Some questions about Silkies and Silkie crosses

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gypsy07, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have just been offered a black Silkie roo grower. I think he's a few months old. I'm not hugely keen on Silkies in themselves, but I do fancy hatching out some Silkie X pullets who would hopefully turn out to be good broodies. I can hatch and rear a bunch of chicks no problem, so I'm wondering if I should accept the offer and keep him long enough to get myself some chicks. What I'd like to know is...

    What sort of temperament do Silkie roos tend to have? I have four other roos who stay in two separate coops but free range together and get on fine. They're usually very laid back and non-aggressive, both to each other and to humans. I'm hoping they might all accept another boy without too much fuss.

    How would free range Silkies get on in a generally cold and damp/wet climate? Do those funny feathers have any speacial requirements?

    What kind of feathers do Silkie crosses tend to have? Do they all turn out the same or would I get a mixture of Silkie and normal feathered birds?

    Many thanks to anyone who can help me out with some info [​IMG]
     
  2. Countrygramma

    Countrygramma Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi I am no expert on Silkies by any means, but I do have a bunch of them. It has been trial and error but I love them. The hens have the nicest temperment and are beautiful. I would say that unless you plan on showing them, they need no special care. I have mine in a coop with two large roosters and a regular hen (not sure what breeds these 3 are - we took them in from a friend). We have 3 silkie roosters. One of them is great and very docile. I cannot say the same for the other two. I think they are father and son (ha ha) becasue they have the same temperment. Both will charge you if you come near them and then crow for all they are worth. It just maybe that I have too many roos as we incubated some eggs and got another roo from that batch and not enough hens. One of the white silkies just hatched two chicks by herself in the last day or two. First time that has happened. They are excellant brooders and good layers too. I would recommend Silkies any day.
     
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    What sort of temperament do Silkie roos tend to have? Everyone of my silkies roosters are docile birds. The Silkies I have now are from exhibition lines. Back years ago when I had hatchery silkies, I did have one nasty rooster that would flog you. The ones I have now, have never tried to do that.
    How would free range Silkies get on in a generally cold and damp/wet climate? Do those funny feathers have any speacial requirements? I leave my birds out every morning, unless its pouring out or freezing rain. They do fine in the rain/snow. I've had them for several years now and have not lost one from the cold/rain/weather conditions. No real special requirements. I have sand runs to prevent them them from getting muddy and messing up their foot feathers, but other than that I treat them just like any other chicken.
     
  4. Countrygramma

    Countrygramma Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry, I meant to anser your question about the cold. I live way up North (we get temps down to 20 below. All my birds stay in the coop in a small barn and do fine. We have a outside pen area they can go out to, but after it gets really cold, we close them in for the winter. They do fine. Not sure if some of mine are silkie crosses or not. Although I think they may be. My two white silkies are purebred and they are prettier than the others. They all have a big feathered feet and their butts are the soft feathers but some appear to have more regular feathers and all have the tuff of featheres on their crowns. Hope this helps.
     
  5. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From my experience, Silkies make terrible free range, rough it tough it birds- they are wimps who find ways to die.

    They are more for the goo-goo eyed, caged type chicken lovers.

    We currently have a pair of mixed black, normal feathered silkie look likes. They aren't bad birds, the roo is flighty as snot, and the hen acts like a wimpy silkie... I caught the pair, and put them back to confinement; as I don't think the pullet would have survived in the real world, on a real world ration...
     
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hahaha. Two totally different opinions. Thanks everyone for the input.

    So Silkie crosses might be silkie feathered, might be normal feathered, or might be a funny combination of the two...?

    Sounds interesting. I think I'm going to give him a tryout and see how he gets on in my flock.
     
  7. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It's my understanding that silkie feathering is a recessive trait, and that regardless what the other breed parent is, as long as it's not recessive for silkie feathering... all offspring will be normal feathered. It's when you mate those two recessive feathered birds back together that you get the silkie feathering...

    in our 2 crosses, both the k and pullet have one foot with a 5th toe, and one foot normal. They have stature like a silkie.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, the feathering is recessive. I wasn't sure how it worked. So with my hens I would expect offspring to be normal feathered. I wouldn't be wanting to breed any further from the offspring, I'd just be wanting the females to be surrogate mothers. I'd like some normal feathered birds with the tendency to broodiness that Silkies are legendary for. I wonder if THAT'S a dominant or recessive trait! [​IMG]

    Thanks very much for that info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  9. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My silkie crosses are all very broody and good mothers. Most are better than the silkies. Some have a crest and some don't, but all have hard feathers. Some have dark skin and extra toes. Most have foot feathering of different amounts. A few have really long foot feathering. Doesn't seem to bother them.

    All the silkie roos I've had were pretty friendly. The mixed roos have been a toss up, but none were aggressive.
     
  10. Faerytalefarm

    Faerytalefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Do you think bad temperaments are genetic ? Most of mine are SO sweet but I have two recently that I don't care to touch, they are not friendly at all and will peck you in a heartbeat. They are young too! I'm used to the rest of mine who are really easy to handle and mess with. I'm not happy with bad temperaments no matter what breed of animal.
     

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