© 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement. Silicon on insulator photonics has offered a versatile platform for the recent development of integrated optomechanical circuits. However, there are some constraints such as the high cost of the wafers and limitation to a single physical device level. In the present work we investigate nanocrystalline silicon as an alternative material for optomechanical devices. In particular, we demonstrate that optomechanical crystal cavities fabricated of nanocrystalline silicon have optical and mechanical properties enabling non-linear dynamical behaviour and effects such as thermo-optic/free-carrier-dispersion self-pulsing, phonon lasing and chaos, all at low input laser power and with typical frequencies as high as 0.3 GHz.