anyone good at sexing /ageing silkies???

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by helenmar, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. helenmar

    helenmar Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2010
    gainford,county durham
    Hi,Ive never posted on a forum before so I hope starting a new topic is the correct way to do it? Not really sure? Anyway I have become a silkie mum! I bought 3 "female ' silkie chicks off this bloke who said he was as sure as he could be they were hens.When i saw them i fell in love with them and forgot to even ask how old they were!If anyone out there can tell -i will attempt to load somepics.I have been frantically trying to learn about silkies ever since.as it is now october and getting very cold and wet I have since put a gazebo up for them to keep the worst of the rain off during the day as I was horrified to learn they are not that waterproof!My husband despairs and just wants eggs-but to be honest I just love being with them and finding treats for them!I know they possibly wont lay that much and as its getting colder here in the uk,probably not even til spring but what age do they normally start to lay? I am considering getting 2 other breed bantams to lay eggs but dont want to upset the silkies so any ideas about how to introduce and what age bantams to get would be appreciated.I have named them Posy,Pootle and Perkin and will hopefully get pics up next.Pootle looks to me like he may be male and his beak looks too long-should i attmpt to file/cut it???It has not stopped him eating but he does not seem as big as the other 2 and often has his head on one side which lead me to have fears about all sorts of horrific diseases I keep reading about!!!Suffice to say they are very much pets and my lack of knowledge worries me as I want to ensure i do my best for them.Also if Pootle is a rooster I am hoping he is a quiet one as i dont think i could bear to get rid of him now.Any advice will be very gratefully received!!!
    I have been advised to re post this message on here-I hope the pics show as this is only my second attempt at a post!
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    posy side view
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    posy front view
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    perkin side
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    perkin front
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    pootle front-have not managed a side view yet but it is his beak i am concerned about as it differs from the other twos.-oops is that a freudian slip im already referring to this one as a 'he'.I hope Pootle is female???






    Last edited by helenmar (Today 1:10 pm)

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    One husband,one cat and 3 silkies (Gainford,Durham UK)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  2. Tartannik

    Tartannik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Wet Argyll, Scotland
    [​IMG] I hope you manage to post pics soon so that we can see your silkies!!
    If you introduce other birds gradually (i normally keep mine in a seperate coop and run for a week or so) your silkies should be fine!
    Nik
    P.s I am in Scotland!
     
  3. helenmar

    helenmar Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2010
    gainford,county durham
    Hello to Scotland!
    Do your silkies cope ok with the weather up there??

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  4. Tartannik

    Tartannik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Wet Argyll, Scotland
    Oh just realised your pics are there, very nice little silkies, I am not very good at sexing silkies as mine are about 5 months now ans i am only just sure i have all girls, but there are certainly lots of other people on here that can help!

    My silkies like to hide under the bushes or go into the forest at the back of the house to stay out the rain!!
     
  5. helenmar

    helenmar Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2010
    gainford,county durham
    Yes my husband thought I had gone mad when I got them a gazebo!I just couldnt bear them being wet all day!Have yours started laying yet?-I dont even know what age they start to lay?Mine were as big as a large grapefruit when i got them and i have had them 1 month but i dont know what age they were when i bought them!So no idea what age mine are????Do they look anything like yours?

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  6. Tartannik

    Tartannik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Wet Argyll, Scotland
    Well they certainly look a wee bit smaller than mine, maybe 4 months??
    Mine haven't started laying yet and i have heard it can be about 8 months till they lay [​IMG] Hehe, i don't mind though as they are just so cute i just like looking at them!!
    Here is a pic of mine that was taken about 10 days ago!

    [​IMG]

    Hens are addictive, you will end up with more, maybe you should get 2 bigger hens like black rock, isa brown, marans for bigger eggs as silkies will get broody and not lay as much!
     
  7. helenmar

    helenmar Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2010
    gainford,county durham
    oh they are lovely!the little brown one is so cute!
    4 months sounds good to me! at least now i can tell my hubby so the pressure is off them to lay!I honestly dont mind no eggs they are just such good company.My sister gave me some scraps for them (we are too thrifty to waste food!) and they adore baked beans!!!I am going to get some layer pellets next.Do yours manage pellets ok?I read somewhere they may need layer crumbles as they are small ,but i cannot find any layer crumbles to buy!
    I am presuming they dont need grit as they are outside? Should I provide oyster grit though?Thanks so much for the advice.

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  8. Tartannik

    Tartannik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Wet Argyll, Scotland
    I know other people seem to have silkies that won't eat the pellets but mine do, no problem at all! I suppose it might depend on what they were fed before? Maybe you could put the pellets in a food processor to make them a bit smaller if you want?? It might be layers mash you should be looking for, am not sure though as haven't bought any before!!
     
  9. Loddie Da

    Loddie Da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2007
    Troy, New York
    Here is what I am thinking you'v got 3 females 4-5 months old, 2 blacks & a partridge all are pet quality.
    But sexing Silkies is hard to do & until they are about laying age it can be hard to tell.

    Silkies start to lay a little bit late at 6-8 months, sometimes up to 10 months. They lay small/medium size tinted eggs.

    They can eat the pellet feed just fine & If you think her beak needs trimmed I use a human toe nail clipper, trim it to the length of the others beak.

    Are you cooping them up at night?
    If not please start to do so or they will become fox food.

    Most bantams don't lay that well. adding new birds isn't that hard to do just make sure they are atleast 3/4 the size of each other & wach for the fights getting out of hand, I just put them in a cage in the coop for a few days or free range them together until they take to each other. You could also put them in a cage next to the coop so they get used to each other...but their will be some fighting as they need to peck at each other to make a "pecking" order.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. helenmar

    helenmar Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2010
    gainford,county durham
    O h you have made my day! 3girls wow!That would be so lovely.
    They are most definately cooped up at night-infact they are put to bed at 7pm sharp every night and let out at 7am .I will resist cutting her beak for now as it does not seem to impede her at the moment but am keeping a close eye on her.Will do so if she struggles but its great to know that you have done it sucessfully.
    I am glad you have experience on chicken introductions.I think i will have to get a bit braver before i try it.Will work on it and give it a go.Thank you so so much for your advice!
    Kind Regards Helen

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