My black silkie is a bantam (and I didn't know)!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swordgeek, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    You know, every time I get to thinking I've got a clue about this chicken-raising thing, I find myself feeling like a total newb. Here we go again.

    I just found out TODAY that one of my new birds is a bantam. We adopted a group of 5 pullets from a neighbor who was down-sizing her large flock a few weeks ago. While we were there, she offered to part with her black silkie, who was attached to my daughter (and vice versa). She had a couple of silkies already, and we immediately jumped at the chance. The other birds were about 6-8 weeks at the time, but in the back of my mind, I heard her tell me that the silkie was about 5 months old, but it never registered. I was just too excited to have a black silkie coming home with me soon. Always wanted a silkie...

    Now, 3+ weeks later, the other birds are looking pretty big, and the silkie - who had been larger than the others - is still a tiny thing, and smaller than the Ameraucana pullets. And it hits me - she's a bantam, isn't she? I emailed the neighbor, who confirmed that she is indeed a bantam. (Guess I missed that part of the conversation, too.) I've never had one of those before. OMG!

    She's a sweet-tempered bird, and the only one of the new lot that actually allows us to pick her up and hold her without a battle. So far, she's settled in with the other girls - the 2+-year-olds and the 2-month-olds alike - and gets chased off as much as any of the new girls, no more and no less. In fact, she's pretty bossy with the younger ones. But should I be on the lookout for any unusual nastiness from the older birds? I'm hoping that if I haven't seen anything yet, I won't. They've had time to adjust to each other, but once they figure out that little Julia isn't getting any bigger, will they care?

    At this age, seems like she might start to lay really soon. Bantams are on the same laying schedule as standards, I trust? Anything I need to know about the eggs? I assume they're just as edible - and tasty - as the standards' eggs, just... small. How do you cook/eat such tiny things?

    And - GULP - what about my rooster?!? He's a Polish, and rather incompetent at love, but he tries pretty hard. Once Julia "comes of age", will he be courting her as he does the others, or will he always think she's jailbait? Any physical issues with him consummating the relationship, or is it basically one-size-fits-all? I can't believe I'm even asking this question. Life was so much less complicated with only a handful of birds. [​IMG]
     
  2. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    oh well, if its a pet quality silkie and can see well, it might be fine. If they are all getting along fine now and all are together, I would not worry about an issue later, normally its only when they are first introduced and if a silkie or a polish (due to crest size) cannot see well, they might be more timid and less likely to go in search of food and such.

    Seeing they are all growing up together, I do not expect you to have an issue. I had silkies in with standard birds once, not a big deal really.

    Oh and I had bantams breeding large fowl and vice versa so your rooster will breed whatever he wants if he wants, he might prefer her, you never know and yes, it can happen (I mean they CAN and will breed)
    Nothing gets "put into" a hen when it comes to poultry sex, its just a touch thing, so there is no "size" and its not a stupid question....I get people all the time who have no idea where the roosters testicles really are, a friend at work her husband wondered if they end up eating those parts when they purchase chicks at the store. I told her to tell him no. LOL.

    Eggs are just as good as large eggs, and larger than true bantam eggs, would probably be considered a small or medium if you were to buy something similar at the store. My silkies lay a good size egg. Just harder to cook with in a recipe due to size. I just eat them for breakfast or boiled.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    This is all good information - thanks so much! I was really most concerned about mixing one lone bantam in with 8 standard-sized birds, even if half of them are a lot younger.

    And umm... yes, I was worried about the mating thing. I had no idea what goes on during that activity! When I've seen him going after the girls, he's done his thing so quickly, I figured he was missing the target. I still have no idea where his parts are, and though I don't much feel like looking for them, maybe I should.

    The fact that she's a silkie worried me a little, because the other hen who is different-looking (the crevecoeur) is the one who was picked on mercilessly. Then again, the other 2 older hens have a tendency to pick out the Polish rooster's head feathers, sometimes to the point of blood. I figure they're grooming him and trying to make him look normal (though I may just be anthropomorphizing). I still don't understand why he tolerates it. And here I go introducing a bird that not only looks VERY different from the others, she'll always be half their size!
     

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