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Poultry and Livestock: Sexing silkies

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gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

October 31, 2013
3:48 PM

Post #9699272

I have 3 beautiful black silkies that hatched under a broody hen as experiment. They are now 4 months old and I am trying to determine sex, as I have to get rid of any roosters. Any suggestions? I am going to have the same problem with 14 more chicks that are now 2 weeks old.

An observation: I spent many dollars on incubators and heated facilities in the past. One little silkie hen has now hatched a total of 17 eggs and cared for them all very well, so far.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

October 31, 2013
4:18 PM

Post #9699283

I am not very experienced with Silkies but the roosters often have a more swept back hair-do while the hens' dos are more over the eyes. Also in general roosters will be longer legged than hens. Of course sooner or later someone will lay an egg or crow... Good luck!
Light_for_Jesus

(Zone 6b)

October 31, 2013
6:06 PM

Post #9699341

Very difficult. The males will probably start growing their comb sooner and it will be larger. Yes, the males are usually bigger, but that also is quite an individual thing. Some silkie lines are very small birds and some are quite large for a bantam.

I had 24 baby silkie chicks once, my very first ones, and the little ones that rushed immediately out to the food and began to scratch real "roostery", turned out to be the males. They were the always the FIRST ONES to the food when it was put out. I had two blue and two blacks that did that. Turned out they really were the roosters. So you might look for that. Other people on here told me that, and I saw it firsthand. Roosters have an attitude from birth I guess.

Ultimately though, I had to wait for the crowing. I had three whites that I just knew were roosters, they were so aggressive toward the others, mean and fast. They were the bosses and the others cowered to them. Turned out two of those were hens. So, your guess is as good as mine.

As Porkpal said, lay an egg or crow. Mine usually usually do that around five to six months of age.

I bought this one silkie from a lady with the idea she was selling me a hen. It was a white bird and it kept getting taller and taller and I thought, "That is the ugliest hen I have ever seen. Why did I buy her? I must have been out of my mind!". I called her "Big Bird" because she was so out of proportion. Yep, turned out to be a big rooster. He's pretty, and he has lots of feathers, and he is SO soft and sweet. He is the largest silkie I have. To breed him or not to breed him? That is the question. Haven't made up my mind. I am new to this chicken breeding stuff. Also, his earlobes are more red than blue. Probably why she wanted to get rid of it. I'm sure she knew it was a rooster all along. She didn't exactly tell me it was a hen, I just said, "It's a hen isn't it?" She didn't contradict me. Live and learn. I'm still smiling.
Light_for_Jesus

(Zone 6b)

October 31, 2013
6:08 PM

Post #9699346

Post some pictures if you have any. We love pictures.
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 9, 2013
5:29 PM

Post #9705632

Finally got some pictures made of Mama Hen and her brood present and past. I think on the black ones there must be 2 roosters and a hen.

You can see she has her nest full. Right now our night temps are in the 30's and everyone seems to doing well. I am amazed.

Thumbnail by gessieviolet   Thumbnail by gessieviolet   Thumbnail by gessieviolet   Thumbnail by gessieviolet   Thumbnail by gessieviolet
Click an image for an enlarged view.

green04735
Bridgewater, ME

November 16, 2013
3:02 PM

Post #9710479

I have never seen so many partridge chicks with a white mother,is the father partridge?Cute pictures.I love silkies,I have silkies,white,blue,black,splash and partridge.I also have showgirls
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 17, 2013
1:22 PM

Post #9711156

green, yes the father is patridge. I ordered 4 chicks originally, 1 died, the others turned out to be a black rooster, a partridge rooster, and this little hen. When her first nestlings turned out all black, I paired the white and partridge--you see the results.
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

November 17, 2013
2:13 PM

Post #9711184

Where did you get the chicks from?
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 19, 2013
9:02 AM

Post #9712380

My original 4 chicks came from Meyers Hatchery. All the new chicks are hatched from eggs laid by the one little hen. 3 older chicks all black. 13 remaining of latest hatch.

Getting silkie chicks from any commercial hatchery takes months! You can not order sexed.
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

November 19, 2013
6:32 PM

Post #9712701

Here a few pics of my silkies and showgirls

Thumbnail by green04735   Thumbnail by green04735   Thumbnail by green04735   Thumbnail by green04735   Thumbnail by green04735
Click an image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

November 19, 2013
6:43 PM

Post #9712713

Aaaaaw, cute! And chicks too! How old are they?
Light_for_Jesus

(Zone 6b)

November 19, 2013
8:36 PM

Post #9712788

Ty for sharing. They are lovely and look so happy. Must make you feel happy too.
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

November 20, 2013
3:50 AM

Post #9712840

Chicks were born this past spring,there is only 1 baby in my flock right now and he or she is 6weeks old.Bought four eggs and only one hatched others were not fertile,bummer to cost $20.00 for the eggs




gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 4, 2013
4:55 AM

Post #9721143

green. you expressed surprise that I got 14 partridge in a single hatch from a white hen (with partridge roo). Is that usual? I know blues and blacks can be expected to not bred true but what could normally be expected with other colors being put together?
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

December 7, 2013
10:53 AM

Post #9723324

I just thought that you would have gotten a few whites with so many chicks.I am not up on the color thing,its to complicated for me to fiqure out.All my colors are in togather so I never know what I`m going to get.lol
porkpal
Richmond, TX

December 7, 2013
1:02 PM

Post #9723389

Unless the partridge rooster was actually bred from a recessive white parent or grandparent, the partridge color would dominate. There is a dominant type of white color - at least in some chicken breeds - but if the hen was dominant white, all the chicks would have been white.
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2013
8:53 AM

Post #9724567

A sad report on my little white hen:

I blogged recently about my silkie hen, Unnie. Sadly, this morning, we discovered she had been killed during the night by some animal that got into her coop last night. What ever killed her seems to have been interested only in the brain. All 12 chicks survived.

http://mckarion.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/incubator-extraordinaire/
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

December 9, 2013
11:12 AM

Post #9724706

Oh no gessieviolet! So sorry to here that.They must have been so scared.Poor mom.Have to tighten up your coop in case it comes back

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