When I began my silkie journey seven years ago, the first colors I started with were Black and Blue. I was told by my breeder that they were the two easiest colors to start with. You can pen Blue, Black and Splash together. They breed true according to certain percentages. Eventually, I separated my Black pen and my Blue pen because it was getting too difficult to tell the difference between the Black chicks and the very dark Blue chicks. I wanted to keep my blacks undiluted and as coal black as possible. The very Black roosters will have a beetle green sheen in their tails which the diluted blacks will not always have. True Black is very desirable for people working with breeding Paint silkies. In order to breed them you need that very dark black color. Black Silkies combs should be a walnut shaped circle with a horizontal line running across it. The comb should be very dark.
I currently have 12 Black hens and 2 Black roosters. I try to always keep two roosters in each color pen. Usually a young one (one year) and an older one (two years or more). I do switch out and bring in new roosters about every year. Sometimes I grow out my own chicks to use and sometimes I purchase from another breeder. I always stick with the same breeder (thanks always, Amy Piehl) because she has excellent stock and because if I jump around and buy from other people, I am opening up a whole can of genetic worms. Bringing in new genetics can make your chicks more healthy, but it can also cause headaches and genetic faults that can be introduced to your flock.
The APA and ABA recognize silkies in eight different color varieties: Black, Blue, Buff, Gray, Partridge, Self Blue (lavender), Splash and White. The standard of Perfection is used in judging. It states that “Black birds should be even although a small amount of color is permissible in the hackle but not desirable.”
Black silkies are very difficult to photograph. They either end up looking like they have a brownish tint to them or they look like black blobs with no features. I am sure there are some tricks that can make them really stand out. Let me know if you know them.
Black has always been one of my favorite colors of silkies. They are so beautiful wandering on the green grass on a sunny day. They always look clean. I have seen some gorgeous Black silkies in the show ring. Hopefully, you will choose to add some of these stunning birds to your flock.
For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com . VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul. We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available. Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.
Victoria J. Peterson