Silkie feathers ?(updated with pics, post #3)

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by shelleyd2008, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    It seems like all my young silkies have 'hard' flight feathers. Not many, but enough to notice. I am thinking this is undesireable, making them pet quality? It's not that I plan on showing them. I think the closest show is at least 2 hours away. I was just wondering if I bred them for eggs to sell, would this make them pet quality? I know nothing of the parents, I bought all these chicks at an auction.

    Also, at what age do they start crowing? I am pretty sure I have at least 1 cockerel, it is much bigger than the others. I have read many posts that say their silkies start crowing at 3-4 months? I am not sure how old mine are, but I believe they are about 10-12 weeks.

    Ok, one more ?... How can you tell the sex if they aren't crowing or laying? I have read on here a different post that said something about their feathers on their heads? Anyone know what this is? Or any other ways to tell? Thanks!!

    Also, which is better? Bearded or non? I have non bearded, and I read a post that someone said they are mostly bearded. Is this undesireable as well?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Lets see. Where do I start? [​IMG]

    The flight feathers on Silkies are supposed to be shredded at the ends. A picture would help so I can see what they look like. I would also need a picture to tell if they are bearded or non bearded, and if they are pet quality. Roosters start crowing around 5-6 months, although mine crowed at 3 weeks, lol. Hens start laying at around 7-9 months old.

    Sometimes you can tell what the sex is when they are around 12 weeks. The head feathers on a hen are very round, and globular.

    As for bearded or non-bearded, it is a personal preference. I prefer the bearded Silkies.

    Post some pictures. [​IMG]
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Ok here are some pics. These guys are kinda ticked right now, they are on lock down because of the hawks!!

    I think the one in the back is a cockerel...
    [​IMG]

    This pic and the very last one are the same bird...
    [​IMG]

    Another of the two in the first pic...
    [​IMG]

    Foreground bird...large cockerel(same as very last pic), background, might be bird in the first pic not sure...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see their wing feathers here...
    [​IMG]

    This one looks like a cockerel...
    [​IMG]

    This is the one that is almost surely a cockerel...
    [​IMG]


    Not sure that all are pictured, they thought the camera was a MONSTER!!

    <BTW--these pics were taken TODAY. I haven't reset my clock yet on my camera!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  4. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Does the bird in the second picture have a straight comb? I cant really tell because the pictures are dark. They are non-bearded, and I would say pet quality, but you really cant say until 8-9 months of age wether they will be PQ, BQ, or SQ birds. They could use some more feathering on their feet, and middle toe. I cant guess on the sexes yet because the pictures are dark, but im guessing that you are right on the cockerals. even if they are pet quality, people will still purchase eggs. I have have pet quality silkies that I use as broody hens, and they do a very good job at it.

    Very cute!
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    What do you mean by PQ, SQ, or BQ?

    And I am pretty sure the one in the second is the same bird as the last picture. It doesn't look like a straight to me, but I'll have to catch them and take closer pics.

    Oh and as for the feathering on their legs, should they be completely feathered for show quality? Or is it just down the outsides of their legs?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  6. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    PQ is Pet Quality, BQ is breeder quality, and SQ is show quality.
     
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I'll have to try to get better pics when my son gets home from school. I tried getting some better ones of the one that you said might have a straight comb, but it is hard to do it with one hand on the bird, and another on the camera. They haven't been handled all that much. I don't know if it is straight or not. I have never seen a walnut comb in person, and haven't seen a black straight comb either.

    I do see what you're saying about their toe feathers. Some look like they only have 2 or 3 feathers on their toes.

    Some look like their combs go back farther on their heads? I thought maybe that was one way to tell the sex.

    Ok thanks, I will try to post better pics later this afternoon.
     
  8. kentuckysilkies

    kentuckysilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your birds will fluff up more as they grow. Get a high quality rooster to mate with your pullets and you will see improvements in the first hatch.
     
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Quote:Can you tell if the bird in pics 2&8 is straight-combed? I really don't know! These are just pets, my little one has claimed them, but it would be nice to know! That bird is the biggest one, so I think it's a cockerel
     
  10. kentuckysilkies

    kentuckysilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is hard to tell from these pictures. If it is not a single, it is still incorrect for the breed.
     

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