Silkies For Sale – 7/7/19

Here is what is available for the week of July 7, 2019.  My next scheduled hatches are for July, 12, July 21 and July 26th.  We are NPIP and a state inspected hatchery.  No Shipping/Pick up only.  Chicks are unsexed.


Pen 21 – Newborns hatched 7/6 – 4 White, 5 black, 4 buff, 2 grey, 1 partridge – $11 each.


Pen 20 – One week olds hatched 7/1 – 3 black, 3 white – $12 each.


Pen 6 – One week olds hatched 6/26 – 2 black, 1 white – $12 each.


Pen 7 – Two week olds hatched 6/21 – 3 white – $13 each.


Pen 8 – Three week olds hatched 6/16 – 2 white – $14 each.

If you have questions or would like to set up a time to come out and pick up some silkie chicks you can text me at 612-756-1414 or PM me at  VJP Poultry on Facebook.

Bachelor Pads for the Silkie Rooster

20180627_154829What can you do with your extra roosters?  Almost every flock owner that keeps roosters is faced with this dilemma.  There are rooster rescues,  craigslist ads or even the stew pot,  but not all of these solutions work for all people. Maybe a rooster bachelor pad or Roo frat house is a solution for you.

Bantam breeds are very difficult to sex.  Silkies may be at the top of that list.  Silkies are usually sexed at around 3 to 4 months old.  Bantams and silkies are sold “straight run” which means that you are buying the chicks unsexed.  Fertile chicken eggs have a 50/50 chance of being roosters.  Consequently, many people end up with more rooters than they bargained for.

If you and your family have raised a group of baby chicks up from day olds, you will no doubt have become very attached to every single member of your flock.  It will bring a tear to your children’s eyes if you contemplate selling or giving away your little guys to someone  who may be planning a chicken dinner or even worse, such as using them for cock fighting or as bait birds.

The problem with extra roosters is that the many people who end up keeping all of them and not removing them from their flock assume that the boys can just continue to be part of their little group and that nothing will change.  Well, puberty happens and the male hormones start to kick in and the sweet little boys that you cuddled will suddenly have other things on their minds.

The optimal ratio for roosters to hens is around one rooster for every ten hens.  In a pen where just one rooster rules the roost, the flock is content and happily free from stress.  If you invite several “extra” roosters to join them you are opening up your flock to what could be a disaster.

Normal rooster behavior is to defend his flock of hens from all predators and other males. He will give his life to protect his girls.  When you add more males into the pen it will create fights and anxiety.  This disruption of constant fighting will cause the hens in that pen to stop laying as a stressful environment is not conducive to raising a family.

Multiple roosters mating with too few hens will cause the feathers on your hen’s back and crest to be pulled out and damaged.  Hen aprons can be a solution if you are experiencing this problem.   You may also find that the roosters will turn on you as well, as all are fighting for a place of dominance in the pecking order.

Creating a bachelor colony or frat house is a solution. All extra males would be housed together in a separate pen away from the rest of the flock.  Ideally, you want it to be somewhere where they cannot see or hear any hens.  If they know that hens are nearby they will continue to fight each other for them.

First of all, your rooster run will need to be adequately sized so that they do not feel overcrowded.  Even with no hens around, the males will still feel territorial and need plenty of space.  Multiple feeders and waterers are important.  Roosters that are higher up on the dominance scale may try and prevent lower roosters from eating and drinking.

Trim or remove all rooster’s spurs in order to protect pen mates from damage during any squabbles.  Use a diagonal wire cutter to trim off as much as you can.  Keep nails trimmed with a nail clipper  and trim around their eyes with blunt scissors so they aren’t surprised by anything.

Studies have shown that in the wild, roosters will willingly spend time together in a flock away from the hens so penning them separately is not entirely unusual for them.  Watch for signs of anxiety .  I have found that all will be getting along fine and then suddenly all are fighting.  This is when I generally let them out to free range.  Putting space between them generally settles them down. Some people permanently let their roosters free range and simply keep the hens locked in their own run.

Some people will rotate roosters into other pens so that all roosters get to spend some time with hens.  Remember that all chickens hate change.  This will be reflected in a drop in egg production as they get used to having a new rooster.

Sometimes it is easier to have a separate cockerel pen with no hens in sight or ear shot. Once birds reach maturity individual pens are sometimes best.  Then you only move the roosters for breeding .  This gives you total control of your flock or breeding program.  When they are not breeding, the roosters are in their quarters which gives the hens a break.  Many roosters will be friendly and docile when you are the only one having contact with them.  Pick the roosters up frequently and carry them around .  They love to have their chests and wattles stroked.  If a rooster is too excited, hold him until his heart rate goes down before putting him back on the ground.  When roosters are trained and treated well, they can make excellent companions.


