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At what age do you know you need to cull silkies??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by erin0415, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. erin0415

    erin0415 Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    North Texas
    How old are your birds when you decide they are not right for your breeding program? My silkies are 6 weeks and there are a few that I know are not good for breeding (single comb, 4 toed, crooked beak), but as for the rest, at what point do you decide they aren't right??
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    just depends what you are breeding for. I have a single comb, utility grade silky hen. She also has an unpleasant personality, but she is an EGG LAYING MACHINE, just about like a leghorn. I am raising a batch of her babies right now, and I am not getting rid of anything until it crows, because in this case I don't care if the comb is reddish, or single, or it is missing a toe. The father is much more typey, bearded and docile than the hen, and some of the babies are surprisingly typey, but I am not culling out the ones that are less typey, because my primary criteria for this cross is better looking, great laying, occasionally broody, good mothering silkies, preferably without profuse feathering, huge topknots, super docile dispositions... On the other hand, if i was shooting for exhibition birds, there are only two in the bunch with "promise" at this stage, three weeks. The rest would have been gone two weeks ago.
  3. TB1

    TB1 In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2007
    crossed beak would fo been out after 24 hrs, the rest about 2 weeks ago from your post.
  4. LilPeeps

    LilPeeps Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    SE Mass
    Missing toes, single combs, and often crooked beaks are visable from hatch and can be culled anytime from that point forward. Also, you'll want to cull for foot feathering, feather, skin, and eye color, toe spacing, type, crest, comb shape and color, gender, etc.
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Of course, with the growing market for silkie meat, if you'll be culling anyway, you could grow them out to about 12 weeks or so and use them for meat. (even though they aren't very big) If you wanted to sell them for meat, in most places, you'd either have to sell them live, or pay a processor.
  6. sweetcorn

    sweetcorn Songster

    Sep 2, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Or you could give them away or sell them as pet quality to somebody who wouldn't mind imperfect fuzzy butts .
  7. Kanchii

    Kanchii Songster

    I'd go ahead and cull the ones yo ucan see problems with that you mentioned, save you space and food. Then I usually wait till the birds are at least 3 months old, and from there I can tell how nice their crest is going to be, ect.

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