lets talk silkes....i have questions


10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
upstate NY
lets talk mainly about their heads. Now I've seen pics of different kinds(?) of silkes. Some with naked necks, these are Show Girls? ok, I got that.

But what about those pics of the ones where you CAN'T see their faces?

And then there are the ones where you CAN see their faces...

I don't get it! Are they both SQ or is one of them a DQ?

And what happens if you breed the 2 together. 50/50 chance?

Which one is more desirable? And WHY?

And what are the correct names for both of these?

When I'm ready to buy eggs, I want to ask for the right ones, you know?
Thanks for all the help, which looks like i need a lot of!!! lol
My bit of advice: If you are interested in nice silkies, go through a breeder. I have silkies from a hatchery and silkies from a breeder & they are two totally different critters. I don't know about SQ & DQs and all that. I think that the only folks who can speak to that are the people who go to the shows and win(!) In fact, I would be very reluctant to listen to such talk (as a sales pitch) from someone who does not have the wins to back that up.

We have 2 week olds that were hatched from eggs we acquired froma nationally recognized breeder. They are super cute! We won't know if that cuteness = SQ until fall, when DD takes them to show.

Oh, and about the seeing the face thing. It is my understanding that it is a differing standard b/t the States and other countries. I know that one magazine (Fancy Fowl???) did an article on European Silkies and they had no poofs.
There are bearded and non-bearded silkies. The beards, combined with a very large topnot (feathers on top of their heads) cause them to have a difficult time seeing.

Most people will tell you that a bearded, heavily topnotted (word?
) silkie is what you are looking for. And if you are showing, that is probably true.

I have 2 non-bearded silkies with smaller topnot that run with my laying hens. They get along great...but I think part of that is that they can see well. I would NEVER put non-seeing silkies with others. I also have bearded, heavily topnotted silkies in a separate coop who have a small covered run during the day.

Another drawback of non-seeing silkies is that it's difficult to free range them. They cannot see a predator and are therefore often preyed upon.

Toes are HUGE in silkies. They must have 5 toes and the spacing of the toes should be even. Anything other than this is a DQ.

Now to vaulted skulls. Some breeders brag that their silkies have "large vaulted skulls". That usually makes their topnots appear much larger, however, I have seen plenty of non-vaulted silkies with lovely topnots. A vaulted skull means that the skull is actually opened at the top and the brain (although covered by a "dura" (membrane) ) is poking out the top. This can cause fatal injuries in silkies quite easily. So I'm not sure that a vaulted skull is necessarily a good thing.

So that's some information to get your wheels spinning....
There is a huge difference between hatchery and breeder stock! I don't have any pics from the ones I got from Ideal, but they have smaller top knots (poofs) and not great feet feathering. This is one of 4 that I have from a good breeder. This one is only 8-9 weeks old and is "super poofy". Big difference!
There are also huge differences in Breeder stock - Old breeders with line stock and new breeders with other peoples stock both have merits to use to start with

The faces being seen and unseen is - Bearded and Non- Bearded - Bearded is more popular - Kate M . has one of the most photographed and seen NB Hens and it is beautiful I am currently Showing a NB male and he is one of the better Roos I have seen --

I also show a NB Black and Buff Girl not either is to Kate's girl level but nice especially the black a long way though from Bearded Crest look.

I am showing Silkies ,Serama and Polish this week at Canfield in Ohio -- Keep your fingers crossed for me
one other thing they must have black skin if your going to show them..
If you are going to show them the best thing I can tell you to do is spend the $50.00-$60.00 and get the
American Standard of Perfection and read and reread what they look for in the silkies and find a good breeder.
Oh Show Girls are a breed and there not a silkie..
Not true. Anything other than the correct number of toes is a DQ, duckfoot is supposed to be a DQ, non-feathered outer toe is a DQ. Poorly separated 5th toe, including if the nail points the same direction as the 4th are minor points. Shanks and toes combined are worth only 8 out of 100 points. Max points per issue is 2, and that is for missing spurs on cocks. After that for silkies, max is 1 point for a missing toenail, a crooked toe or a non-feathered middle toe; .5 point for extra spurs or for spurs on hens.

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