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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:37 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:48 pm
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Silkie
This cute and cuddly breed is a favorite among people because of their lovely nature and broodiness. This breed makes wonderful family pets as they are generally not vicious and cannot fly. A lot of fanciers use Silkies or cross them with other breeds to make reliable broodies

Breed: Silkie
Origin: Asia
Colours: Black, Blue, Blue-Red, Gold (Buff), Grey, Partridge, White, Black-Crested Grey
Eggs: tinted to cream in colour. Generally Poor Layers as they tend to go broody quite frequently.
Comment: Reasonably small bird, make great mothers as they go broody frequently. Don’t cope to well in really wet pens as their undercarriage is low to the ground and gets wet which causes them to become ill. Great for backyarders as they cant fly and are great with kids
Cost: Silkies can range in price depending on quality and age they can range from $10-$30ea for pet quality or $25-$100ea for show quality can be more depends on the breeder and quality.
History: Chinese Silkies are believed to have originated in Asia, although despite the name, it is unclear whether it was in China, Japan or India. Amongst his many other exploits, Marco Polo is believed to have introduced this bird to the western world sometime between 1254 and 1324.


Exhibition:
Silkies are difficult to win major awards with at shows as they are difficult to breed. Silkies at shows tend to be underweight and to small in size. The Large Variety are supposed to be a large and weigh between 1.58kg for females and 2kg for males. The bantam variety is supposed to weigh between Male 680g and females 570g.

Silkies are stylish compact and lively birds; they are supposed to have silk like feathers and no stiff feathers. They are supposed to have feather on the middle and outer toe which is a challenge to achieve. They are also supposed to have 5 toes the fourth and fifth are supposed to diverge from one another and be well spread. Some Silkies also come with beards.

Feel free to check out:
Silkie Breeders or
Silkie Standard to read the complete silkie standard.

Suitability:
They don’t cope well in wet pens as they tend to get wet and sick. They will cope in colder climates as they are well feathered. Silkies tend to be a great poultry breed for family pets and backyard breeders. They are great for this because they can not fly and tend to be rather gentle. Like all breeds you get the odd rooster that may be aggressive but they generally tend to be a friendly breed. Kids tend to love the look of this breed because of their silk like feathers. They love free ranging on the grass but are more likely to be attacked by cats, dogs etc as their crests usually obscure their eye sight so they cannot see predators approaching. This breed needs nest boxes and perches close to the ground as they cannot fly up to them.

Selecting birds:
In selecting a good silkie some important points to look for are that they are of correct size, they are of correct weight have a decent size crest but not so large as to obscure their vision, check there feet for middle toe feather and fourth and fifth toe separation. There skin must be black and their comb wattles to be a mulberry colour. There lobes are to be a turquoise blue. Silkies leg colour is to be a leaden colour (blackish). Comb is not to have any horns at the back of it.

Their type is a major thing to look for. The hen below is a good example of what a silkie female should look like type wise, she is globular in shape. Males should be similar in type accept for natural sexual differences. Their crest is to be as upright as their comb will permit with half a dozen to a dozen soft silky feathers flowing backwards.

Image

It is also good when selecting birds to make sure they are the correct colour that you are looking for.

Breeding:
When introducing new birds into your flock keep an eye on them for a few hours to ensure they don’t fight. Fertility can sometimes be poor due to the amount of silk feathers around there vent. It can also be due to the male bird not knowing how to mount the hens. The hens will usually lay a clutch of around 7-8 eggs and successfully go broody on them. If you remove the eggs they will probably lay around 20-40 eggs before going broody, maybe more. Silkies make very good mothers because of there lovely nature.

Feeding:
Silkies don’t tend to eat a lot as they are only small birds. They tend to like a variety of food. They require foods with lots of protein so as they put on weight and keep it on. The chicks also require a good diet full of protein to help them grow and fill out. They love the vegetable scraps and I have found they like pollard mixed with warm water is a favorite of mine.
Bantams: There are bantam Silkies in Australia they need a lot of development. Perhaps in the future the bantam variety will become as well known as the large fowl.



