Silkies - May 2011

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Silkies - May 2011

Postby Tim » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:55 am

Congratulations to Ros AKA Podstable who got Silkies as breed of the month for May!

Keyring in the post ;)
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:51 pm

Ok I’ll try again! Silkies ---

Thought to have origins in Asian birds from China , Japan or Indonesia , evidence for this going back over 1.000 years . They are thought to have been brought into Europe a couple of hundred years ago , there is some evidence of them being imported and sold as ‘half chicken / half rabbit’ . Still regarded as a delicacy in this country by some Asians , the black flesh reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities. I have a man who phones me from Eastbourne a couple of times a year wanting ‘Silkee Cheekens’ that seems to be all he can say in English—I always tell him I haven’t any as I feel he may be in the Asian catering trade!

They are very calm birds, easily becoming very tame and making lovely garden pets. They do need a bit more care being less tolerant of weather extremes and the wet . They lay (when they feel like it ) small white of slightly tinted eggs . Always happy broody , they are great sitters but I find them a bit clumsy as Mums and also its not that unusual to find chicks tangled in the silkie feathering. Many prefer to use silkie crosses e.g. Sussex X Silkie –Goldtops.

Classified into large fowl and bantam fowl by weight. LF male—1.8kg. LF female –1.36 kg . BF male—600gm . BF female-500gm.

5 Standard colours –white, black, partridge ,gold and blue . Many other colours are found /non standard , e.g. cuckoo , red etc , these often display non silkie traits such as red comb etc by cross breeding . Can be bearded or non bearded .The gene for beard/muff inhibits wattle growth so bearded birds show minimal wattle development , This is inherited as an autosomal dominant gene .

Characteristics—short stocky birds with dense silkie feathering . The gene for silkie feathering is inherited as an autosomal recessive gene. They are feather legged with dense thigh feathering but no vulture hocks. They are dark skinned , have dak blue/mulberry colour combs , wattles and faces . The bones ,periosteum , and muscle tissue are also very dark due to a melanotic gene . I understand this makes them taste good but I don’t think I will be trying it ! They have bluish beaks and nails . They are black eyed. They have 5 toes , the 5th arising from the 4th , middle and outer toes are feathered. They are flightless birds.

Serious defects are considered to be any greening on beak, horn like protrusions from comb , crest abnormalities , mal formed feet and toes or foot discolouration. Any no. of toes apart from 5 .

Said to be one the groups of poultry prone to Mareks disease, as are most crested breeds . many people vaccinate due this risk against Mareks –I am not even going there , a whole new can of worms to discuss. The crest is associated with a large defect in the vault of the skull, where this is very large there is herniation of the brain which can be seen as a large bump on chicks heads and felt as a bump on adults , as this pushes the crest up these are considered ideal for showing as they have a more dramatic crest . They are also said to be more prone to lice etc and scaley leg due to feathering . The difference in the silkie feather is due to the lack of barbicels on the feather which in normal feathering holds the structure together .

I have silkies in all sizes from minute to quite large birds . They are real characters, unusual and easy to deal with . I think the main worry , maybe , if getting them for the first time is the issue of Mareks/vaccination .

I think that’s most of what I put.. then lost yesterday . I will post this before trying to add pics, this time! Ros
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:04 pm

Ill try some of my pics . again!
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IMG00164-20110410-1431.jpg
Bantam Blue F . Non Bearded--- Bluebell.
IMG00164-20110410-1431.jpg (84.66 KiB) Viewed 4460 times
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:08 pm

IMG00167-20110410-1435.jpg
Derek -- LF non bearded blue.
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IMG00169-20110410-1437.jpg
Bearded Blue LF female-Grace
IMG00169-20110410-1437.jpg (88.03 KiB) Viewed 4459 times
IMG00171-20110410-1442.jpg
9 day partridge bantam chick(
IMG00171-20110410-1442.jpg (151.18 KiB) Viewed 4459 times
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:11 pm

A couple of my bantam whites
IMG00098-20100523-1548.jpg
IMG00098-20100523-1548.jpg (82.14 KiB) Viewed 4459 times
IMG00190-20100815-1417.jpg
IMG00190-20100815-1417.jpg (97.56 KiB) Viewed 4459 times
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:13 pm

IMG00170-20110410-1440.jpg
Enestina-- LF white ,very old ,looking at her chicks!
IMG00170-20110410-1440.jpg (45.03 KiB) Viewed 4458 times
___Thats all! Ros
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Re: Suggest a New Breed of the Month for May here

Postby podstable » Mon May 02, 2011 9:02 am

Just taken more silkie chick pics___ Ros
IMG00205-20110502-0857.jpg
Bearded blue silkie 2 day , bearded goldtop 5 days. Both bantam size.
IMG00205-20110502-0857.jpg (63.77 KiB) Viewed 4394 times
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Re: May 2011 - Silkies

Postby Tim » Mon May 02, 2011 10:10 am

Laurence Beeken did an excellent article on Silkies here:

Breed in Focus: The Silkie

and our Breed Page on Silkies

Also, worth adding for future reference (that you can reach from the breed page if you prefer):

Diseases Common to Silkies

The Breed Standard - Silkies

Personally, I have never kept them... they are somewhat unusual though.
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Re: Silkies - May 2011

Postby podstable » Tue May 03, 2011 8:35 pm

A little update-I mentioned Silkies being an Asian delicacy and people wanting to buy them for food.Well,I found out this weekend that fairly locally there is a large poultry meat farm that breeds chickens,duckS,ostrich etc for meat.Appaently they also breed Silkies specifically as meat birds for the Specialist oriental meat market.Ros
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Re: Silkies - May 2011

Postby pebojuno » Tue May 03, 2011 8:45 pm

Gorgeous pics podstable :D
I especially like the bearded ones. Not sure I could get my head around eating the black meat though :-)03
I keep breeding groups of cream legbars, chamois poland bantams, mixed pekins, silver lace wyandottes, speckled sussex and white orpingtons!
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