Questions about molting, mating, and silkies (x-post)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by comerrick, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. comerrick

    comerrick Songster

    May 15, 2008
    First off what I have right now is 6 (4 week old) Black Star Pullets, 2 black welsummer (is that possible?)pullets, and 7 (1 week old) Ameraucana Pullets, 4,1 week old black sex linked roosters that I will have to do something with.

    Molting happens when, at a year or 18 months, which? And so they don't lay at all during that time? Wouldn't it be best to get chicks 5-6 months before that so that their isn't an inturruption in egg laying? And is it true that they don't lay half as well after the molt that it is better to "retire" those hens?

    I was told that mating sex links is a bad Idea because their offspring is unpredictable. But if they are RIR x BR that are both good egg layers wouldn't their grand children still be good egg layers?

    Next, I live in the Suburbs, so I can't have roosters. So I was wondering, is it possible to get Stud services when everyone is at work and can't hear him crow? Or because he is a stranger, it won't work, they won't take to it?

    Lastly, if I was going to brood chicks, then I would want a couple of silkies, right? When do silkies start going all broody? Is there such thing as a standard silkies or are they all bantams? Can I only order bantam silkies? Are they only offered as straight runs or do they get sexed at all? If so, where? I don't need show quality Silkies, just the broody trait. So color and looks don't matter to me, just sex.

    If I have more question, I will ask. Thanks.
  2. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

    Jul 13, 2008
    Braymer Missouri
    You have a lot of questions , I will do my best to help you. I have never heard of a black welsummer. There is not really any colors of welsummer besides the partridge that I know of. If you had black welsummers you should try to make them a true breed, I bet they would sell very well on As I under stand it they molt a year after they start laying which , depending on the breed would be at about 18 months. They usually lay during that time but not very well at all. For ours at least they lay quite well after there molt is over. They do not lay quite as well simply because they are getting older. I would not retire mine till you saw a drop in production for no reason. I can not give you a time because it varys from breed to breed. We let our sexlinks go for three years but I think that is a little to long for that breed. If you are just going to hatch out muts that would probably not be a problem. If your chickens are a cross of barred rocks and Rhode Island reds there offspring would probably be decent to great layers. You never can tell . But in my mind it is mostly the same thing that would happen if you had 6 different kinds of chickens and they all cross bred and then there offspring cross bred etc. Probably if they were not familiar with the rooster they would not take to it at all. Usually in a circumstance like that the hens either run from the rooster or get in fights with him or a combination of both. Even if they did not fight him it might be a month or more before the roster felt enough at home and the hens knew him well enough for them to breed. I know very little about silkies. They come only in bantams. Most hatcheries have some. As far as I know there is no hatchery that offers sexing on bantams of any kind. If you find one let me know! This is because they are about half the size of standard chicks which means there vent is about half the size of the standard chicks and it is extremely hard to see. You never can tell when they will go broody. I have heard that after the first year they are better mothers. I have heard that cochins are also very good brooders. They come in both bantam and standard sizes. What ever you do never let a red sexlink set eggs I have tried and every time it ends in total disaster they are terrible broody chickens!!!
    I hope this helps.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

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