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Showing Silkies question....

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Silkie75, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Silkie75

    Silkie75 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am taking my 4.5 month old Silkies to a show this Sunday. I know they are a little young, but it's my first poultry show and I'm really excited. Also, the fairgrounds (NYS) are pretty close to me (where the show is) and it's really cheap to enter! So I figured, why not. Also, I "thought" I was getting 7 Pullets when I ordered them... but I'm finding out now that 2 days old is too young to sex Silkies. I ended up with 4 and possibly 5 Cockerels (can't tell with one still) and 2 possibly 3 hens. I've already sold 3 of the Cockerels to families- they were too loud for my neighbor. I would like to purchase some more hens at the show to add to my flock and this time I'm going to buy them a little older so I know for sure they are hens. So, here are my questions.

    1. Should I NOT buy them from a show but rather buy from a breeder?
    2. How do I know they will be healthy and will they need to be quarantined when they come home?
    3. When I get to the show, how do I clean each cage to prevent spread of any disease from any other birds? I heard bleach at one point.
    4. Should I fully bath them and/or clip their nails? I've not done either yet.

    Thanks so much in advance!
     
  2. moomoodiddy

    moomoodiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would think people who have silkies for sale at shows are pretty much breeders they take the time and care to enter them into it, maybe u could try clorox wipes or something less messy and i would bathe them and only clip the nails if they look long if u have any dark colored silkies use a silk cloth and rubb them with it for extra shine good luck go silkies!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    It's a little early, but see what happens.
    As a breeder and exhibitor myself, YES, you need to quarantine.
    They should be bathed, and the nails clipped.
    And throughout the day, check to make sure to remove poopies from the toes.
    Feather-legged birds are especially suseptible to the poopie toes, and the judge will thank you for it.
    The best disinfectant out there is a product called Oxine.
    I mix it into a spray bottle, and spray down everything before the bird goes into the cage, as well as the poopie check times.
    It's also good to check the food and water at the same times. Don't overfeed your bird, the crop gets large, and detracts from the beauty of the bird.
    We do bring chicks for sale at shows, however, it is very hard to sex Silkies as you have found out.
    Sometimes you will find older birds for sale, it really depends what everyone has.
    Next week Oct 20-21, we will be at the NJ State fairgrounds. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/708902/nj-sussex-county-poultry-fanciers-annual-fall-show-2012
    And if you really want to go to a class show, in January at the Big E, in Springfield, Mass is the Northeast Poultry Congress show.
    Last year they had over 2,000 entries. (and my Silkie got a blue ribbon!)

    Good luck!

    If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me, but if you leave them up here in this thread, everyone will learn.
    Roberta
     
  4. Silkie75

    Silkie75 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the info Roberta!! And congrats on the win with your Silkie at the big show in Mass! I have a few questions from your response.

    Since the show is tomorrow, and the rest of today is bathing and clipping, I'm not going to have time to go to a animal/feed store to get Oxine. Would regular bleach with water work for just this time? Or any other suggestions for disinfecting? Also, how would I go about quarantining my "new" Silkies supposing I buy them at the show tomorrow? I have a huge great dane crate that I can put in our garage. Would something like that work? And for how long would I need to keep them separated? Any other treatment besides just keeping them away from the others? (I currently dust my coop and my chickens with pet-grade DE but that's all I do). Do their nails need to be trimmed AND filed? I saw on a thread here that giving them a bath (I have blue shampoo made for horses but the company said it's okay for chickens too) and rinsing them with water with a few drops of glycerin works really good. Have you ever used glycerin? The person who said to use glycerin in the rinse also sprays them with sheen shine after they are blow-dried. Sorry for the many additional questions... You sound very experienced and I really appreciated what you replied. [​IMG]
     
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    I have never used the glycerine. Somehow I wonder if it will affect the fluff.
    I use Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo on my Blue/Black/Splash/ and white/paint birds.
    It's the stuff all us old ladies use on our grey hair.
    Bleach makes me nervous, I would be afraid of bleaching the bird. What color is it?
    I like to file the nails also.
    Try to make it as easy on the judge as possible.
    He has to pick up hundreds of birds, the less that shred the skin on his wrists, the better.
    I also like to use a damp washcloth after the bath, and rub all the little snotty bits from the face and nose.
    Take a Q-tip and clean around the nostrils and the folds in the comb.
    You'd be surprised what comes off after you think they are clean!

