questions about banty cochins and silkies

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by kidsnchicks, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2010
    Iposted herebecause these questions are geared specifically towards these breeds. Mydaughter has chosen these breeds to get and shoe for 4H next year. I have posted an add on craigslist and the local freecycle sites looking for a shed or materials to build one.I need some suggestions on bird numbers and space for each group and any specific requirments or likes/dislikes of each breed also.

    She would like to show pairs of Mottled Cochins, Barred Cochins and Blue Silkies. How many of each would make a happy little family unit? 1 Roo and how many hens? Or Hens in each breeds own little coop/run and the Roos seperate until fair? How much coop space and run space would they need per group? Are there any quirky characteristics of these breeds that we should know about?

    Also would anyone happen to know how old birds need to be to show in the fair? I have read all the materials we have and can't find an actual age or anything along those lines.

    Thank you
  2. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    the birds must be 4 months old to be pulorium tested (all birds at the fair are tested they take a tiny blood sample from each bird) they have to be old enough to definately know the sex so for a silkie it can be 7-9 months before you know for sure sometimes longer. they are tricky.

    I think the recommendation is 2 square feet minimum for each bird.

    both silkies and cochins are a good choice they are easy going breeds.

    Blue silkies can be bred with black silkies and splash silkies then you get a little more variety.
  3. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2010
    Thank you, I was wavering between getting her the birds now or waiting until spring, I think we will hurry and try to get some now so we know that we are covered and exactly what we have when its time!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  4. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Sleepy Eye, MN
    You have to check with your individual state. Here in MN, to show in 4-H, birds have to hatched in the current year only. The only older birds allowed are pigeons. It means getting chicks in January and having them partially ready for fairtime in summer. Most silkies take 8-10 months to fully mature enough for the show ring so its hard to even time them for the fall shows. If you got trios of birds now, you would be hatching eggs out of them and raising their babies for your fairbirds.
  5. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2010
    Thank you, our fair is in mid Julyso we have some time. Ill try asking at the extension office again to see if they can find any more info for me.I don't wantto ship birds super early in the year,don't want anyone getting frozen just to get to us!lol
  6. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I guess 4-H is different in every state, and then different again in each county. Where I live in WC Indiana, your birds have to be hatched before October 1st of the year before, and I believe that you can show them up to 3 years of age. So anything I've hatched out this year can be shown in the spring when we have our fair. I raise Bantam Cochins and Silkies, and both are good breeds. I have some of the sweetest Cochin roosters, though my Silkie rooster is a punk. He tries to flog my younger daughter every chance he gets. But the hens are so super sweet and wonderful, I love them. I have new Silkie chicks that I'm raising up with hopes of replacing our current rooster, but these ones are not very good quality, so next year I'll be investing in some better birds. If you want good birds for your daughter to show, try to find a private breeder in your area. Go look at the parent birds, check their temperment, their build, their feathering, their color, etc. A good Cochin roo, if I remember correctly, is suppose to have 5 points on his comb. You mentioned Mottled Cochins. Well, some Mottled Cochins have too much mottling, and some have too little, so you should see if anyone has a copy of the Poultry Standard of Perfection that you can take a peak at to give you an idea of the right amount, what the comb should look like, etc. My personal favorits are the Mottled and the Splash. I keep both, though it was my Barred pair that produced a SQ cockerel this year. It looks like my White pair may have produced a SQ cockerel too, but it's early and he's still feathering in, so I won't be sure for a few more weeks. As for Silkies, you have to be careful. The problem with hatcheries is they will send Silkies with straight combs and missing toes. A Silkie is suppose to have 5 toes and a walnut comb. In other words, he should have a giant, purple wrinkly raisin shaped comb, lol. The tophat should be nice and round on the females and full and slicked back on the roos. My roo (the punk) is good quality, but my two white hens aren't, so I keep them mostly as broodies. I have gotten some nice chicks from them, but I sold them all!

    If I were you I would check in your local area and find other parents with children in 4-H and ask them when the fair is (in case you don't know), and what the age requirements are for birds, and have one of them put you in touch with the leader of your local 4-H poultry club. The club leader can answer all your questions. Good luck to you and your daughter. She'll enjoy being in 4-H, and she'll learn a lot if the club is a good one. We're lucky, our poultry club is very good, but not every county is so blessed. I'd get the ball rolling now so that you can get prepared and get ready for your birds.

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