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The newest addition to our flock. Silkie chicks!
Lens: Pentax DA-AL 18-55mm Camera: Pentax K-r Photo Location: Ontario, Canada ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Philoslothical, 06-08-2012, 07:20 PM

I've become silkie obsessed. I've had them nearly a week now, and they are just the most wonderful little chickens, so completely different from the standard breeds.

Main differences:
They're extremely friendly and docile, easy to tame.
They have five toes.
They have black skin, black meat, black bones. Rare for melanism to penetrate to the bone.
They lack barbicels on their feathers, which makes them fluffy, more like fur.

Anyway, here's the pics!

The night they arrived.



Brief "photoshoot". It was difficult to position them well and shoot. I used a Pentax remote F and a diffused flash, but I was essentially shooting blind, so they're not quite as sharp as I'd like.









And, here's a brief clip I made while I had them out of the brooder for a butt check (don't ask ).


It has that audio tick, I haven't worked out how to get rid of that yet. It's not audible in the original, but once put on youtube it happens.

Oh, and this is what they'll look like when they're grown up, except in various colours.




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06-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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They're adorable!
06-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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Amazingly crazy, beautiful, funky chicken!

Last edited by wcchamp18; 06-08-2012 at 07:39 PM.
06-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Hmmmm, you learn something new every day. So I'm curious, why did you get these chickens? (If you're going to eat them lie. Children read this site.)
Thanks for positing.

06-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Hmmmm, you learn something new every day. So I'm curious, why did you get these chickens? (If you're going to eat them lie. Children read this site.)
Thanks for positing.
Ha, Norm, I'm not going to lie. Kids should know where food comes from. That said, I got them primarily to breed, with the intention of selling some of the offspring to offset costs.

I'll also use some of their eggs, along with the eggs we get from regular chickens here. Right now we're getting a steady 7 eggs per day from 9 hens, which is a bit more than we can use, usually. Silkie eggs are smaller, but not much different otherwise.

I will probably eat one of the spare roosters, if the sex ratio is too high in favour of males. I'm very curious about the black meat, it's supposed to be a delicacy in parts of Asia. If there are a lot of hens, then I'll probably keep multiple roos and breed the best to them next spring.

A little more background on the breed: They're a very, very old breed, perhaps as old as 2000 years. They're from China and South-East Asia, and were one of the treasures brought back by Marco Polo on one of his expeditions. Apparently their furry feathers caught his eye, and they've been bred in Europe ever since, and more recently in the Americas, too.

@luftfluss and @wcchamp18 - Glad you enjoyed them. They really are adorable, I'm smitten with them.
06-09-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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Wow learn something today cute shots as well.
06-09-2012, 04:53 AM   #7
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I have always had a fondness for chickens as their feathers can be so colorful but these guys have a large dose of cute going on too. The adults are really great looking. I can see why you are hooked on the breed. Thanks for the info; it was interesting.
06-09-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Thanks Dave, Susan. I'd highly recommend the breed to anyone wanting a small flock of backyard chickens. Having a few around is also an asset if you breed other species of birds (pheasants, turkeys, even geese) as silkies go broody Very easily, and will incubate the eggs of just about anything.

06-21-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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Thought I'd bump this up with a little update. They're growing fast, getting feathers, and showing a lot more personality. They like to hop up and down displaying at each other, not viciously sparring, just playing at it. They sure get noisy though. Soon they'll be moving to their proper coop.








My favourite little roo, at least I'm about 90% sure he's a roo. Same with the next one.


They're still a bit wobbly on their roost. It'll take them a while to figure it out, but they're having fun anyway.
06-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #10
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Yep, they look wobbly alright.
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