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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd show off some pictures of my lil fuzzy silkied Cochin bantam kids from yesterday. 😁 The numbers are their hatch order, just for my reference. They hatched at the end of May, so they're roughly 2-and-a-half months old now. It's hard to tell from pictures because some of them are suuuper dark, but Wash, Diesel, Hank, and Harley are my Blues, and the rest of them are Black.

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Also, here are Myrtle, Dandy, and Zinnia, last year's babies, hanging out in their little tarp hammock yesterday. Gus was too busy with big, important rooster business to come over for a picture, I guess. 🤣

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More fuzzies from this morning! ❤ These are just shot with my cell phone so not as sharp as the others, but I thought they were cute enough to share anyway. 😊 A curious Harley:

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Diesel, what a handsome young man! 😍

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Bella looking very intently at the camera lens 🤣

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Zinnia with almost the same face 🤣

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And I see now why Gus didn't want his picture taken the other day. He's ragged from molting, poor boy!

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha, can't blame him for the dirty looks, he's like a pin cushion right now! My poor guy! He is quite the looker, though, isn't he? Just wait until he's all finished molting. 😍

I don't know of anyone actively working on getting them accepted, but of course I only know of a couple other farms with them at the moment. I'd love to see it happen! It wouldn't be terribly difficult to get them in the standard since they're a variety of an accepted breed rather than an entirely new breed for the standard, right? Not even really a new variety as much as like a different feather style, I guess? They're still Blue and Black Cochin bantams, for example, just silkied, like how frizzle Cochins are still Cochins, just frizzled? I don't show my birds, so I'm not well versed in the processes involved there. 🤭
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's really involved getting them accepted into the standard. It might be easier to get them in then it is new varieties. The only way to know is for someone to join the Cochin club and introduce them.

I didn't show mine either. I didn't want to put them through that stress.

He really is stunning even when he's not fully suited out. I can see where they could become a really popular new bird to possess.
Gotcha, I'll have to look into that! Agree on not stressing the birds! I also hate to think of possibly exposing them to illness or parasites at a show. 😬

Also Gus thanks you! 😁 He's got looks and personality for sure. He's the only rooster I own who will willingly climb into my lap for cuddles. 😍 The rest of them for the most part don't mind being held, but I guess they don't want to ruin their tough-guy reputations by coming to me for attention like Gus does. :ROFLMAO: I'm hoping the cockerels from this year will mature to be much the same.



It's so funny how they are bigger and all fuzz and no feathers.
The fact that they stay chick-fuzzy all their lives is one of my favorite things about them! ❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have you or the other farms ever talked to them in the Cochin club about your birds? I'd really like to see what their reaction would be. You all could be sitting on some money if you wanted to take them further.

Have you noticed any obstacles in breeding. No genetic problems? No fatal genes?
I haven't. I'll have to talk to the lady at the farm I got my Blues and Blacks from to see if she has. She works with large fowl Cochins as well, so she may just be part of the club! She and I both think silkied Cochin bantams are wonderful, to the extent that we've discussed that we both kinda just want to keep them and no smooth bantams, but I have had experience with Cochin bantam enthusiasts finding the silkied varieties ugly. A complete shock to me! 😩 I, personally, am not a fan of frizzled Cochins and find them much less practical, yet they're super popular and my precious fuzzies are left in the dark! Oh, well! 🤷‍♀️ I'd love to see them become just as popular as frizzles some day. 😍 They're just so precious to me ❤

I've not bred any of the Blues and Blacks yet, though judging from the hatch rates I've gotten from the other farm's eggs, they don't seem to have any issues! My Reds had some fertility issues the last time I tried to hatch them, but it's hard to say if it was just their age at that point or something genetic. Previous hatches were pretty normal for fertility. I'm not overly fond of that particular family of colors in chickens, so I keep the Reds as pets to live out their lives, but I don't intend to continue with breeding them, other than maybe the occasional hatch just for fun. 😊



Oh they do? Wow!
Haha, yup! I mean, their feathers are not technically the same as chick down, but they're similar in appearance and texture, and the birds are quite adorable for it! 😍
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haha, yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of Silkies, myself, but only because I don't really like breeds with larger crests, especially if they're also bearded. I just prefer to be able to see my birds' faces, and that they're able to see clearly as well. ❤ The fuzzy feathering, I can't get enough of. 🤣

