Silkie sex

Ellieschickies

Chirping
Jun 16, 2019
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42
71
I adopted this white silkie at the weekend and was told she was most likely female. She hasn’t squatted yet and I am unsure of the age. Does any one have any ideas on gender.

Also her tail feathers appear to just be long strands with no feathers does anyone know why this might be?
 

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jas humbert

Songster
Jul 2, 2015
262
190
141
Tennessee
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Show quality silkies shoud just have a big poofy butt with no hard feathers just fluff. It is common for males to have a few tail feathers but not ideal. None of my girls have any tail feathers at all just fluff. The first girl is 3 months old and the other one is grown hen.
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Ellieschickies

Chirping
Jun 16, 2019
68
42
71
View attachment 1899267 Show quality silkies shoud just have a big poofy butt with no hard feathers just fluff. It is common for males to have a few tail feathers but not ideal. None of my girls have any tail feathers at all just fluff. View attachment 1899266

Yours are gorgeous. This is a picture of when we first brought ‘her’ home and it looks a lot more poofy compared to my gold silkie in the post above.

Maybe the damp and dirt have made her tail look off today. Fingers crossed she is a girl.
 

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jas humbert

Songster
Jul 2, 2015
262
190
141
Tennessee
Looks like a girl for yours but not 100% sure yet. So the fluff only tail is a good thing- closer to the standard. Depending on how old she is it may fluff up a bit more- nor not. You can see the waddles at bit but I think that's common in males and females without a beard. Mine are bearded and I don't have as much experience with non bearded kind. She's a cutie- silkies are addictive.
 

Ellieschickies

Chirping
Jun 16, 2019
68
42
71
Looks like a girl for yours but not 100% sure yet. So the fluff only tail is a good thing- closer to the standard. Depending on how old she is it may fluff up a bit more- nor not. You can see the waddles at bit but I think that's common in males and females without a beard. Mine are bearded and I don't have as much experience with non bearded kind. She's a cutie- silkies are addictive.

I really hope so. She is my 5th silkie now, the first 4 have all been boys. They are just the best. She’s very shy at the minute so I’m hoping once she settles in she will be more friendly. Her claws are starting to curl so I will need her to let me hold her for that.

That’s another thing that makes me think she might be female as to be old enough for her claws to curl I would have thought if she was a boy there would be crowing by now. Only time will tell.

Are you in the US? It is hard to get silkies like yours in the UK here I am from
 

jas humbert

Songster
Jul 2, 2015
262
190
141
Tennessee
Yes, in the US. It took me a few years to get going. I started with silkies from the feed store about 6 years ago and I gradually kept working my way up. I orders shipped eggs several times from good breeders. Some hatched, some didn't. It takes time to get what you want- or even to learn what you want.
 

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,464
437
UK
Do you have any photos of her comb?

From what I can see in the photos, I'm going to say a female around 1 year old that's possibly been kept in with a rooster previously. My non bearded hens get larger wattles at around 1 year old.
Not all females squat though, I have layers that never do.

As for the long stick like strands on the tail that are like cats whiskers, even my show quality hens get them. I'd say she's either currently moulting or going to moult soon. My hens tend to loose the fluff from the feather and then they moult the 'stick'. A new feather grows that is not just like a cats whisker but is in fact fluffy.

They look awfully scraggly when they have them but they will eventually be replaced. Her feathers around the back of her crest and down her neck look sparse which also makes me think she's moulting.

On one of the photos it looks like she has raised scales on her feet, that may just be image quality though. Could be scaly leg or a sign she's moulting/about to moult since the scales are replaced then too.

It's harder to get big giant crested silkies over here due to that they aren't usually favoured for showing. British standards prefer smaller crested silkies. I do know of a few places that sell USA silkies though! I have one and luckily the last judge liked her.

It is hard to say for sure without knowing the age but it's either a hen or a young Cockerel! :)
 

Ellieschickies

Chirping
Jun 16, 2019
68
42
71
Do you have any photos of her comb?

From what I can see in the photos, I'm going to say a female around 1 year old that's possibly been kept in with a rooster previously. My non bearded hens get larger wattles at around 1 year old.
Not all females squat though, I have layers that never do.

As for the long stick like strands on the tail that are like cats whiskers, even my show quality hens get them. I'd say she's either currently moulting or going to moult soon. My hens tend to loose the fluff from the feather and then they moult the 'stick'. A new feather grows that is not just like a cats whisker but is in fact fluffy.

They look awfully scraggly when they have them but they will eventually be replaced. Her feathers around the back of her crest and down her neck look sparse which also makes me think she's moulting.

On one of the photos it looks like she has raised scales on her feet, that may just be image quality though. Could be scaly leg or a sign she's moulting/about to moult since the scales are replaced then too.

It's harder to get big giant crested silkies over here due to that they aren't usually favoured for showing. British standards prefer smaller crested silkies. I do know of a few places that sell USA silkies though! I have one and luckily the last judge liked her.

It is hard to say for sure without knowing the age but it's either a hen or a young Cockerel! :)


Thank you so much for your helpful comment. I really hope she is a girl I’ve been so unlucky so far.

I think you may be right about her moulting and I have noticed her feathers to be thin on her neck but didn’t know if this was just due to the feathers being white and not seeming as thick as my other silkies. In one photo below she is stretching her neck so you can really see the sparseness.

I also think you are right about the scaly leg, I adopted her from a rescue centre and she was in a small run with about 10/15 other birds so don’t think the ground will have been the best. I will get some sprays to treat it. Do you have any you can recommend?

Her claws are curling and in bad condition too so will need to cut those.
 

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Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
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UK
Thank you so much for your helpful comment. I really hope she is a girl I’ve been so unlucky so far.

I think you may be right about her moulting and I have noticed her feathers to be thin on her neck but didn’t know if this was just due to the feathers being white and not seeming as thick as my other silkies. In one photo below she is stretching her neck so you can really see the sparseness.

I also think you are right about the scaly leg, I adopted her from a rescue centre and she was in a small run with about 10/15 other birds so don’t think the ground will have been the best. I will get some sprays to treat it. Do you have any you can recommend?

Her claws are curling and in bad condition too so will need to cut those.

I'm guessing she was rescued from someone's allotment. Unfortunately, quite a lot of people here tend to throw chickens into an allotment and think they'll look after themselves. People keep big groups in small spaces with heath care that's pushed aside most of the time. It's sad but I see it quite often.

I'm glad she was rescued though!

For the scaly leg, buy a cheap tub of petroleum jelly and totally smother it on her legs covering all the scales in a thick coating. Do this everyday or so until the scales begin to come off and her legs look smooth again. Don't be worried about the scales coming off they will grow back after her next full moult. Before you put the petroleum jelly on, soak her feet in some warm water and give them a scrub with a toothbrush.

Scaly leg can be passed onto other birds around them so I would purchase some Nettex scaly leg remover and spray that on your other chickens legs and scrub it into their feet with a toothbrush. I do this every month with all my birds as a preventative measure even though they don't have scaly leg.

If her nails are very long, it may be best to use a nail file or fine sandpaper sheet to file down her nails slowly rather than risk making them all bleed at once.

She seems like a lovely bird though! With some loving care she'll be back to full health in no time :)
 

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