Chicken Breed Focus - Silkie

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Silkies are sooo adorable and cute. Absolutely love all the fluff - I just think it's so funny. Hope to add some eventually, perhaps in spring or next fall. However, I'd also like to add some other LF breeds that I didn't get to this time around, such as Speckled Sussex and maybe some Wyandottes or even some different color Orps, so we will see. If I did add them though, I am thinking that I might find someone on BYC as I really love the crests, I mean, to me that's kind of the point and what makes them so hilarious. I may end up just starting out with more hatchery birds though, we'll see. I plan on free ranging my current LF chicks but may confine them, not sure yet, and the Silkies, depending on whether I get large, nice crested ones or not (how well they can see), and depending on how feisty they are will likely be confined in their own little coop and run but may possibly free range as well either with the others or separated. I had always planned on building a coop from scratch and then eventually when we got more using our current dog house for bantam breeds or ducks but now I am planning on using the dog house as the main coop once I expand and add on to it so I guess I will have to figure something else out if I get Silkies. They are so ridiculously cute and funny though so I can't wait until I can get them.

    Although, also, how common is that vaulted skull thing? Seems so sad and almost cruel to breed them that way, much like brachycephalic (short nosed, smush faced, etc.) dogs and cats. People think they're so cute and I mean, I do love the actual breeds, but to me it's cruel and borderline abuse to breed something intentionally with health problems (especially breathing in brachys) or a hole in the skull, etc. just because it is "cute" or has the perfect crest or wins shows or whatever. Thankfully though, with some of the brachy dog breeds, there have been efforts to improve the breed. Pugs for one, in Germany they have "retro pugs" and they are working towards breeding them with longer snouts, a more loosely curled tail (supposedly the tight tail causes back problems), a little longer legs, etc. Etc. By I think selective breeding and maybe outcrossing with other breeds and they still have the same great Pug personality everyone loves, just in a healthier form, and I personally think that it's great that people are working towards healthier animals. I love some of the brachy breeds or other "unhealthy" animals but it does no one, especially not the animals, any good to continue to defend these breeding practices which is why I think that it is great. But sorry, I know I sort of got off topic there and that this thread is not about dogs or problematic breeding practices but rather cute Silkies BUT I believe I can tie it back to Silkies and chickens in general: My hope is that Silkies (and Polish?) too, and hopefully other unhealthy breeds as I'm sure there are others that exist, can also be bred towards healthier birds and perhaps maybe even outcrossed if necessary depending on how common this is while still retaining and achieving the charming personality and crest of the birds. Surely it can be done as many people seem to have non-vaulted Silkies. Though I guess it is hard to tell from a picture.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  2. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think anyone intentionally breeds for vaulted skulls. I've been breeding silkies for 10 years and occasionally it pops up , just as 4 toes or a straight comb might. Once the bird matures it is no longer an issue. It all comes down to responsible animal husbandry, keep momma and chicks away from the rest of the flock until such time that they big enough to fend for themselves.
     
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  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Ohhhh okay, then that makes more sense then and sorry if I offended you or anyone. :/ I guess I assumed it was because Sylvester said they did it to make the crest poofier but maybe that was previously and now it's an accident. Still take issue with the dog side though. :p lol
     
  4. chicken4prez

    chicken4prez Overrun With Chickens

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    We have a white Silkie. Her name is Lily, she is absolutely my favourite chicken of our flock. Silkies are beautiful chickens and I would definitely recommend this breed.
     
  5. chicken4prez

    chicken4prez Overrun With Chickens

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    Beautiful Silkies you have there @Fancychooklady !!! I would love lots of Silkies especially the splash ones but we can't find them anywhere near us for sale.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  6. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have very pretty silkies @fancychooklady

    I love my silkies. They're personality plus and very sweet. I am up to 30+ silkies now and looking forward to adding more!

    I keep attempting to add photos of some of my flock but the app 'suddenly stopped' each time. I'll try again in a bit. Love seeing everyones fluffies!
     
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  7. Banaynaychicken

    Banaynaychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keeping fruit that you wont use chopped up in the freezer, in a plastic bag, and then bringing it to them on hot days, is a GREAT idea! We did cantelope and Pomegranite Seeds, and the nearly killed eachother to get to the frozen goodies.
     
  8. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    No offense taken, :) I just know from my own experience that my line of white silkies had no vaulted skulls in the early stages but occasionally they do pop up . I have 13 hatched this week and 1 has a vaulted skull. It's my observation that the poofier heads are more sought after in the U.S. I prefer my birds to be able to see without hindrance from an overly large bonnet. :)
     
  9. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    I also make corn and pea ice cubes. When I'm in a hurry I just pour the entire bag of cheap frozen peas into the water dish. Cools the water down and gives them something to bob for. At the end of the day just pour them out on the ground as a treat. :)
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Okay good, thank you. :) But hmmm, that's really interesting. I wonder if maybe it's just like a throwback trait? Sort of like how some dog breeds occasionally get a color/pattern or coat type that's not.common? And like I know Labs have sooooo much more variety than just the three colors accepted, they should allow more. Personally I'm partial to the mosaic Labs. But they do sometimes get plush coats and/or a white "t" on the chest or dot under paw, all 3of which, especially the T are throwbacks to breeds used to make them or related breeds. It's interesting. Wonder if the Silkie skull thing is the same. But yeah, I feel like here a big focus is the crest. And, unfortunately, I've noticed that even with dogs and other animals, the U.S. in general tends to be much more focused on exaggerated features, even if it compromises the health of the animals. :( I can see why people like the crest though because to me it is very cute and rather hilarious but I do feel bad that they can't see. However, that said, I have heard some people trim the crest around the eyes/face?
     

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