Originally Posted by PrairieChickens
I got this breed because of their reputation for being extremely docile and friendly, and while none of my silkies have demonstrated that quality so far, I'm hopeful for future generations.
I've actually got the hair-brained idea to try to produce white-crested-black silkies by crossing them with one of my Polish. I don't know if it will work, but I'm going to give it a shot.
With vaulted skulls on Polish used to cross-breed with Silkies to give Silkies a poofier crest, I didn't want to get any Silkies with vaulted skulls - good chance of pecking injuries on the head from other chickens and sometimes they get neurological tremors/seizures or head-shaking and can even die. Only skin and a bit of feathers covers the brain pushing against the opening in the skull exposing the brain to easy injury. One Silkie breeder that has had them for years said her vaulted skull Silkies seldom lived past 2 years. I do not have vaulted Silkies but I feel their crests are still full and fluffy without the vaulting - safer and healthier. I'm finding that the vault vs no-vault hasn't made a significant difference in the Silkie crest poofiness but then it's IMO only.
A - Is a Vaulted Skull.
B - Is a Non-vaulted Skull
THIS IS A POST FOUND ON THE BYC THREAD CALLED "VAULTED SKULLS"
I found this on Photobucket. It must be a Silkie skull since it is black. The brains are exposed and sometimes bulge from the openings. There are varying degrees of vaulting, to a huge vault to almost non-existent, to everything in between. I can sex my Silkies from the time they hatch since the pullets will have the largest vaults.
My no-vault Silkies
Partridge molting - no vault ------ Black Silkie no vault
Just sharing my concerns about the new interest for vaulted skulls when there is such a danger to the bird - often owners of newly hatched Silkies can't figure why their chick's head posture is hanging or why there is mild to violent head-shaking or why the chick is walking funny or seizing or - worse - dead. The vaulted Polish or vaulted Silkie is the reason I advise new owners to not mix these delicate gentle birds with heavier dual purpose or assertive breeds that love to assert themselves by giving a good hard peck to the head of a Polish or a Silkie. To each his own but I just wanted to share info I've accumulated through research and talking to breeders.