Helpful advice for someone wanting to start their first silkie project?


In the Brooder
Jan 21, 2022
Hey all.
I don't know how to do short and sweet so feel free to skip over.
I've been wanting to post for advice for a little while now but held off to decide whether I wanted to risk potential backlash about quality 😅

So.. I've had Silkies for awhile now kept mainly as pets. I have hatched a few chicks but more for fun and to grow my flock than anything else. But recently I've started wanting to learn more about proper breeding and pairings and who goes with who to make what.
For now my goal would be mainly to continue certain bloodlines while improving quality and color BUT by no means am I expecting perfection from this specific group. For now as the very very beginning of what I would like to be a long term project I am trying to figure up who would go best with who here and what else I should consider adding in the spring.
I have a lot to learn when it comes to breeding silkies but I'm hoping you all could send me your best beginner tips. And possibly input on a few of my favorite babies here.
I am not certain which colors to focus on with what I have here. I love my Columbian(Benjamin #1) and Buffs are my favorite. I also love lighter blues but with my main blue hen being non bearded and very very dark I get probably somewhere like 75% bearded very dark blues, 15% non bearded very dark blues and 5% bearded light blues and 5% non bearded light blues. Definitely roughly estimated but you get the idea.
I am looking for advice on which hens should go with which roosters, which colors I should focus on in each group and what colors I should consider adding to each group in the spring.
Constructive suggestions and advice are very very welcome!

Here is some information on what I currently have to work with:

#1 Benjamin was sold to me as a Columbian. He's a beautiful boy with one of the most perfect personalities I've ever seen in a rooster.

#2 Duncan is pure white but his mother is a pure white while his father was a dark buff (nearly red) he has no leakage anywhere but I would assume carries his fathers dark buff/red genes. He is an extremely special boy to me as he is the only son of the sweetest most loyal rooster I have ever met, we lost our wonderful buff boy to a freak accident a few months back and I intend to keep these genes going. (Duncan is friendly with Georgie and could share a flock with him if that is the best route)

#3 Georgie appears white in photos but in person you can see that he is actually a VERY VERY light peachy color with slight buff highlights when the sun hits right. He came from a wonderful woman that I fully trust who breeds beautiful birds from beautiful lines (Benjamin, Fancy and Miss Frizzle also came from her!) She suggested the very light appearance must have been a throw back from somewhere in his line but that he should produce some buffs if paired with buff.
(Again, I can either keep both Georgie and Duncan together within a group or divide them into separate groups)

#4 Fancy is my pretty pure buff hen. Her beard and poof has been trimmed in this photo. She has no leakage of any other color, all buff. I am not an expert so I am not sure of her quality but to me she is simply perfect both in looks and her wonderful sweet personality.

#5 is a daughter of Benjamin and mothered by my non bearded dark blue hen Vera. We have several others identical to her. This color, is there a name for this? Or just a messy blend? All are very sweet.

#6 Miss Frizzle, she came from the same wonderful breeder as Benjamin, Georgie and Fancy. I don't remember the color she had told me she is and she does have a fault (one foot has only 4 toes) one of my sweetest and gentlest girls.

#7 Vera, she is a dark blue who has hatched chicks fathered by Benjamin that are primarily bearded dark blue (half with white leakage around the neck and half pure dark blue) some non bearded (same colors as above) and several light blue both bearded and non bearded (some with darker blue around the neck) She also hatched one daughter with my dark buff who turned out bearded with buff leakage around the neck.

#8 Bitey, Another daughter of Benjamin and Vera. Mostly curious about whether there is a name for the coloring or again, just a messy blend?

#9 another daughter of Benjamin and Vera, no leakage. Appears darker than her mother but I would assume still mostly blue?

#10 This is one of 7 identical siblings. I believe fathered by Benjamin and definitely mothered by my white hen Angel. No leakage on any. Looks nearly identical to their mother. At least 4 are definitely hens/pullets, 2 are cockerels and this one I'm on the fence about.

#11 Kiwi! Another VERY special bird. One of only two daughters fathered by my sweet dark buff/red rooster who we lost a few months back. Likely not a great quality but I'd like to fit her in somewhere to help continue her fathers bloodline. Mothered by Vera the dark blue.

#12 Pumpkin Jr! In all her glory, carrying her late fathers name and his beautiful coloring splashed all throughout her neck and chest. This little lady is my pride and joy. She is the only other daughter of my dark buff boy and she not only carries his body shape and amazing personality but also has his voice! (Call me crazy but she sounds exactly like him❤️) again, not certain of her quality and I have no idea if this color has a name or is another messy blend but would like to fit her in somewhere with her sister Kiwi to help continue my boys bloodline.
Duncan and Georgie are the best of the three roosters, type wise, though if you’re looking to breed to breed standard you’d want to breed Georgie to darker faced hens to breed out his red face, as thats undesirable to silkie standards. Georgie is probably the best rooster, proportion wise, but that red comb may pop up in his chicks so you’ll want to be aware of that.
As for the hens, 10, 8 (Bitey), 7 (Vera), 5, and 12 (Pumpkin Jr), seem to me to be the best proportion wise, though there are slight faults with them. The main issue with your flock seems to be the lack of cushion aka tail “poof”. Silkies are meant to be a sort of “heart” shape, with the cushion level with the head. I linked an image below that shows it.

As you can see, the head, cushion and feet make up a near perfect three pointed heart, which is desirable in breed and show standard silkies. Most of your silkies have fairly small cushions, so you might want to bring in some bird with bigger cushions to breed that out, or just breed with the best of your flock.
I mean, this all depends on how strict you want to be with your birds, and the quality you want to produce. Your birds are all lovely as pets or a backyard flock, but if you want to breed to breed standard you’d want to restrict your breeding to the very best members of your flock in order to produce the best results.
Some of your hens also have leakage, which can be easily bred out, but will take time. Are you hoping to breed the colours also to breed standard, or just the general “type” of your birds?

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