Silkie Chicks Missing Toes

HobboFarms

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2018
10
3
27
Ive been raising chickens for roughly 3 years and have hatched over 100, but Ive come across an odd few chicks as of late. While hatching silkie chicks, about 3/4 are born missing one of their front 3 toes on each foot. They dont seem to be in pain, but they do have obvious walking impairments. Im guessing it could be genetics, but I was curious what someone else might think on the matter.
 

CrazyCrttr75

Free Ranging
Apr 21, 2018
2,567
14,795
702
Robertson County, TN
Silkies are supposed to have 5 toes. So are they some times being born with only 4? I've heard of that happening sometimes. It could just be a genetic thing with one of your girls. If you were trying to avoid that, I would try to pinpoint which one it was coming from and just not breed that one. But it depends on what your breeding intentions are (for personal fun, for showing, for selling, etc). If you only have 1 hen, you could always get another to introduce new/fresh genetics to your stock to see if that helps (could pinpoint if it is coming from mom or dad). I'm not an expert but I think that is what I personally would do.
 

Egg Snatcher

Crowing
May 11, 2020
1,776
3,292
321
Ive been raising chickens for roughly 3 years and have hatched over 100, but Ive come across an odd few chicks as of late. While hatching silkie chicks, about 3/4 are born missing one of their front 3 toes on each foot. They dont seem to be in pain, but they do have obvious walking impairments. Im guessing it could be genetics, but I was curious what someone else might think on the matter.
If the chick is missing toes it just mean they haves bad genetics. They would not be good for breeding. If you sell them you can have them for laying or keep them. Mine have this too. I've did some research when I had the first one, and that is what I found out.
 

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,473
447
UK
It’s just the genetics, the genes that are at work for 5 toes are not straight forward and you can end up with 3 toes or anywhere up to 8 toes on each foot I’ve seen on someone else’s birds! As well as extra toenails and half toes.

If you are breeding them as pets only and aren’t fussed, I wouldn’t worry. However, if you are selling them more seriously or they are having difficulty walking I’d look at not breeding from those specific birds as it usually shows up in future offspring too.
 
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