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Silkie cross - always feathered legs?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by potato chip, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    I have some baby chickens, some are silkies and some are cross-bred silkie/polish. There were also some (2/3) maran eggs. Unfortunately one chick died in the shell and I'm not sure how many of the dark eggs hatched. I know/think that one did. There are 2 little black babies that look sort of similar, so I'm wondering whether I've ended up with 2 marans. Those ones have "normal" yellow legs, not the feathered ones with extra toes. Is that determinative that they aren't silkie-crosses?


  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    Silkie crosses should always have feathered legs and have five toes as those traits are dominant.

    I believe that Marans are supposed to have lightly feathered shanks, though. However, they should have a normal foot and yellow skin, making it easy to tell them apart.
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Thanks, that's what I'd read, just wanted to check that I can be confident the "normal" legged ones are marans. One is quite big, the other not as big, so that may be another indication that they are marans. I thought only one had hatched, but it looks like I've got two..

    It's fascinating watching them, they've started sprouting tailfeathers and developing feathers on their wings. I'm lucky I don't have a farm, I'd start breeding chooks.... It would be so interesting to pick out parents and see how the babies turn out.
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    Why go by leg feathering only while you can check comb type and leg color too? Marans have single combs. Silkies have walnut combs. Silkie x Polish should have some sort of hybrid comb (walnut x v-comb) I think.

    Marans should have white skin, not yellow. Silkies have black skin.
  5. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    Ah, that's right. Obviously I was not thinking. Thanks for bringing that up!

    But all those chicks should have feathered legs, as both silkies and marans have (or should have) feathered shanks and as that trait is dominant the crosses would as well. Skin color and comb types are better to use in this case.
  6. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Thanks, I don't think they've got combs yet (not ones I can see anyway), they are only 2 weeks old. I haven't been picking them up, I've just been leaving them to "do their thing" in peace. I'll certainly check out the other traits when I can, thanks for the information. I'll try catching one and looking at its skin.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    The combs are present at hatching, just small

  8. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Thanks, I can't see anything on their heads except fluff LOL I picked up one of the ones I think is maran. It wasn't easy to see its skin because of the "fluff", but under its wing, it looked "people-coloured". That one is so "advanced" compared to the others. He/she's bigger, it was the one who copied "mum" dustbathing, it can jump up on the branch and perch. It's a right little "smarty-pants". I am now pretty sure he/she is a maran because of the size/skin colour/feet. I hope its not a cockerel (not allowed where I live, I have to give any boys away). Could being big indicate it is a boy?
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Skin color is easiest to see by looking at the bottoms of the feet.
  10. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Thanks. There is SO MUCH I don't know, I've been learning a lot from getting these babies. It's fascinating, I could easily become (more) chicken-obsessed.

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