    Oxine is not too easy to find by me... I'm on Long Island.
    See if there is a vendor that has it at the show.
    In case anyone asks, you do NOT need the activating crystals
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/690632/silkie-breeding-genetics-showing try this thread, there are a few on the topic.

    Quarantine. They need to be completely separate for a month. Some peeps do 2 weeks, 3 weeks.
    The longer, the safer.
    And watch them closely to see if there is anything strange going on.
    Check for mites, lice, worms, and correct the problem before you combine the 2 groups.
    And remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring a camera and a notepad for questions, and have fun.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Good luck tomorrow!
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Too much glycerine will DEFINITELY affect the fluffiness of the bird, weighing down its feathers and making it look droopy.

    The bleach was for the cage, NOT the bird, and should be fine, as would lysol or any general disinfectant. I have never found oxine is a feed store; only online.
     
  7. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Thanks Sonoran. I get nervous giving help, but only 1 other (newbie) answered.
    It's comforting knowing you pros are out there watching. [​IMG]
     
  8. Silkie75

    Silkie75 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, the show went really well!! 2 of my Silkies got 1st but there was no one else in our class (lol) and my Buff got Best Variety out of the 2 Buff's at the show. BUT, I have some unfortunate news... as I wrote in my first post, we were looking to buy a few pullet/hen Silkies to add to our flock. We found 2 blue Silkie pullets and bought them. I was prepared to quarantine them and was/am going to do this for about 3 weeks to 1 month- away from my current Silkies. I figured I'd bathe them first- and put them in their new quarantine cage. Note: these 2 were not from the same breeder... I bathed the first one (#1), and all went well, she was so good and so cute! I bathed the second one (#2) and all of the sudden, around her beard, I noticed these white clumpy/egg looking things attached to the base of her feathers. I KNEW this wasn't normal, as I just bathed my 4 Silkies the night before for the show today. I took pictures and I will upload them here. When I was blow-drying her, I noticed these little red flea/tick/mite guys on the towel (dead) and I saw a few on her that were alive. UGHHHH. So now both of the "new" Silkies are quarantined SEPARATELY out in my garage. I re-checked #1 and I saw one little red guy on her. I think #2 gave it to her on the transport home as they were in the same cage. I sprinkled DE on them and on their pine shavings. (Both of these Silkies are about 4-5 months old). From reading tonight, I "think" these are mites and what is all around #2's beard is mite eggs. A website I was reading said the eggs can form at the base of the feathers around the beard. YUP! I am so disgusted and upset with this show that they wouldn't check birds- or is it not a normal thing for shows to do? (This was my 1st ever chicken show and I'm pretty new to Silkies in general). Although, you couldn't see the eggs until she was wet. Now I'm concerned about my original 4 Silkies who I've raised since 2 days old and are perfectly healthy. I'm SOOOO glad I decided to give #1 and #2 baths today- otherwise I would've put them together in quarantine. Tractor Supply was closed by the time I found these eggs and mites (or what I think are mites). CAN ANYONE HELP??? I'm going to post this on a different thread on backyardchickens too. NOW THAT I JUST UPLOADED THESE PICS AND I'M LOOKING JUST AT HER EYES, THEY DON'T LOOK RIGHT. VERY PULLED DOWN AT THE BOTTOM (at least they look very different from my original 4.) WHAT SHOULD I DO?!
     
  9. Silkie75

    Silkie75 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Definitely QUARANTINE. Minimum of two weeks; four is better if you can do that. Spray ALL birds that came from the show with a good dog flea/tick spray such as Adams. Preferably one with an insect growth regulator (IGR) (read labels!) The red bugs are mites, but what you found in the beards are lice egg sacs. Give each bird with these a bath in cat/dog flea/tick shampoo with an IGR.
    Birds ENTERED in a show are usually checked for bugs. Those in the sales area are not. I ALWAYS assume that other birds may have bugs, and treat each of mine coming (flea/tick shampoo and ivermectin) and going (flea/tick spray). I also usually medicate their water with denagard while they are at a show to prevent infection. Not perfect, but the best I can do other than putting them in complete lockdown and never showing.

    Assume the bird with the eye problem is ill, and treat with denagard, and/or duramycin; tylan or baytril.
     

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