I used up all my space here and on my website, www.SundownSilkies.com so I have made a facebook page for more pictures.
Posted on 02/18/2011 06:34 AM
0 Comments Northeastern Poultry Congress Show 2011
I went to the Northeastern Poultry Congress show this weekend in West Springfield, MA. It was a two day show, Jan 15th & 16th. There were about 12 bearded buffs. I took BV and RV along with 1st 2nd and 3rd bearded buff hens and 1st 2nd and 3rd bearded buff pullets. There were 3 bearded white cockerels. I took 1st cockerel. There were 3 bearded splashes, 2 males, 1 pullet. I took BV and 1st pullet. There were around 8 or 9 bearded white pullets and I took 2nd pullet. Was a good show. Can't wait till next year.
Posted on 01/17/2011 10:06 AM
0 Comments Marking Hatchlings
With my silkies, I am doing sort of a pedigree mating. I am keeping track of
which hen and rooster produces which chicks. This starts before the eggs are
laid. Once I pair up the chickens, I dont start collecting eggs until 3 weeks
have passed. This way, I am sure that the chicks I hatch are from that rooster.
If I am keeping a trio together, I use food dye inserted into the hens butts. I
redo this every 5 or so days. This way, when the hen laying the eggs her eggs
come out with food dye on it, so I can be sure which hen laid which egg. Once I
gather the eggs, each egg gets the mating written on it in pencil. If the hens
band is 55 pink and the roosters band is 63 pink. I write "55pX63p" on the egg,
along with the day the egg was laid. Once it comes time to put the eggs in the
incubator, I rewrite this info in a fine point sharpie, so I can be sure it wont
rub off in the incubator. I have 2 incubators I use as hatchers. This means that
I can only incubate eggs from 2 different hens at one time. When they hatch the
eggs from one hen go into one hatcher and the other hens eggs in another
hatcher. I have tried dividing up the incubator with some hardwire cloth, but
the chicks hop right over it.
Once the chicks hatch, they stay in the incubators for around 24 hours so
they are all dry when I remove them. I take each chick out and I mark down its
back with a sharpie. For example, chicks from one hen will get blue and the
other chicks will get red. This lasts until the chicks down turns into
feathers. I have never had a problem with chicks pecking at eachothers
marking. At 1 week of age, the chicks get permanent numbered wing bands applied.
I record the wing band number (and color if there is one), and the parents info,
their hatch date, and some notes about the chicks. I apply numbered plastic
bandettes once the chicks legs are big enough so they stay on without slipping.
I have a binder that I keep all these records in. As the chicks grow, I take
notes on each individual chick, and guesses on gender.
Posted on 05/03/2010 11:03 AM
0 Comments Silkies hatching
I had my first batch of chicks hatch from my buff rooster that I hatched out last year. I paired him up with a hen I hatched out from another breeder last May. I am so happy so far with what I have seen in the chicks. All of the chicks have nice buff colored down. They all have wonderful foot feathering. Several have feathering on all 5 of the toes. I cant wait to see what these chicks will turn out to look like. I have another batch hatching out as we speak from a different hen and different rooster. The rooster came from eggs from a different breeder. Hes a nice bird with a nice dark smooth comb, without points/horns, and a nice rich buff color. Im excited to see how these chicks turn out. So far, the chicks drying off in the incubator look nice. I switched out that rooster on April 20th and added a different rooster. The rooster is another boy I hatched out last year. He looks great. I think paired up with these 2 hens they will compliment eachother nicely and give me some great offspring. I have another two weeks before I can start collecting their eggs, so I know the chicks are from him. I recently went to a local tailgate sale and sold off some silkies, 2 pairs and a rooster along with some chicks. Got to make room for the new birds. I also sold off all of my old english bantams this way I have an empty coop to use. Hatching season is in full swing, and I have all 4 incubators going. Lots of call duck eggs ready to hatch, and a batch of mandarins due the 16 of May.
Posted on 05/03/2010 11:02 AM
0 Comments Happy Spring!
Spring is here and the incubators are full. I have some silkies hatching out right now. With several more on the way. The birds I hatched out last summer and fall are turning out to be great. They new pullets should start laying within the next month or so.
Posted on 04/08/2010 07:09 AM
0 Comments Spring is around the corner
It is the middle of January 2010, and spring is around the corner. I seperated off a trio of silkies during the first weekend of January. The 2 hens that I seperated have just started laying. I plan to start collecting eggs to hatch for myself during the first week of Febuary. I cant wait to start hatching out some silkie babies this year. The older "babies" in the grow out pens are looking great. I have several picked out to keep for myself. I cant wait to see what they look like in another couple of months. Im sure they will be stunning.
Posted on 01/18/2010 04:30 PM
0 Comments Shut down the incubators
I turned off the incubators about a month ago. They had been running non-stop since Febuary. The youngest chicks I have now are around 5 weeks old. I have lots of chicks in the grow out pens, and I am very pleased at how they are turning out. I have lots of nice prospects to put into my breeding pens next year.