Keeping your roosters in individual pens also controls their environment. You will be able to evaluate your breeders more accurately and be able to make improvements to the quality of your birds.  You can use small coops like the one in the above picture, or even a dog house with fencing like the picture below.  A nice plastic snaplock coop is easy to clean and take care of.  Chicken tractors are always good choices for male colonies as they can be moved around far from the girls.  At the end of this article you can see the bachelor pad we recently built.  I like to have an heir and a spare when it comes to roosters and we built this one on the side of the garage away from the rest of the flock. They are not able to see or hear hens from this spot.


For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at .  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



Why it is so Difficult to Sex Silkie Juvenile Chicks?

20180409_083330-1Silkies are among the hardest breed of chickens to sex at a young age.  The old adage that you can’t tell them apart until they crow or lay an egg has a lot of truth in it.  I have found that certain weeks of age are easier than others for telling which are boys and which are girls.

Newborns that are hatched together out of the same color pen can be judged on size.  Males tend to be larger and more curious than the females. This only works with same color chicks. If you want more information about sexing younger silkies, check out “sexing young silkie chicks.

At around three weeks, males will begin to be more aggressive and will play fight with other males in the same pen.  Beware – females can do this also.  The silkie comb on males may begin to show some signs of development from three weeks onward.  A upside down “U” at the top part of the comb may be the beginning of a wider developing comb and signal a male.  Females tend to have a more narrow upside down “V” at the top of their combs.

Males will continue to develop their combs which will become wider and may get bumpy.  After twelve weeks the female comb begins to get wider as well and males and females will begin to look similar again.

AT VJP Poultry we have a rooster return policy.  I had a customer return a rooster for rehoming last week that was around four months old. I asked him why he thought it was a rooster at that young age and he said that it was because it had a mean disposition.  I put my hand down next to it and it immediately pecked it – hard!

After the customer left, I began looking more closely at the bird.  It was a pet quality partridge or buff silkie.  The color was wrong for the show ring. The more I looked at it, the more I just couldn’t get a handle on whether I thought it was a boy or a girl.


The first thing I did was to trim around the eyes. It was unable to see and this could have been part of the reason that it pecked so hard at my hand.  I took a look at the comb and wattles.  The comb was wider than younger females but at four months female silkie’s combs begin to grow.  I looked for wattles.  At four months they should be showing on a male.  I begin to see them as young as two months old as small red dots.  This bird had just the slightest suggestion of the outline of a wattle.  Again, females will develop very small wattles as they grow towards maturity.


The crest of this bird had a definite pom pom shape.  Because I didn’t see this bird when it was younger, I don’t know if it went through any Elvis type crest that some males have beginning at two months.  I looked at the back of the head to check for “streamer” development.  Nothing so far, but there are new feathers coming in right at the spot that could later develop into streamers.


Next I looked at the hackle feathers on the neck.  Males should have longer hackle feathers than the females at this point.  I did not have another to compare it with but they looked shorter and more female to me.

The wings on the bird looked long, especially the primaries.  They also seem to be hard or stiff – not shreddy.  Just because they seem large, it makes me think male.  Females have shorter primary feathers.

The tail is wide and stands up straight.  I also think that this is a male characteristic.  Females often have their tail down in a more submissive position.


This silkie has large feet and massive foot feathering.  This is another sign of a male.  Females foot feathering are more in proportion to the rest of its body.  Foot feathering depends on breeding but males will have larger feet.


The stance of this bird is very upright.  Boys stand up taller than girls as a rule and there is more room between the tail and the bottom of the feet.

Behavior is hard to tell since I didn’t see how it developed.  It seems very docile once its eye feathers were trimmed.  It is currently alone so I can’t see how it interacts with others.  Males would be more assertive. If you placed it with another male, they may begin to fight even at this young age.

Males at four months are often crowing especially first thing in the morning.  This bird only made soft clucking sounds like a hen would make.  It did not struggle when you picked it up and did not make grunting sounds like a male may make.

So let’s look at the score card:

Comb- Female                             Wattles- female

crest – female                               hackle feathers – female

wings – male                                tail – male

feet – male                                    stance – male

behavior- either                          noises – female

If I was pressed I would have to go with male, but it certainly could go the other direction.

This article is to show how hard it is to determine the sex of a young silkie.  Mistakes can be made.  Breeders and judges alike are not always certain when sexing silkies.  I do think that it is much easier to sex them if you watch how they grow and develop.  Taking a four month old juvenile silkie and trying to sex it in isolation is much more difficult.  Hopefully, a crow will come sooner or later – or maybe an egg.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at .  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 – 3/21/18

Silkies For Sale – 2/15/2018