Truly, they are! Glorious, round poofs that waddle along across the ground with their little puff-tails held high 😍 I love them so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
That's a lot of Silkies! Wow!! They are pretty cute as babies, I agree. You can see their faces at that age, though, so I guess they don't bother me as much. :ROFLMAO:

I think the most chicks I had at a time was 22 or somewhere in that vicinity, back in 2017. Carrying that many birds back and forth every single day from their brooder to their daytime pen and vice versa was exhausting! o_O And I got a whopping 5 pullets to show for it that year, so I guess my luck with cockerels hasn't changed much! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I've had decent luck with straight run and hatched chicks, just every now and then I have a bad year for it like this year. Usually it's about 50-50. Sometimes I get more pullets than cockerels, usually when I've planned for having fewer pullets out of a batch of chicks. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Haha, he definitely has his tough-guy reputation and a face to match it! He's a big softie, though. Wish I had more pictures of him with his young sons over the years. He's so gentle with his kids, right up until they start getting feisty with him and then all bets are off. :ROFLMAO:

Chestnut sounds about right! He is a Red, though a bit patchy at the moment because, like everyone else around here, he's gone into molt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I know a lot of hatcheries have Reds. Not sure how common they are with breeders, though. I feel like I see a lot more of the Blues, Blacks, and Partridges at shows, but I'm also a lot more fond of those colors so it could be that I just don't notice the Reds as much. :ROFLMAO:

Yeah, he's a solid little rooster. ❤ He's living with my one and only Call Duck at the moment because her parents died and I really didn't want to get any more ducks to keep her company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
LOL That's quite a pic in my head. Big ol' floofy rooster with a teeny duck.
They are quite the odd couple! :ROFLMAO: Actually, they don't really seem to care much for each other and usually spend their time doing their own thing (her in her swimming pool, him digging in the dirt, etc.), but Crash (the duck) is quiet now with him in there instead of calling all day every day looking for me or other ducks.



What a beautiful rooster!
Roscoe says thank you! 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Here they are today, a rare moment when Crash came out of the pool to eat and Roscoe was distracted with the babies in the pen next door.

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Not great pictures because of the fence, but here he is interacting with the babies. They are no relation to him and he's never seen them before today, but he was absolutely glued to that side of the pen! He kept poking his head through to look at them, showing them goodies, and letting them poke at his face. What a softie! ❤

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
A hand full of pictures from the junior fuzzies squad this week. They're about 3 months old now. 😊

Diesel 😍 😍 😍

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This one's a little blurred from them moving, but it's the Blue boys, Hank and Diesel ❤

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Washburne and her big eyes 😍

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Bella with the over-the-shoulder pose 💕

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Juniper ❤

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One more of Wash. She's the smallest of the bunch, but she's so confident and poised. Look at that face! 😍

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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
Washburne? LOL Her looks are so far beyond her name.
Haha, yeah, her name is a bit of a story. :ROFLMAO: Her egg was messy so it needed to be washed before I set it in the incubator, so she's been known as "Wash" since before she hatched. It kinda morphed to Washburne over time because of a character in a show I like whose last name is Washburne and everyone calls him Wash. 😊


What are you all doing to keep the genetics watered down so there are no breeding issues?
My plan is to do spiral breeding with the silkied Cochins. I'm looking at keeping three distinct flocks of them; pullets hatched will stay in their flock, and the best cockerels will go on to replace the males in the next pen over in a spiral pattern. Only thing holding me back from that setup is the cost of building supplies right now, but I'm hoping by next year I can afford to get their coops built and set up, preferably in time to get a generation of breeding in before too late in the year.

I also intend to outcross to smooths occasionally where I see it needed. The nice thing about the silkieds is that they are genetically the same as their smooth-feathered counterparts other than their fuzzy feathers, so just getting some smooth Blues or Blacks in would do the job for an outcross. Breed the resultant silkie-split offspring back to silkied individuals, and the silkied feathering comes back. Neat thing about that plan is I could even get some genetically close color of smooths like Mottled or Lavender and potentially get silkied versions of those varieties eventually, too 😁


How many do you know of that have the "Fuzzies" as you call them?
I am aware of just two other farms who actively breed them, and two that have sadly gotten out of breeding them. That's why I get very excited when I see them mentioned like what prompted me joining here! :ROFLMAO:
 
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