My son wants to raise silkies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MamaBulla, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. MamaBulla

    MamaBulla Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Hello!

    We had gotten what we thought were four silkie pullets a couple months ago, and now it's looking like we have 2 pullets and 2 cockerals. Oops! Regardless, we love them all. My son would LOVE to raise up some silkies, so we were wondering if anyone had any suggestions. As it stands now, we have all four of them together in a wire dog kennel, and then they go into a run during the day. We have another wire dog kennel available, so we were wondering if we should partner them up and have each pair in their own kennel but still put all four in the run each day. We have a white cockeral and a blue cockeral, and then we have a partridge hen and a black hen. Does anyone have any hints as to what would be the best color mix?

    I appreciate any guidance!

    Thank you!
     
  2. XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX

    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Michigan
    I would put the white with the partridge and the black with the blue. White feathers are a recessive trait, so you will get the partridge color a lot easier out of that pair since partridge is a complicated color pattern.

    Black is a dominate trait and blue closer matches this color, so you may get splotches, but if you are line breeding it will go away through the generations.

    When breeding remember this little, but very important tip:

    Brothers to mothers
    sisters to fathers
    grandchildren to grandparents
    but NEVER brother to sister!

    If you breed brother and sister together, you may get deformed chicks. So beware!

    If you got these from a hatchery, it is HIGHLY unlikely you got brothers and sisters, especially with their coloring being different. If you got it from someone you know, it couldn't hurt to double check.

    Good luck to you and your son!
     
  3. MamaBulla

    MamaBulla Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Thank you for the tips on coloring! Do you think we should separate the mating pairs? Until this point, we've only had eggs from our big girls for our own and friends' consumption. Working with fertilized eggs is a whole new ball game. Just wondering if we should arrange them a little differently if we want some chicks.

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  4. XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX

    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I would separate them if you want to do some serious breeding (like for show). If you don't,you wont be able to tell who the father or the mother is, but If you just want to breed them for more fluffy pets, then It doesn't matter.

    A good book to buy if your son gets really interested in breeding is the standard of perfection. It is a relatively inexpensive book (about $20 for a paperback b/w copy), and it has everything you need to know about how the breed should look. It's also pretty easy to read, too---like a chicken dictionary [​IMG]
     
  5. MamaBulla

    MamaBulla Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Thank you! I think I will separate them into the two different kennels like you suggested (blue & black together and white & partridge together), but I'll still keep the kennels next to each other. If the four of them are in the same run together during the day, though, anyone could still mate with anyone, so I still wouldn't know who the father's were. Hmmmm... I think I need to think this through better. [​IMG]

    In the meantime, I will definitely look for that book you suggested.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  6. XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX

    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I have going for me right now is 5 different chicken "tractors, somewhat conjoined together. They all share at least one wall with the other breeds we have.

    Maybe you can build a simple divider with chicken wire so they share the same run, but can't get at each other?

    Sorry if I can't explain too well. [​IMG]

    As for the book, the American Poultry Association website is where I got mine, but there may be some cheeper on Ebay. [​IMG]
     
  7. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Owasso, Oklahoma
    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX that is some great advice!
    I have saved the Brothers to mothers, sisters to fathers, grandchildren to grandparents but NEVER brother to sister I am glad to know this! Thank you!

    Nate
     
  8. XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX

    XxKiki_Bantam_BreederxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup! I'm glad to share it! [​IMG]
     
  9. MamaBulla

    MamaBulla Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Cabarrus County, NC
    After doing the math and doing some research, it seems like I still have some time to figure it out. They are somewhere between 16 to 18 weeks, and although my roos are developing their crows nicely, my girls won't be ready to lay eggs for another 3 to 5 months. I like having the breathing room to plan. I'll have to run it all by my son and get his input on a run design.

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     

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