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How do you sex silkies

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

At what age can you tell the sex of a silkie and how do you tell them apart. I have 3 that are 4 weeks old and with these I have no idea how to figure it out. The other breeds are much easier. It is driving me crazy because I can only have hens where I live.

post #2 of 14

Hi and Welcome to BYC! : frow

Silkies are pretty hard to sex for quite awhile. Ours were close to 3 months old, if not older before we were sure exactly who was a girl and who was a boy. Probably not the answer you were hoping for, I know. We had one pullet (girl) that we kept changing our minds about until she finally laid her first egg at 17 weeks old.

24 week old Silky pullet...

http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7cf29b3127cceb07bcf6b92a700000036100FYtm7ho2Y-

24 week old Silky cockeral (notice his larger comb and wattles)...

http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7cf29b3127cceb07bcf5e13a200000026100FYtm7ho2Y-


Hope this helps!

Dawn

Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
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Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
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post #3 of 14

From what I've read, silkies are one of the hardest to sex. You may have to wait until it lays an egg or crows. At this young, I don't think there is an expert out there who can sex them with better than 50% accuracy rate.
Sorry if that is disappointing, I know it can be terrible waiting it out!

post #4 of 14

gig .... well I had a cockeral I was sure was a pullet till at around 7 mos  he blossomed and got his crow comb and wattles all within a couple weeks (late bloomer)...
Another I was sure was a cockeral (hackle feathers and found him a home... few months later the new owner sent me  pïc of "his" chickies .... th

post #5 of 14

And I thought ours were bad...gig

Dawn

Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
Reply
Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
Reply
post #6 of 14

hm i too have 4 wk old silkie chicks and need to sell some of them but i have know clue what they are... i want to keep three girls from the batch... but part of me wants to get rid of them before we can know because i cannot have more than two noisy roosters(which i have)... right now i have three boys of another breed as well... and i cant find someone to take them or even one of them... when they start making noise im going to be in trouble...

two of them are larger than the rest could that mean they are boys? or just that they get more food... who knows good luck sexing yours lol

I am the proud co-owner to a bunch of Silkies, 5 d uncle Millies, 1 cochin, a bunch of fish, 6 Nigerian dwarf goats, and 5 parrots.
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I am the proud co-owner to a bunch of Silkies, 5 d uncle Millies, 1 cochin, a bunch of fish, 6 Nigerian dwarf goats, and 5 parrots.
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post #7 of 14

Wait till it lays or crows....Silkies are tough to sex. The better the quality the harder it is to sex.

Living Life And Loving My Two Beautiful Daughters.

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Living Life And Loving My Two Beautiful Daughters.

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post #8 of 14

In all seriousness, truthfully, it's like someone else said.... wait until it lays or crows.

I am going by behavior with mine... they are all 3 months old.  One is definitely displaying cockerel behavior and has done so since they were about 5 days old!  His name is Roberto.  Sascha and Honey have been given girl names, but they will be changed to Sebastian and Henry, respectively, should they turn out to be cockerels.   Preston is starting to display more pullet behavior rather than cockerel, so his name may be changed to Priscilla.

I'm really hoping Roberto turns out to be the only boy, but I will love and keep them all (probably) even if they all end up being boys.

Maybe.  LOL.

Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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post #9 of 14

I told my husband I suspected a cockerel in my "sexed pullet" bunch at about 5 weeks.  His (yeah - he turned out a 'he') legs were much thicker than the others' (what I call 'cankles').  And his crest looked flipped back (streamerish).  Plus he was the slowest to feather out.  He wasn't assertive or anything - it was all based on his appearance.  My most assertive at that time was my largest pullet.  And the chick that carried her head the highest was my blue pullet.  Seems like his comb started developing around 10 weeks or so, but was dark.
And of course he was one I'd actually WANTED in my pullet order (two were substitutes for other breeds that weren't available).  Finally, at around 12 weeks, he crowed (pitifully), and also began doing the drop wing thing with the others.
So check for legs noticeable thicker than the others, and for streamers.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresaann24 

Wait till it lays or crows....Silkies are tough to sex. The better the quality the harder it is to sex.


i agree... about the quality thing... I bought my one rooster when he was 4 mo. at an APA show. The person I got him from told me he was a boy everyone else said he was a girl he was a boy... he was just so nice it was hard to tell until he was older... some of the chicks i have now are from him and they are the ones a really cannot tell the sex of... i have some from a hatchery right now as well and i have a better idea of what they are (at least i think i do lol)...

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/95298_76828_1591937090324_1592812720_1378149_485495_n1.jpg

In this pic I am holding a pullet and a cockerel. All of the people I asked couldnt tell which was which when they were right there with them lol until they got older

I am the proud co-owner to a bunch of Silkies, 5 d uncle Millies, 1 cochin, a bunch of fish, 6 Nigerian dwarf goats, and 5 parrots.
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I am the proud co-owner to a bunch of Silkies, 5 d uncle Millies, 1 cochin, a bunch of fish, 6 Nigerian dwarf goats, and 5 parrots.
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