How to Sex Silkies

Nicole_Hutchison

Songster
Feb 8, 2019
199
244
146
Fayetteville, AR
I know trying to determine the sex of a silkie is very difficult and almost impossible at 5 weeks, but hoping for someone to give me some key things to look for in male silkies vs female silkies that I would be able to recognize as my chicks get older. Also yes they are all 5 weeks but small bantams. There are two pic of every chick - one of the body and one of the comb. With other breeds by this time (5weeks) you might start to see a colored/reddish colored comb or wattles, saddle feathers, etc. but my understanding is that does not really apply to the silkie breed. I am going to start breeding Silkies in the Spring and want to start educating myself now. What do I look out for and any call outs in the pictures that typically mean male/female?
 

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LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
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25,955
966
Hawaii
Yes, you have several that are single combed which is recessive and pops up in Silkies. Most commonly in hatchery stock, but I’ve also had a few from well-known breeders that popped up with the single comb. I chose to sell these and not use them in my breeding program, but if you’re just breeding for your own enjoyment then it does not really matter.
Yes, yours are too young to sex, somethings like behavior can clue
you in earlier. Your single combed ones will be obvious at a younger age.
@PippinTheChicken article is excellent and there are other ones as well if you look under the article section under Sexing Silkies, you will get much useful information.😊
If you want to practice on learning how to do this yourself, I would review many of the threads here on BYC where folks have posted their young birds for evaluation.
 

Nicole_Hutchison

Songster
Feb 8, 2019
199
244
146
Fayetteville, AR
Yes, you have several that are single combed which is recessive and pops up in Silkies. Most commonly in hatchery stock, but I’ve also had a few from well-known breeders that popped up with the single comb. I chose to sell these and not use them in my breeding program, but if you’re just breeding for your own enjoyment then it does not really matter.
Yes, yours are too young to sex, somethings like behavior can clue
you in earlier. Your single combed ones will be obvious at a younger age.
@PippinTheChicken article is excellent and there are other ones as well if you look under the article section under Sexing Silkies, you will get much useful information.😊
If you want to practice on learning how to do this yourself, I would review many of the threads here on BYC where folks have posted their young birds for evaluation.
Thank you, I look at the feedback on here all the time and it has been helpful. Can you give me a little more info on the single comb - why will my single comb silkies be more obvious on the sex at a younger age?
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
10,947
25,955
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Hawaii
Thank you, I look at the feedback on here all the time and it has been helpful. Can you give me a little more info on the single comb - why will my single comb silkies be more obvious on the sex at a younger age?
Because like other chickens with single combs the combs will get larger and develop color at an earlier age than if the silkie had a walnut comb. These birds will also often develop wattles at a younger age if they are male.😊
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
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Hawaii
Here are a few photos of some of my birds when they were young, I know what their genders are now. For fun, see if you are able to tell at these young ages. 😊
(you have a 50-50 chance of getting them right!)
There are 5 different birds.

I will give you the answers after you have guessed.😉
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0E6CCC8C-CA2D-4ECC-AA76-E5B6B33E54A2.jpeg
FC5DEB4F-A179-4943-87A2-842302A3CE7B.jpeg

B2432468-F9F5-49CF-8D9B-A5E0F104586E.jpeg
 

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