Do bearded Silkie roos have distintive combs and wattles?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pennie1, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

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    I have 6 Silkies between 14 & 18 wks. old. I am trying so hard to figure out their sex. When do these little buggars start to crow? It seems like my RIR chicks started to at least try to crow by now. And I was looking for the normal comb and wattles that roos get and can't find any. Do they actually get them?
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Songster

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    They get them but they are not the same as the RIR's. Post some pictures and maybe someone can pick them out for you.
     
  3. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

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    I will do that first thing in the morning.

    Thank you very much.[​IMG]
     
  4. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

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    You will usually only have one cockerel in a group crow. They are very cautious about pecking order and the boys will stay quiet when there is a dominent roo around. Once they are out of the group another will usually pip up. Silkies are usually very to sex. One way to determine male or female at 14-18 weeks is to feel the two bones just above the vent. There will be a much larger space between them on the females as she is preparing to lay eggs soon. The little cockerels will have a space the is smaller than the thumb. With the females, most times the space is the size of the thumb or larger depending on the maturity.

    You can also sometime tell by looking at the wattles. Little girls in most cases have only a very small flap for wattles while the guys will have more developed wattles. Nothing like a Barred rock or other standard single comb breeds. Show Silkies are bred for small, almost non existant wattles.

    I have tired every method know and have still been fooled but from what you have described, it leads me to think you have pullets. By 18 weeks you should see some indiction of longer feathers on the crest, the boys develop long streamers. Generally the comb will be bigger on the boys as well and possibly be a little more vibrant plum color. I think most of us have had that little boy we are sure about end up laying an egg. Or the little pullet end you crowing way later than any others.
     
  5. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

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    I'll get some pictures posted this morning. These birds all came from show stock (being sold as pets) so chances are there won't be much comb or wattles. I'll try the vent test next.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Silkie combs and wattles are not a good way to judge gender, especially if they come from show stock. While male combs will be larger than females, many breeders aim for as small a comb as possible. Personally as long as the comb is properly shaped, I do not care how large it is--but it does seem that the most grotesquely shaped ones are the ones that tend to be largest [​IMG] Anyways, I digress; a good quality silkie should have teeny, tiny or even absent wattles. This applies to both genders. Even non-bearded silkies have considerably smaller wattles than are present in more common barnyard breeds (leghorns, plymouth rocks, orpingtons, RIR, etc.)

    The pubic bone spread is a pretty good way to distinguish genders, but is not always accurate. In addition to spacing size, the flexibility of the spacing should be taken into account. A pullet's bones can and will spread a bit as she lays her egg; a cockrel's bone have no need to spread apart, and are less flexible. (Be very gentle, if you check this.) Also, since the birds come from show stock, chances are that pretty good that they will mature onsiderably cmore slowly than hatchery birds. I wouldn't expect obvious appearance differences to show up until the birds are close to six months or even more. And the pullets probably will not lay until they are 9-10 months or more.
     
  7. Sonoran I have found this to be true that silkies from a good breeder mature very slowly as compared to hatchery stock. My friend got some eggs from MyPetChicken and hers hatched only 5 weeks ago, and already are the size of my 10 week olds I got from a breeder's stock. I have 3 that are 15 weeks old and I still have no clue what they are, the bigger one is finally getting some streamerish characteristics to his crest though, pointing backwards and a few strays that are longer - so I'm pretty sure that little dude is a roo. I don't expect none of these to lay till next spring obviously. [​IMG] Good to hear about another possible way to sex, I'll have to try that in a few weeks on my oldest juvenile ones.
     
  8. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

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    Okay, I did the vent test and on everyone of them my thumb fit. Now, some were more snug, but still they all fit. Here are some pics of the kids. I'm sorry they aren't great, and I have to appologize up front because everyone needs a bath (they have all been romping outside - well as much as Silkies romp).

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    It would be nice if someone had a clue, because I sure don't. I think the 2 white ones could be roos, but as for the others?
     
  9. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

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    does your white silkie have a crossed beak? it is kinda big
     
  10. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Songster

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    boy I'm no sure they all look like pullets to me. I think I might see a streamer or two on the top white but I'm not sure. BTW I am horrible at sexing. my cuckoo got his comb in a week
    [​IMG]
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    thats why I do the cuckoos they are sex linked and I can actually sex them [​IMG]
     

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