Silkie Experts

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pipermark, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    Ok I am need some help. I am hoping to start creating a SQ silkie flock. I have been watching , reading, paying attention to auctions all in hopes of learning what a good silkie looks like.

    Here is what I have noticed, if I understand the standard correctly.

    most have to much red in their comb (the standard say mulberry I believe which if you go by the fruit is like a purple black)
    Walnut combs that balance correctly over the beak are not common. It is my understanding that the split of the 2 halves of the walnut should be centered on the beak.
    Many have tail feather , not Silkie feathers.
    Wings- To many regurlar feathers.
    Creat and beard to small or irregular.

    Many have tail feather , not Silkie feathers.
    Wings- To many regurlar feathers.
    Creat and beard to small or irregular.

    What I am not clear at all on is body style. Some seem short and wide, with a med. size neck, then I have seen others the size of a small standard with a regular neck and width like a leghorn.

    Am I being to critical, or is my assement pretty much on the mark.

    Also, the selling of non APA approved colors, seems to be common place.
  2. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    It all seemed so simple when you saw your first Silkie, didn't it?

    Red in the comb is not as bad a fault as not having enough toes or pink skin.

    Roos will have more feather type feathers in their tails than a hen will, that's one of their badges that they're a roo.

    The girls should have poofy tail feathers but will have some almost normal looking feathers at the bottom of their wings.

    The smaller more compact body is the more desireable bird. Short back, upright neck. Round eyes that are black.

    In an effort to clean colors up breeders will mix colors. Some mix breeds to get a desired color.

    Most of what you are seeing on Eggbid are PQ or breeder quality. Just because a bird has a red comb does not mean it will not turn out some awesome chicks.

    To get the bird you have in your mind's eye that makes it everything the Standard calls for probably will never appear on eggbid but will be sold out right by the breeder for a high price.
  3. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    Wenatchee, Washington
  4. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    Yes Hattrick has awesome birds, and so does Jen, its when I compare the rest of what I see to these that I begin to wonder. I have seen several breeders on this board that appear to have much superior birds to what I am seeing on Eggbid or Ebay.

    How about the blue earlobes, how big a problem is that? I noticed a lot of them are redish or kinda black.
  5. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    There are several Jen's on the board who have some wonderful birds, which Jen are you referring to?

    Yes, Hattrick is one of the biggest names in the Silkie world. But that does not mean there are not other breeders out there who don't have some very outstanding birds. Satin Silkies is one, Bobbi Porto has very nice birds, Joe Hadden, all of these folks without the huge price tag for eggs. Oh, Shari at Harvest Breeze. There are others on this board that it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all to have a bird or two of their's. People with Silkies that are part of the BYC's are numerous and well worth the money spent when acquiring one of the birds or purchasing eggs.

    I can attest to Satin Silkies, I have some of hers. Joe Hadden, Bobbi Porto, Jen Lyn, Melanie Smith and Shari (Harvest Breeze) even if it is her Cochins I have.
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Mark, I am just starting to try and improve my silkies. I previously had only 1 roo to breed to my Frizzles/Sizzles.
    I know the standards call for Blue ear lobes and I would consider any silkie without them to be pet quality. Even my cross breeds have blue ear lobes so it can't be that hard to breed that correctly. Feathers on the middle toe is a big deal and the spacing of the fifth toes is also important.

    I am one of those with a non standard color. I am trying to get some nice Cuckoos. It just happens to be one of my favorite color types in any chicken. They can be entered into show I understand as non standard and eventually they may become an accepted color. If not they will just be a fancy of those that want to try something different. Getting them right is part of the fun and challenge.
  7. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    I am posting this answer here from the other board becuase it was so educational. I hope the author doesnt mind.

    Hi Pipermark,

    I think your assessment is right on the money!

    Many of the things you have listed are quite common in hatchery silkies. A conscious, reputable breeder would not be using birds with these faults you speak of. Unfortunatley, there are a lot of people out there that want the quick buck and don't give two hoots about the breed. You see a lot of those on Eggbid and Ebay. Like it's been discussed so many times here before, you cannot call an egg "show quality" it's just plain silly to put a label like that on eggs. I've even seen silkies with naked middle toes, and hard feathers being called a show quality bird. It's just nuts! You are doing the right thing by educating your self on the breed. The more you know the better off you will be in the long run, when you get your foundation flock established. Those building blocks are so important. Of course, the goal is to move forward in your breeding program. Here are a few things I really look for when choosing a silkie for breeding or show.

    1. I like my boys and girls wide and short bodied, with a deep chest. I like them to have a wide stance and stand square on their two feet. I love to see a rooster with a nice short back, with the tail so fluffy and round it almost touches the back of the crest. I LOVE to see them this way. Same for the girls. I personally put much more value in a solid breeder over the fancy show bird. The breeders are were it's all at. If you don't have solid breeders that produce well, basically you have nothing

    2. You also want a male with a nice crest, it does'nt have to be huge or vaulted, I like medium sized, remember balance is the key. I like a nice full beard also.

    3. The comb is a hard one, these don't always turn the best especially on the colored birds. I have seen excellent combs on whites. They should walnut in shape. And not huge, or bumpy. Glenn See did a great job explaining the proper color of a silkie comb, he said it should be the color of a polk berry, which is a very deep purple color, almost black.

    4. Wings should be tight, folded under and held close to the body. It should not have any split either, it should be nice and full. Wings should always fold under not out, and watch for lazy wings, where they just hang. I also had a judge explain to me once, a correct wing should snap back into place, not sag. Correct silkie wings should be shredded on the ends.

    5. Your cushions should be very full and soft. Especially your females. The male is aloud to have a few hard feathers, they are also aloud in the wings and on the feet. I like tails on my males soft with no hard feathers. But, I do like the shredded feathers in males tails.

    6. I like to see silkies with heavy, long feathering on the shanks and feet. You want that foot feathering all the way down the middle toe.

    7. Here is a great link to look at correct toe placement. It's much easier to look at then explain

    8. You want a nice dark eye, almost black in color.

    9. The color, what ever you choose should be correct, with no off colors, brass, brown, gold silver ect. that just means there is something underneth, stay far away from those birds for breeders.

    I think balance is the key. A HUGE crest is so attractive to some people, but it's just one part of the bird. There are many parts of a silkie that have to be right to make a solid bird. If you are breeding to show, the entire bird is being judged not just the crest...LOL

    I hope I helped al little, most of what I wrote is from reading, talking to other breeders, judges and my own experiences.

    Good luck,
  8. Webb Acres

    Webb Acres In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2007
    To be honest, and I am sure other Silkie breeders know this also. Your best bet is to buy the best you can get your hands on or you can afford and start breeding. For one, if you buy eggs, even if you buy them from the very best, they are not all going to hatch out to be show birds. The next thing is... no breeder is going to sell their best, they are going to keep those for themself. Breeders put a lot of work into getting show quality birds and it takes a long time and a lot of hatching. I have enjoyed working to improve my silkies and I think most of the other breeders that have been doing it a long time do also.
    Go for it and have fun with it.

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