Silkies For Sale – 6/26/19

Here is what is available for the week of June 26, 2109.  My next scheduled hatches are for 6/26, 7/1, 7/6 and 7/12.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No shipping/Pick up only.  Chicks are sold unsexed but ask us about our rooster return policy.

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Pen 21 – Newborns hatched 6/21 – 5 buff, 1 splash, 4 gray/partridge, 1 partridge – $11 each.

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Pen 20 – Newborns hatched 6/21 – 7 white, 5 black – $11 each.

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Pen 6 – One week olds hatched 6/16 – 3 white, 1 black, 1 grey/partridge – $12 each.

If you want to set up a time to come out and look at silkies or if you have questions, you can contact me through text at 756-1414 or PM me at the VJP Poultry Facebook page.

Excellent Gift Books for Chicken Lovers

There are so many wonderful books out there on the backyard poultry scene, that sometimes it is hard to know which one to give to a new or experienced chicken owner. The books with chicken themes have really exploded as more and more people take up the hobby. I have tried to list books that I think are especially good and ones that I have owned or looked at myself. Some of these choices should be in everybody’s chicken library and others are just fun to look at and dream.

61zl3Jei3HL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_ The Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery and Joel Sperfectalatin is an especially great book for backyard chicken raising. I highly recommend it. Ussery knows what he is talking about.

518J269lECL._SX376_BO1,204,203,200_The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow.  This was the first book I bought after becoming a chicken owner and I have referred to it constantly over the years for answers relating to disease and health.

51rTOe88C7L._SX376_BO1,204,203,200_Another great book by Gail Damerow  Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.  My copy is well worn from reading. No one should be without this book especially when starting out.

51TqXTFMA-L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Why Did The Chicken Cross The World by Andrew Lawler. I found this book fascinating.  It tells the history of chickens. You appreciate your bird all the more when you can understand its background and heritage.

41TyMglzg4L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_How to Speak Chicken by Melissa Caughey is a fun read. She helps you to understand what your chicken is trying to communicate to you and to other chickens. It will give you insight as to why chickens behave the way that they do.

51jeLeJEpeL._SX376_BO1,204,203,200_The Chicken Encyclopedia is another from Gail Damerow.  You will find everything from A-Z concerning chickens. She covers breeds, health, behavior and anything else you can think of.

51IoPxb7b5L._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_I love books with pictures of all the different chicken breeds. Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds by Carol Ekaruius is full of great information and eye catching color illustrations. I love to page through it looking at all the different breeds especially before attending a poultry show.

51ddFi7IS-L._SX448_BO1,204,203,200_Extraordinary Chickens by Stephen Green-Armytage is really a fun book to look at. It is full of fantastic photos.  Eye candy for sure. Our family loves looking at this book.

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

Silkies For Sale – 5/1/18

Silkies For Sale – 4/26/18

A Look at the Silkie Standard of Perfection

20171020_121935-1The American Standard of Perfection is a wonderful book published by the American Poultry Association. In it you will find all kinds of valuable information on all of the breeds of chickens that are recognized by this group.  Their main purpose is to list characteristics of each breed at their highest level.  This information is used by judges to help them judge the qualities of individual birds against what has been decided as the “perfect” bird of that breed and variety by the American Poultry Association. It is also used by breeders to improve their birds through breeding towards the standard and by exhibitors who want to place well in poultry shows who use the standard as a guide for choosing birds.

In judging, there is a scale of points that equals 100.  Points are assigned to different attributes of the bird.  Points will be deducted if the bird does not meet the standard given.  There are also disqualifications that can be given which will eliminate a bird from competition.  Since silkies  have crests and beards their point system is adjusted to include points for those areas.

The disqualifications specifically for silkies include :  Bright red comb, face and wattles.  Shanks not feathered down outer sides.  Feathers not truly silky (except in primaries, secondaries, leg, toe and main tail feathers.) Vulture hocks. There are other disqualifications that are for all birds, not just silkies.  You would find those under “General Disqualifications” elsewhere in the book.

The standard weight for a silkie cock is 36 oz.  The standard weight for a silkie hen is 32 oz.  The standard weight for a silkie cockerel is 32 oz.  The standard weight for a silkie pullet is 28 oz.

The standard then lists descriptions of each of the areas of the silkie’s appearance.  This is all part of the bird’s shape.  It is best to obtain a copy of the standard so that you can read in detail what the standard entails. I will mention a few of the items of interest but there is much more information listed in the book. I will be discussing the Bearded Silkie only.

The comb should be walnut shaped. In the males it should be circular shaped and have a horizontal indentation across the middle of it. Females should also be walnut and smaller. The wattles should be small and concealed by the beard in bearded silkie males.  The females should be very small and concealed.

The crest should be medium sized. The beard and muffs should be thick and full. The neck should be short and gracefully curved.  The back should be short and broad and rising back in a curve towards the tail.  The cushion of the tail should be broad and round and very fluffy.  The tail should be  shredded at the ends.

The wings should be closely folded and carried well back being nearly horizontal.  Primaries should be concealed  by secondaries.  The tips should be well shredded with tips being concealed by saddle feathers.

The silkie needs to have five toes. Three in the front and two in the back.  One toe in the natural position and the other placed above it curving upwards and backwards.  Feathering should be to the middle toe.

Comb should be deep mulberry colored.  Beak should be slaty blue and eyes should be black.  Earlobes should be turquoise blue. Skin should be dark blue and toes slaty blue.

Silkie’s feathers come in different colors and not all colors are recognized by the APA. Here are the ones that are recognized: white, black, blue, partridge, buff, gray, splash, self-blue (lavender) and paint.  There are separate descriptions for each of the different color varieties indicating what is accepted and what is not.

Symmetry, as well as, condition and vigor are also important in judging.  The overall shape and balance of the bird is important.  The silkie should look like a “S” curve with the bottom part of the “s” continuing upward.  They almost look completely circular, like a bowling ball when they stand correctly.

There is much more to the silkie standard than I have talked about in this article.  If you would like to purchase a copy, you can get one through the American Poultry Association here.

There are also knockoff copies at Amazon that are not printed through the APA.  I think that they are basically  xerox copies and have the same information.

Hopefully this will answer some of your questions concerning what the standard of perfection is.  As a breeder, we are constantly trying to improve our silkies and have them come as close as possible to the standard that has been set. It is important to show your birds as a breeder or attend shows so that you can talk with judges and other people who are knowledgeable about silkies.

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

Information for this article was taken from The American Standard of Perfection 2010 published by American Poultry Association, Inc.

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