They are also well suited to both urban and suburban areas as they are smaller, quieter, and very low maintenance!
Even still, no matter whether you’re living in a city environment or out in the middle of nowhere you need to be sure you’ve got adequate fencing to contain these curious creatures.
So, if you’re thinking of owning silkies and are curious what size fence would be high enough for them, look no further. Here’s whether silkies can fly, just how high they can fly and jump, and what size fencing will contain them nicely.
Can Silkie Chickens Fly?
People think it’s just because chickens are plumper than other birds and have such small wings that they can’t fly. Yes, their weight does stop them from flying long distances or very high, but chickens can actually fly.
Now you might think because silkie chickens are bantam chickens, being much smaller than a standard chicken, that they would find it even harder to fly. But, in fact, although silkie’s wings are very small and their bodies on the heavier side, silkie chickens can fly short distances, and as high as about 3-4 feet.
It’s important to note though, it’s not in their nature to try and fly everywhere, you can tell it’s not easy nor comfortable for them to try to fly too long. So, you will rarely see this behavior unless it’s in response to a perceived threat or they were startled.
Although, one of my Silkies, Nugget, will always jump and fly towards me when I come out with treats — without fail!
How High Can Silkie Chickens Fly?
As we know, chickens already aren’t the greatest flyers, being limited by their small wings and large bodies. Of course, just how high they can fly actually depends on their breed.
Heavy chicken like Buff Orpington can hardly fly at all. Light chickens like some Leghorns, Houdan, or Cornish can sometimes make it as high as 4-6 feet. But, silkie chickens are only able to jump or fly as high as 3-4 feet high.
How High Can Silkie Chickens Jump?
Silkies aren’t terribly good at flying, and will hardly ever do so as it’s quite strenuous for them to try. But, when it comes to jumping, they can rely on the spring in their legs rather than the flapping of their wings.
Silkies can get a lot of power in their legs, as their joints allow for a spring-like extension, from their hips to their knees, to their ankles and feet. This allows silkie chickens to be able to jump about 2-3 feet high if they are really trying. This goes for both Silkie hens & Silkie roosters.
But it’s not like silkies will randomly start jumping, nor will they normally try to jump over any fence to leave the yard. You’ll normally just see them jump if they get startled, if they are trying to jump to get food, or to jump onto their roost for sleeping just like they would in the wild.
Will Silkies Jump Over A Small Fence?
In my experience silkies are very timid, and comfortable in the confines of a backyard. Although I do have 5-foot fences around my property I’ve never seen any of my silkies even consider trying to jump or fly over. Quite frankly, I think they are much too preoccupied with foraging and keeping up with their busy schedules.
This is great for any new or existing chicken owner who just wants low maintenance and easy to take care of backyard companion, as Silkies won’t try to jump over small fences.
But, just to be safe I would ensure your fences are at least 4 feet tall all around. Chickens aren’t known to leave the yard while free-ranging, but they may try to leave if they’re trying to escape a predator or get frightened.
Silkies may dream about flying, but in the real world, their fuzzy feathers, small wings, and heavy bodies keep them close to the ground at all times.
Sure, they can still jump and flap their wings, appearing like they are flying – and it will work for short distances or heights, up to about 3-4 feet maximum.
You won’t often catch a Silkie flying though, as it’s far from natural for them. Running around or jumping are much more frequent behaviors though, so it’s still recommended to have at least a 4 feet tall fence to keep them contained and protected.