Internet Links:

Silkie Photos on Backyard Poultry http://www.backyardpoultry.com/index.php?page=./breeds/sil.html
Silkie Breeders
Silkie Club of Australia
Feathersite


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 Post subject: great work!
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:12 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:39 pm
Posts: 219
great work Scott!

Nice outline of the silkie breed!

Keep up the great Work Mate.

Cheers :D

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:57 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: St georges basin (NOWRA) nsw
Thanks Scott.

Would you be able to give me some more info on diet? I am having problems getting mine to fill out.

I am also keen for more infomation on bantam silkies. I know mine are under size for the large standard. I will weigh them and see what they are closer too.

I have good toes in mine now, and good toe feather, I actually got some with feather stubs on the 5th and 4th toes and back of legs, which was suprising but it has dissapeared as they have grown.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:48 pm
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thanks guys good to see its helping people and i spoke to u on msn about what i fed my silkies chookster hope that helped

Thanks
Scott :D

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I breed Black Silkies, large and Bantam Anconas.
i also run both these websites:
http://www.freewebs.com/silkiebreeders
http://www.freewebs.com/leghornbreeders


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen
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Location: Southern Tasmania
Would you be able to share with me what you feed your silkies please?

I am giving mine a mix but they just tend to pick out what they like like sunflower seeds and cracked corn etc,,,and leave the rest.

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Happy Chooking :) Michelle http://serenityviewalpacas.blogspot.com
Isa Browns, RIR's, show quality silkies, alpacas, dogs, 1 cat, 1 cockatiel and three guinea pigs!


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 11:56 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Perth
Great work!

Only thing I can add is IME silkie (bantams) don't like to wander far from the coop when let out to free range.

Which makes them good for people without fenced yards or people who don't want their chooks straying into gardens, etc.

Because they are small and timid, silkie bantams will be at the bottom of the pecking order when kept with other breeds.

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Ben.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 12:30 am 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:48 pm
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hey i use to feed my silkies just normal scratch mix, vegetable scraps and once a day they got pollard mixed with water or sometimes warm milk if we had any left over and they loved eating that they also got bread socked in water mine tended to eat everything accept all the wheat

hope this helps
Scott

_________________
I breed Black Silkies, large and Bantam Anconas.
i also run both these websites:
http://www.freewebs.com/silkiebreeders
http://www.freewebs.com/leghornbreeders


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:05 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 2:59 pm
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Location: New Zealand
I am considering getting silkies. I want birds that will lay eggs, but there is much about this breed that appeals, even though they are not apparently the best egg-layers. But I thought, if I get a few silkies, then at least some of them will be laying eggs, even if others are broody, so I can keep my family supplied with eggs. So, my question is, do they all go broody together, or will they be at different times? And what can I do (if anything) to minimise the time they don't lay eggs? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:32 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania
take them off the nest that can pup them off the brood
they only lay 80 to 90 eggs a year

you can mix other breeds with them

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~ Tasmanian Rare Breeds Poultry Club.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

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Is there such thing as too much separation of the fourth and fifth toe in a silkie? I just have three, just as pets but one of them has a huge gap (compared to pictures) between the two toes.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:13 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:18 pm
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Location: newcastle
cheers silkiebreeder
very informative

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many thanks
jack mac


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:31 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: lilydale vic
very good outline of the breed
Great job

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breeder of show quality silkies and now Polish in wc blue and wc black


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:52 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:02 pm
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Location: Cowra, NSW, Australia
This is the best description I have ever read regarding Silkies. Should be very useful for anyone thinking of keeping them! Well done. Lovely picture too by the way.

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Silkies are my obsession!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:54 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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many apologies if this is not the right spot for this:

has anyone encountered problems with silkie feet on hard surfaces? I have had our silkie hen get very sore feet on hard dirt the first half of the pen is dirt and the rest is grassy lawn. I looked at her feet and there didn't seem to be any hard areas, corns etc but they appeared to hurt her when she walked. She was quite an old bird though perhaps around 8 years.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:21 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Junortoun: Suburb of Bendigo,Vic,Australia
Looks great scott My Parents don,t like silkies but i do they look cute and cuddly like you set in your profile about them anywhey good work scott :biggrin: :biggrin: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :bounce: :bounce: :addicted: :addicted: :hiya: :hiya:

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