These are five of my new chickens I bought near Fort Worth, Texas this week.
These blacks were the last four out of fifteen, so, I bought the leftovers and was too tired and stressed out to realize it at the time. I'll just have to be grateful for the trip and the birds and let it go at that. Maybe they will get better looking as they mature. None of them have much of a cushion, and to me the cushion and crest really make up the silkie, without those they aren't that great to look at.
The best one has a spinal or brain injury according to the vet. She may or may not get well, but she is eating chicken scratch on her own, and I think that is a good sign. She cannot stand and just sits with her legs sticking straight out in front of her. I bought her knowing she might be hurt. The next day she went down and so far is still down. The vet gave me four syringes full of steriods that I must inject into the breast muscle each day. Today was the first one, and she took it so well. So far, no problem. Now it is just wait and see. If anyone has suggestions on other things that might help her, I'm all ears.
My first showgirl!!! Isn't she something? She doesn't have a lot of feathers on the top, but she is the cutest thing, and seems very bright. I just hope she is still laying and I can breed her to a white rooster. Can you imagine baby showgirls? Of course, I have yet to successfully breed any chicken.
The lady has a great setup, probably worth the money I spent just to see it. She has these chain link dog kennels in her barn, and each one has a group of hens and a rooster, I'm guessing about twelve in each group. She must have five different pens. They are full of wood shavings I suppose, it is the light colored fluffy stuff. These pens are also covered in chicken wire and at the bottom a strip of hardware cloth, because predators have been in the barn and killed off an entire group before. In another room she has probably ten or more of the smaller cages, sort of like rabbit hutches. Many of them are full of babies. The woman has it going on. She has two large incubators, which I did not get to see. She picks up the eggs, marks them with a pencil as to which pen they came out of, and sets them on a table. It appears that she keeps the chicks she wants and sells the rest off.
I have one really fabulous partridge hen, and two partridge roosters that are fair. A few others are really worth breeding. Then there is the showgirl. :D
What I need are breeding pens, out at the horse lot. Of course, I must make up my mind on some kind of plan. Like can I sell or give away the ones I don't want? That is the hardest part for me, just like the araucana rooster. He's mine, I like him and want to keep him, even though he has no breeding value. I've been that way about them all except those two mean red hens I gave away, and even that really hurt me. So, in my own mind I must decide. Otherwise I will get in big trouble quick if I hatch very many and won't get rid of others.
There are not many poultry things going on in my area. They have the two poultry shows but nowhere that sells them in auction or anything close that I know of. Guess I will need to sell online or take them to auctions out of my area. That is, if I decide to continue along these lines. The alternative is, just to stop, or only breed what I believe I can take care of.
The one you have looks like a hen, the roos look rooish quite early. We have two roos and one hen that are showgirl and then a white roo and hen and 6 Blue Silkies. Silkies are so so pretty and so delicate although the roos are pretty good size.
I sure hope she is laying. No idea how old she is. I didn't even think to ask. She just said I'll give her to you for $35 and I said ok. No questions, no explanations. Doesn't matter really, she has captured my heart. She is here to stay, until one or both of us is dead. :)
Hard to tell how old she might be from the picture, is she full grown Silkie size?
Sometimes if hens are laying, they stop for a couple of weeks when they are moved or something changes, so hopefully if she was laying she will start up for you soon.
Guess I wouldn't know unless I pen her up by herself. Might do that later when she calms down. They are all super stressed at the moment. Huddled up in the crate in the garage and won't come out.
Was looking at the 10X10 wire dog kennels yesterday. They sell tops for those too. They would need to be anchored down for sure, and the bottom would have to be predator proof. Around the door is a major concern.