Incredibly handsome. He almost looks like what has been described as a Calico.
He is looking like a rooster. The leg shape, the way he holds his head back, the streamers developing, the way his tail is slightly pointed... It can be hard with silkies to know for sure. What age is he? It is usually pretty obvious by 10-15 weeks.
He's a very pretty color by the way. Buff with dark points, almost like a siamese cat. : )
They really aren't much different than hatching any other chicken egg. There is a good article in the learning section- HATCHING 101 if you are new to hatching. What are you using for an incubator and have you used it before? Turn it on a few days ahead, warm it up, see if the temperature and humidity hold steady before your eggs come. Generally shipped eggs are left to sit 12-24 hours before popping them in the incubator but that's covered in Hatching 101 too. I've hatched two batches of shipped silkie eggs this springs. Good luck!
Silkies are awesome little guys, a lot of fun to hatch. They aren't more difficult to hatch then other chickens, but depending on the genetics, some lines may be weaker then others and need more gentle handling. All my silkies and silkie mixes have done well, even when incubated and raised with standard chickens.
Good luck! : )
Usually, yes. However, not all chipmunk patterned silkie-mixes are partridge. I learned that when my chipmunk-chick turned into a partially laced black-and-white cockerel. : )