Just beginning but want to make good decisions about Silkies.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Pete's Chicks, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Pete's Chicks

    Pete's Chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2009
    Near Madison
    Would like to get some silkies for the kids to show for 4-H and perhaps sell some chicks as they become available. We won't be starting 4-H until next fall.

    I am willing to start at any point, eggs - adult.

    Is there a certain color that is more preferable?

    A local breeder has offered me two pullets and a roo. The rooster would be at least a year old. They would all be white.

    I am also thinking it would be fun to hatch some eggs. I have a friend that has offered to let us borrow one of her broody hens.

    I want to make smart decisions now.

    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Pete's Mom
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Starting with either black or white birds is a good start. That way you dont have to worry about breeding for color, just breeding for type.

    If you can get a hold of a standard of perfection, you can read what the silkie is supposed to look like for show quality.

    You can also search around and find someone you trust as a well established breeder and get some from them.

    Do you have pictures of the silkies you want to get from the friend? If you post them here, we will be happy to let you know what we think.

    ETA: And you can go to shows and/or fairs in your area to check them out. Lots of time 4H show judges will explain the good and bad points of each bird when they are judging. So you could try and see if you can go to some of these.

    Heres a site you might find helpful [​IMG] http://apa-abayouthprogramsite.org/
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I couldnt have said it better. [​IMG]

    Blue/Black/Spash you can keep in the same pen. All other colors need to be seperate.

    Ive started a buff silkie project, which buff is probably the hardest color as you have to get so many other things right then just type.

    White is probably the easiest color to breed.

    Also, be sure to do lots of research about silkie breeders. I ordered some chicks from a top breeder last fall and received chicks with mixed coloring, single combs, twisted faces, and crooked beaks, and was told that I "Got what I wanted". So just be careful and do lots of reasearch.

    ETA: A breeder that I have had a great experience with was Melanie of FlufNStuff. I hatched 4 buffs from her eggs, and they are great.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    From what I have read, hatchery Silkies are a no-no. My experience echos this. I started with a small number of hatchery silkies. All were roos & pretty darn scruffy looking. We kept one. He is on the ugly side, but DD's dear pet. We acquired a few more through local sources. All are very nice looking. Great feathering. Decent poofs on the hens.

    I agree with tiki, educate yourself on the standard & ask around. I wish I had waited on my silkies. Turns out - a leading breeder lives an hour away from me. I wish I'd worked this better, instead of jumping at any chance. Patience, dear! [​IMG]
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    There are several nice silkies on eggbid right now (Pearson Zoo has an awesome partridge cockerel listed--the dark one). It is better to start with birds, not eggs--silkie eggs don't ship very well, and getting the whole incubation process down takes time and experience. With birds you have a better ide of what you're getting--the older the bird, the more you can tell.

    Whites are hard to keep unstained. All colours seem to be affected by the sun--white & blue and splash can turn brassy looking, buff fades, black turns brownish.

    Get the colour you want--all the recognised varieties are sufficiently developed that you can find excellent birds, although getting quality non-bearded birds remains a challenge, regardless of colour.
  6. Byrdj

    Byrdj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2008
    Commerce, GA
    Why are quality non-bearded Silkies so hard to come by vs. bearded ones? One thing I've noticed is that the bearded variety is defintely less common.
    Sonoran, I'm glad you contribute. You are a wealth of information!
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Blush, thank you [​IMG]

    I guess I would disagree that bearded are less common-- I don't see that many, and I've seen very few that were of good quality. I did see an awesome one last November at the Tucson show. Most breeders are more interested in the bearded silkies, and I think more effort has been expended in developing them.
  8. BoiseBubba

    BoiseBubba Serama Psycho

    Feb 11, 2009
    Boise, ID
    Quote:You can also keep Cuckoo and Black together.....

    Cuckoo's don't breed true, you breed cuckoo to cuckoo you get 1/3 Black 1/3 White and 1/3 Cuckoo, if you breed Cuckoo to black you get all Cuckoo....
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Cuckoo to cuckoo should breed true. Hens will always pass the barring gene to their sons. Cocks with two copies (which is desires) will be lighter in colour than hens and will pass the gene to all their progeny. Cocks with one copy will be the same colour as the hens and will pass the gene to about half their progeny.

    The only reason I can see to keep blacks in with them is if you need to darken skin colour (especially comb & face). Once you have dark skin simply select for the darkest.

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