Vaulted vs non vaulted heads in silkies bearded vs non bearded? Silkie people HELP!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by the4heathernsmom, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    Can someone please post pictures and show me the difference between vaulted heads and non vaulted in Silkies? Which is preferred and why? Also what does the "beard" factor matter in silkies? Does a beard or non beard determine the difference between a show quality and not show quality? Can you show me pictures of a show quality Silkie and a pic of non show quality and tell me why and the difference? I NEED to be INFORMED!!! Don't understand the differences and why one is worse than the other!!! HELP!!!
  2. I have been studying all these same questions for about 6 months and I'm afraid it would take a book to answer the ones I know. But, I can give you some partial answers.


    Vaulted and Unvaulted side by side.

    Some breeders prefer one and some the other. Vaulted chicks seem to develop fuller crests but are subject to head injuries as the skull is open like a human babies soft spot.
    Bearded silkies are more popular at shows but non-bearded may also be shown. If you will go back to the beginning and read this entire thread as I did. You will learn most of what you want to know and then some. It is really great! Hope I helped some. [​IMG]
  3. 202roosterlane

    202roosterlane Happy Hen on a Harley

    Feb 24, 2011
    Central Arkansas
    OMGoodness, I have some reading to do! Thank you for the info.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Peepblessed gave good photo examples of vaulted skull versus non-vaulted skull chicks. The reality is that with an adult bird, you often cannot tell the difference. There are some breeders that breed for or against vaulted skulls, but most that I know of do not use vaulted skulls as a selection criteria. There is no "good" or "bad" to either one.

    Bearded versus non-bearded is a personal choice in the same manner as in selection of breed or variety. All recognised "colour" varieties are recognized for both bearded and non-bearded. Note that bearded white and non-bearded white are separate varieties. The same holds for all other colours.

    I would suggest avoiding showing partially bearded birds--some judges are picky about disliking partial beards--they want it to be clearly bearded or clearly non-bearded. Note that non-bearded birds typically have smaller crests than do bearded ones. In the US bearded silkies are more popular; in other countries non-bearded silkies are more common.
  5. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    ok that explains a lot!!! I am going to go read the thread that was posted as reply and see if I can learn. The kids just love them and want to show them in our local small livestock shows here but I have NO clue about how to choose. I am not a totally new chicken person and I can tell good characteristics in hens/roos from bad in most breeds but the silkies to me are like a foreign animal. I dont know why I am so stumped on them but I am!!! Supposed to get some chicks this weekend and paying a good bit for them so I want to know what I am doing or looking at.
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    In Canada, bearded are more popular than non-bearded as well as the US. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
  7. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    On the silkie thread there are like 1300 something posts!!!!
  8. Debbi

    Debbi Crowing

    May 2, 2010
    I had a hatch of 14 Silkies for my first try. Most had vaulted skulls, some did not. They are now 6 months old, and I cannot tell the difference at all by the size of their crests. All my pullets have very full crests, and so do most of the boys. I do see a downside to the vaulted skulls. When one of the young cockerels found his, calling, shall we say, he was very aggressive with the ladies, and would peck them hard on top of their heads so they would submit. Well, he did it to a nice Partridge girl I have, and she suffered a brain injury. The bump on top of the head is the brain, and it is only covered with skin! Cerebral hernia. My girl did recover somewhat, although when she gets stressed the injury causes her to twist her neck into a wry neck position, then quickly goes back to normal. She never had this problem before he popped her on the head, and I saw him do it, the little stinker. My point being, seeing as how there appears to be no visual difference in the crest sizes between the vaulted and non-vaulted, I will opt more towards the non-vaulted skulls. To me, it's not worth risking a pullets life due to a bump or a peck. JMO
  9. You can't tell if a chick will be show quality but there are a few things to look for. Pick fluffy chicks with lots of foot feathering. Check for feathers on the long front middle toe. Make sure there are five toes and good clear spacing between them. Depending on the age, I wouldn't pick a chick that already had a noticeable comb.
  10. Thank you so much for clearing this up. [​IMG] I have an awful lot to learn. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012

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