I hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures with these delightful creatures, and I hope you learned a little something too! I also supplement my silkies crumbles with layer mash and table scraps. It might be possible to enjoy your chickens, not at face level ever, and wearing a face mask in the coop.
Does anyone have silkie roosters? They are great chickens for children because they become very accustomed to people and being handled. Like many herpes viruses, once an animal becomes infected, it will be infected for life.
, Silkies lay a fair number of eggs, of a cream color, but production is often interrupted due to their extreme tendency to go broody; a hen will produce 100 eggs in an ideal year. Birds must get the vaccine before they are exposed to the virus. The individual vials contain 1,000 to 5,000 doses of vaccine. Join BYC FREE here to see fewer ads, post questions, upload pics, & more!
Thanks so much for your Silkie article. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four. The other type of vaccine, which is frozen and kept in liquid nitrogen tanks, is available for hatcheries. They were brought to the Americas where they have become a popular breed for backyard chicken keepers and show chicken breeders. On the other hand, silkies have very dark, almost black skin and meat. They have black skin and black beeks, black legs but no fur on their legs, should I be concerned that they may not be silkies? Yet, it is one of the most preventable illnesses out there. Of course, the roosters crow throughout the day and the hens will cackle in celebration when an egg is laid. In the classic form, Marek's Disease will cause inflammation and tumors in the nerves, spinal column and brain. Mask is good idea.
In China, where Silkies were first bred, women eat these birds after giving birth to get their strength back.
They would tower over her in just a few weeks! I’ve seen Silkies that crave the attention of their owners and will sit on their lap all day long. The symptoms of Marek's Disease depend on which tissues are attacked.
That means complete isolation of the chicks for at least this time.
They look more like bunnies with chicken legs. Even if new birds are quarantined away from the affected flock, caretakers can carry the virus-laden dander on hands, clothing, shoes, hair,and skin and spread the illness. Silkies in particular, are highly susceptible to Marek's Disease.
This means that once the disease enters a coop, the environment will most likely be contaminated for a very long time (months to years) even if all birds are gone.  In 1598, Ulisse Aldrovandi, a writer and naturalist at the University of Bologna, Italy, published a comprehensive treatise on chickens which is still read and admired today. They are very sweet and love to be held and pet. Silkies are the best, we love ours and want to get more soon! These chickens are especially docile, friendly, and are known as one of the best breeds for children.
So here are some clarifications concerning this disease.
As hardy as this virus is in the feather dander, it is a live virus that dies rather quickly in vaccine form. They are just mean and all attack at any time. I own silkie chickens and they have survived 2 winters now. They don’t mind being in close quarters, and I get to watch the babies grow up.
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The feathers on these birds are furry and fluffy because they don’t have barbs to hold them down. Because of the docile nature of these birds and the fact that they don’t make much noise and can barely fly, many people keep them as pets. Required fields are marked *. Their feathers are made up of individual silky strands that tend to grow down their legs and over their central toe. They are often kept as ornamental fowl or pet chickens by backyard keepers, and are also commonly used to incubate and raise the offspring of other chickens and waterfowl like ducks and geese and game birds such as quail and pheasants. Another consideration is their size and temperament. Temperament. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You’ll need to introduce new chickens slowly and with good supervision to make sure everyone is getting along nicely. If you are serious about and want to breed and show silkies, you’ll want to look for a breeder that specializes in silkies. Do you want a chicken that is a sweet pet or a chicken that gives you food?
She’s raising lots of fancy chickens and goats on her small homestead (among other things). After a while, I realized that silkie chickens were also a show breed, and soon I ordered hatching eggs from Wright Fancy Feet Farm in Tennessee. Silkies have a few specific characteristics that set them apart from other breeds.
For some, quick treatment can save your sick chicks. Add to Favorites Reading Time: 4 minutes. Marek's may also cause tumors in the internal organs, the eyes and even the skin. Australorps Rhode Island reds Marans.
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I’ve raised hundreds of chickens of all different breeds, but of all them, silkies continue to be my favorite breed.
They were originally valued for the medicinal qualities but today are kept primarily as an ornamental bird or to incubate and raise the offspring of other breeds. Because of this, it is thought that silkies originated in Asia and possibly China at least as far back as the 13th century. But overall, they are more soft-spoken than larger breeds of chicken. Amanda is a homesteader and a Jesus-loving, mother of 6 toddlers. Next Post Should Chicken coops be raised up of the ground. In it, he spoke on "wool-bearing chickens" and ones "clothed with hair like that of a black cat". These small, easy going chickens can easily become targets for bigger, bossier birds. Already thinking about making our coop bigger and getting some more silkies, in different colours, next year. If you handle them often, they will be happy being around people and will come looking for snacks or even pets. Again, this is for at least 4 days. This makes them a nice, compact size with eggs that are still edible. Are you looking for a quiet breed or does noise not matter to you? If you are looking for a chicken primarily as a pet and less as a food source or farm animal, then silkies are a great breed for you.
In about a month the hens won't have any feathers left on them and you could get rid of the roosters.
If your SIlkie chicken goes broody, the easiest way to deal with this is to simply allow her to do so. However, even standard Silkies are relatively small chickens, with the males weighing only four pounds (1.8 kg), and females weighing three pounds (1.36 kg). Playful, loving and adventuresome on a small scale, the Silky Terrier is extremely active, but because of its size, exercise requirements can be met with a small space. This made the coop stay cleaner as the waste would be absorbed into the bedding.
We keep Silkies in the UK and I love them and all their weirdo-ness…. Most diagnostic animal labs can test for this disease in necropsy specimens. Silkies have the sweetest temperament.
If you are interested in showing silkies, you’ll need to watch for disqualifications and other problems that will lower your score. Reply.
Silkies are a breed of chicken named for its unusual soft, fluffy silky plumage. So when a broody isn’t hatching, they lay wonderful, edible eggs. I can’t even imagine the hilarity of that fluffy Silkie butt parading around with a brood of weirdo mixed up chicks. The miserable patient also suffers fatigue and loss of appetite. Oct 29, 2012 1,211 143 216 Small size. Find more dog breeds and dog care information at Hillspet.com. My personal opinion is that chickens, including silkies, are happiest when they are outside in a pen and coop that makes them feel protected from predators and the elements, but that is a decision best left up to you. All rights reserved. This means following instructions on how quick to thaw, what temperature to thaw and using the vaccine no longer than 1-2 hours after reconstitution (as indicated on the label.).
In his writings, he described chickens with black fur: “… I have been told, but did not myself see the animal, that there are found at this place a species of domestic fowls which have no feathers, their skins being clothed with black hair, resembling the fur of cats. They also have black bones.
Keep all of these factors in mind as you consider whether or not to add silkies to your backyard or farm.
It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
They are often exhibited in poultry shows, and appear in various colors. What to Do When Your Vegetable Garden Fails ».
Diagnosis of Marek's Disease is by typical symptoms, necropsy and biopsy examination of the tissues. Silkie chickens are very easy to keep as pets.
We’re glad to have you here! They should be just fine! Do you want to feed your chickens grain and table scraps or let them forage out on their own? So how can you prevent Marek's Disease in your flock?
But that was just the beginning of my journey into the world of raising silkie chickens. I keep my silkies in a small coop outside my bay kitchen window. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and care for young well. They almost never recover from this.
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