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Silkie.....Feathers.... ???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Spring, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Spring

    Spring In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2007
    I am new at this. Just got two white silkies (bantam). They aren't as "fluffy" and soft as a lot of the pictures I see. How can I help get them that way?[​IMG] Thanks a lot! Appreciate any help!
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    That's how Silkie feathers are, they are missing the hard barb part of the feather (which makes feathers stiff), therefore their feathers stay soft and silky...hence the name. [​IMG]
    Some of my adult Silkies
  3. Spring

    Spring In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2007
    Thats what I mean.... they aren't as FLUFFY as yours.... Seem to be missing feathers, even the fluff ones.... just don't look as pretty as the ones you pic. here..... If I could post pic I would show you...
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, how old are they? Do they need to go though a moult? Have you checked them for bugs? To really fluff mine up for a trip to the park or for show and tell, I give them a gentle bath in baby shampoo and rinse well.
  5. Spring

    Spring In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2007
    I don't know how old. I don't know if they have bugs? Where would I check for those? A bath? REally? So.... if I ever wanted to do that.... how would I go about it?

    Do yours follow you to the park? We are getting chicks. I want to raise them up from babies to see if they will be more tame.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I am new to this! THANKS A LOT!
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Check under their feathers near their vents, on their necks and on their backs. Lice will be little pale things stuck to the feathers. Eggs of lice will look like cotton clumps on the base of feathers.


    1 bucket of dilute baby shampoo in water
    2 buckets of regular clean water

    I dunk into the first bucket, wash in the direction of the feathers till well soaked. Make sure head doesn't go under water.

    Then dunk into second bucket and rinse.

    Then dunk into last bucket for final rinse. You can rinse a few more times if you want but its usually good enough.

    No mine don't follow at the park. They just stand there or get carried around.

    Raising them up from babies will make them more tame. Just play like them like you never will see them again. Lots of attention is key.
  7. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Quote:[​IMG] Oh if the 'farm chickens' only knew [​IMG]
  8. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi, Sad to say, but some "silkies" actually may not be very good representatives of the breed. Some will have four toes instead of five, and some won't have the traditional blue ears and some will have more of a typical feather than the feathery fluff they should have. People will pay a lot to order eggs or chicks from show breeders in order to get the real good "fluff", with beards and with really good pom-poms on their heads and with heavy feathered feet.

    Do you know the source (parents/heritage) of your silkies? You may have ended up with birds that are pet quality and not show quality. They are still as loveable as show quality [​IMG]

    PS: If you just got them, you may want to wait until they settle in before bathing them. They will need to be stress free and have adjusted to their environment before the big bath. Also, how old are they? If they are young, they can go through the awkward "teenage" stage and look really rough before they fluff out properly.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  9. Spring

    Spring In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2007
    I'll check them for lice. IS this the same lice , humans can get? Just curious. Also.... what if they do or ever get bugs?? What then? Also, how to prevent lice/ bugs on them?

  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Ah, very true. Most silkies are NOT show quality or even close to it. Mine sure aren't. Big red combs and only half blue face patches. The blue started there but they have gotten less and less silkie standard as they got older.

    Lice are species specific, so you cant get them.

    Some people use poultry powder from the feed store(me) to control bugs. Many people here use food grade DE and just sprinkle it everywhere, food, dust holes, coops, etc. The DE will be preventive as well as treatment.

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