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Part breed questions, part general FAQ. Cemanis, Silkies, Other.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Kionra, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Kionra

    Kionra New Egg

    Jan 30, 2017
    Hi! So I'm going to preface this avalanche of questions with a little bit about me: Most of my life, I've been a city dweller: Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston, Portland. I mean, big city dweller. Studio crammed in a closet kind of city dweller. Well, as luck would have it, a long life adventure and love has ended up putting me in what I like to call bum*@#@ egypt. Like, my cell phone is a paperweight out here. I have a pig. I'm not sure how that happened. And now, I have chickens.

    Rewind a little bit: My girlfriend is a huge country girl. She was in the horse industry for a long time, and when she married for a while (that didn't go well), she was kind of shoved out of that life and into cubicle living. She's slowly working back towards that, but we're still minus horses. We do, however, have a nice few acres to ourselves that we're trying to make the best on. She has a long history here in Alabama. And I mean like, her grandparents grandparents grandparents style history here in Alabama. She's had her share of country living, but she's trying to do a few interesting things with our flock, and thus even her country upbringing is giving her some questions.

    So while we're aware of basic chick raising (coops and brooders and temperatures and oh my god I think I about had a heart attack when she asked me to cook an egg for our roo [I think it's a roo...] that was losing weight "YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?"), I'm sort of a series of weird, arbitrary, breed specific questions. I just wanted to give a bit of an introduction as to why I am COMPLETELY out of my element personally.

    Okay so first of all, she got a batch of general egg production. Easter eggers, nothing to write home about, but cute little things. That's not the heart of it.

    The heart of it is all kinds of curious questions about our specialty flock.

    The Silkie
    Okay so. Silkies are usually bantam sized, right? Is there a particular reason our silkie chick is the largest chick in the pen when they're all about the same age? (the Easter Eggers are like two days younger). I read something about European silkies being more average sized; is this a thing that sometimes turns up in american birds too?
    I know silkies have an extra toe, and that's exhibitedin our flock, but is it normal to almost look like it's almost growing OUT of another toe? It looks... weird.
    Is it true that Silkies tend to crow late? We were given one that was older and told it was a roo, but he's about 3 months, clucking up a storm in the morning and hasn't crowed yet. Did we get a hen, or are they late bloomers like I read somewhere on these forums?
    Is it true that Silkies have incredible melanism like cemanis under their feather, meat included? All sources point to yes.
    (At the risk of being shot dead by strict breeders) would it be some kind of sacrilege, in the distant future, to breed our Cemanis (? Question mark? More on them below) to our silkies for diversification of genetics in the hopes of maintaining strong melanism? Am I going to be hunted down by some sort of Cemanilluminati? What could I expect out of that in the future?

    So we got some Ayam Cemani (?) too. They came from a long pedigree with papers, we saw the parents, but I'm a little confused and concerned. First I've read that cemanis are never really phenotypically the same as their parents, so is it possible for a Cemani to have a Kedu as a child, or something similar? I saw the parents, they're black as night, but the chicks have some white floof - or more of a powdering, mostly on the belly; and the older one that's feathering out has a lot of crazy marks on it. Is that normal? How can I tell if they're going to be true ayam cemanis? Is this some "wait and find out" kind of thing? I read something about feathering rate sometimes being an indicator? Can I get some clarification on that?

    I also have a sizzle. This is of no relevance to the other questions but something I am irrationally happy about.

    They're all very young (about a week and a half now), spare for one silkie roo (?) and one cemani hen (?), the latter of which is four weeks or so The Cemanis (?) were a steal, and while the paperwork and the parents check out I'm still kind of worried about how they'll turn out. They were trying to clear their stock out though, to make room for the next batch, so we got three for 50$, which... I'm under the impression is really cheap if they're actually Cemanis?

    Help me navigate the specialized breed waters! Until lately I thought chickens were just tasty cluck clucks. Only in the last few months have I realized there's like, lamborghinis of chickens. Designer chickens. THIS CITY SOUL IS CONFUSED.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. Kionra

    Kionra New Egg

    Jan 30, 2017
    Went and grabbed some shots of the itty bitty (before anyone asks, LOL, this is a back room in our house we need to replace the carpet on, so while they're particularly fragile we kept them in here rather than a drafty area during this time of year)

    The bright yellow one is the silkie. I tried to get a shot of himorher in a cluster of the new chicks, to show what I mean about the size. It doesn't really do justice with the angle, but there's a little partridge looking sizzle baby in there right next to it and you can see it's like 2-to-1.


    Cemani body coloration question reference.


    General curiosities, my silkie toes, as per question:


    And fun questions, such as, my Silkie, which I have chosen to name Gryphulus; I was wondering what color patterning you'd predict; it's a gorgeous little chick:



    And then there's the sizzle. Mostly the same question:




    Now for the older ones.

    Here's the silkie "roo", he's a little over three months. So as per my previous questions - this IS a roo, right? I'm not just going crazy, right? He's just a little late crowing?


    That's the Cemani hen (?) in the background, about 4 weeks. And I promise the water isn't as nasty as it looks, but yes it needs a cleaning (or technically I did after I took this picture). She mixes vitamins in the water which makes it look creepily like urine. The first few times I was really confused. The wee ones have the actual feeders, but we took these inside because they're young enough that the cold snap worried us. (Are we overprotective? >.>)

    It's on high exposure because the light in that room is terrible, forgive me.


    This is Drama. She earned her name because she wasn't socialized like the others were, when we got her. She's 4 heading towards 5 weeks old and was a sort of "odd chick out" that they didn't want to leave alone when we took the ittybitties, so we got her for free. While the high exposure is putting a lot of glare out, there is some white, and I was just wondering if that's because her feathers are still developing?

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'm sorry, but I'm a bit overwhelmed trying to follow your posts.

    Can you make another post, with your specific questions/issues listed? We'd love to help, but I literally can't figure out what you're asking.
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop

    So, you can't get a whole other breed out of an ayam cemani, and a kedu is a whole other breed, or land race, if you want to call it that. You CAN get an AC with bad fibro expression that has a red comb and wattles, but that does not make it a kedu.

    Can you show a picture of the "crazy marks"? That shouldn't be happening. Males can sometimes get color leakage in their hackle and saddle feathers and sometimes their shoulders, and this shows up when they're around 3 months old usually, but that's it, they shouldn't be getting color on their bellies, wings, etc (and if you do get a male with color leakage, it should be culled and not bred). If you mean they have white down on their bellies and wing tips as chicks, yes, that happened, but again it's an indicator of bad fibro expression.

    I can also see in one of the pictures of a chick (the one where it's flipped over) that it has white ends of its toes and white toenails which, again, is an indicator of bad fibro expression and that it likely won't be all black when grown.

    Feathering rate does not indicate in any way whether they are purebred or not.

    By the way, one of your silkies has a single comb. That's a sign of bad breeding. Silkies should have walnut combs only. With all you're saying, I'm not sure I would trust that the person who sold these birds to you is a very conscientious breeder.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017

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