Silkies For Sale – 10/18/19

Here is what is available for the week of Oct. 18, 2019.  My next scheduled hatches are for Oct. 24, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No shipping/Pick up only.  Chicks are not sexed.

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Pen 21- One Week olds hatched 10/10 – 1 white, 5 partridge, 7 blue – $13 each.

 

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Pen 20 – One week olds hatched 10/10 – 5 buff, 3 blue, 1 grey Partridge – $13 each.

 

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Pen 8 – Two week olds hatched 10/3 – 2 white, 4 buff, 2 partridge – $15 each.

 

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Pen 7 – Two week olds hatched 10/3 – 4 blue, 1 white, 1 grey Partridge – $15 each.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a time to come out and pick up some silkie chicks you can contact me by texting 612-756-1414 or you can PM me at the VJP Poultry Facebook page.

Silkies For Sale – 9/6/19

Here is what is available for the week of September 6, 2019.  My next scheduled hatches are for Sept. 12, Sept. 19 and Sept. 26th.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No shipping/pick up only.  Chicks are not sexed.

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Newborns hatched 9/5 – 30 chicks in white, black, buff, partridge, blue and grey. – $11 each.

 

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Pen 21-20 – One week olds hatched 8/29 – 10 buff, 2 partridge, 1 blue, 2 white, 3 white out of black, 6 black, 10 grey/partridge – $12 each.

 

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Pen 5 – Two week olds hatched 8/22 – 7 Grey/partridge – $13 each.

 

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Pen 6 – Two week olds hatched 8/22 – 6 black – $13 each.

 

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Pen 7 – Two week olds hatched 8/22 – 4 blue, 1 white out of black – $13 each.

 

20190904_130023Pen 8 – Two week olds hatched 8/22 – 4 buff, 2 white out of black – $13 each.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a time to come out and pick up some silkie chicks, you can contact me by texting 612-756-1414 or PM me at the VJP Poultry Facebook page.

 

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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Silkie Wings – What makes Show Quality?

20180222_161805There has been lots of discussion about the difference between a show quality silkie and a pet quality silkie. Some of that has to do with their wings. I am going to talk about a few different problems that the silkie breed is known to have difficulties with as far as wings are concerned.

First of all, what is a perfect wing on a chicken?  The wings should be well formed when the wing is opened out.  You may see judges at a poultry show opening and shutting a bird’s wing.  You need to open the wing and stretch it out so you can see from one end to the other and look at every individual feather.  The formation should be perfect and easy to fan out. There should be no gaps showing and the feathers should form an arc.  When there is an open space between the primaries and the secondaries when the wing is opened, the defect is called a split wing.

There are ten primary feathers and ten secondary feathers. There should be no gap between them. There is also a small axle feather between the primaries and the secondaries.

The wing muscle should also be sufficiently strong enough to fold the wing back correctly and firmly.  The primary feathers should tuck under the secondary feathers and be held tightly to the body and into the cushion.  They should be held horizontally and not droop. The wing should be flat against the body and not stick out.

The entire body of the silkie should be covered in abundant fluff and the wings should be ragged, almost shredded or tattered looking.   Ideally, they should be shredded one third up the primary feathers.  No hard looking feathers should be visible.

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There are three main faults that can be seen in silkie wings.  Split wing is where the feathers have a gap between the primary and secondary feathers or at the top of the wing between the primaries.  You will always know when a wing is split as the wing feels weak and has a lot of give when handling it.  Both sets of feathers should be level. With split wing on set of feathers will be longer than the other.

 

Slipped wing is when the wing does not return to its natural folded position when opened. The primary feathers may overlap in reverse order or there is a tendency for the primary feathers to be held outside the secondaries when the wing is closed.  The primaries should tuck under the secondaries but instead the reverse happens. The primary feathers show from the outside and may even be twisted.   Angel wing is slang for slipped wing in chickens.  Actual Angel wing is found in water fowl.

Twisted feather is when a feather is in the slipped wing position but is turned upside down so that you are seeing the bottom side of the feather.

All three of these conditions are considered disqualifications in the show ring.  When assessing for faults in your bird make sure that you are not looking at it if it is heading into its annual molt.  The best age to be checking is the thirty week mark.  By this point the bird will be mature enough and is not usually going through a molt. You can begin to look at wings earlier at three to four months as most birds have fully feathered out by then to start getting an idea of what you want to save for poultry showing.

An APA standard is a valuable book to own. It gives you complete descriptions of what is correct for all breeds of chickens when you are showing. It also will let you know what is a disqualification or a fault. There is also the Bantam Standard which is also quite good.  Silkies are classified as bantams.

You should try and breed your best to your best.  These wing defects are a recessive trait and can be passed down.  Choose wisely and create breeding pens with your best hens and rooster.  A separate pen from the rest of your birds allows you plenty of room for your breeding program.  This article on “Selective Silkie Breeding” will give you some ideas on how to set a program up.

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