Pipinchick are Royal Bath and West Show Champions 2018.
Pipinchick decided after having been asked so many times why we don’t show our lovely hens that this would be the year to take the plunge into showing!
As the morning closed and ribbons were being handed out, our hearts sank a little as we noticed we had nothing on any of our pens... "Oh well" we said "maybe next year."
No sooner had we spoken than a steward came and whisked our Gold Laced Poland Mabel out of her pen and wandered off with her!
New to showing we had no idea where she was going! We watched anxiously as she was walked over to the other side of the show area and popped in another pen!
Off we went to investigate!
To our surprise and joy Mabel had ben selected Champion Bantam Soft Feather!
On returning to our other pens we then saw that our lovely Partridge Silkie Lady P had also been awarded a green 3rd place ribbon!
And our other 2 Polands LouLou and Loop had also been awared 2nd and 3rd in class!!
What a day and we could not be happier with the result of our first ever show!
Champion Bantam Soft Feather
3rd Pace for Light Feather Large Silkie
Well done girls!
We will be taking Mabel, Loop and Lady P to our next Pop up on the 9th June where they will be available to purchase.
LouLou has already been sold.
Pipinchick Poultry Silkie Sale
Every year Pipinchick Poultry has an end of season sale for their Silkies.
July 8th - July 9th is our great big Silkie Sale!
All Silkies will be just £20 phen
Not every Silkie can be a show winner, at the end of each season we offer our not quite as stunning birds to the public for a bargain price.
If you are not too fussed about standards and perfection but still want a pretty and lovely natured garden hen then this is the weekend for you to save the date!
All Silkies sold are form the same parent stock, all are still fully vaccinated, wormed, coxy treated, Salmonella cleared, guarenteed female and as healthy and lovely as the rest, but may not have the exacting standards we look for in all our other hens.
From less feathers on their legs to a slightly less puffy pom pom they are however still perfectly, wonderful birds.
Grab a bargain and give them a lovely home.
Get in touch to arange your time for viewing... the days are filing fast so get in touch ASAP!
How to hatch fertile eggs with a broody Silkie.
1. How to tell if you have a broody hen.
Silkies will be very easy to spot once they have gone broody, they will stay in their nesting box and will NOT come out, they will cluck at you if you get too close to them which is a very uncharacteristic trait of a none broody Silkie.
You can encourage a Silkie to go broody by placing a couple of dummy eggs in her nest area, these can be unfertilised eggs or rubber dummy eggs which you can buy from any good pet store or poultry centre.
Once you have noticed that your Silkie is broody you can then put fertilised eggs under her.
For the best chance of a good hatch rate you do not want your eggs to be more than 10 days old.
2. How many eggs can my broody Silkie hatch?
Silkies will also hatch other species for you, from ducks to other chicken breeds; she will then raise those babies as her own.
She is an amazing mother and diligent to her young.
When you have noticed your Silkie is broody you can then put fertile eggs under her, up to 10 bantam eggs, 6 normal hen eggs or 5 duck eggs. She can even sit on larger eggs but I would only put about 2-3 under 1 hen.
3. How to manage a sitting Silkie hen.
If you have decided to use your broody Silkie to hatch eggs then she will not require much from you.
Make sure she stays warm and dry.
She will get off to eat once a day but keep an eye on this as sometimes a Silkie can go so broody she will forget to eat or drink, make sure the food and water is close by so she can get to them easily. If she is not getting up to eat and drink then you will need to remind her that this is a god idea.
Gently move her off her eggs, she will give you a little bit of chatter but persevere, once she is off she will automatically go for her food and water then immediately sit back down again.
She will almost never not sit back so don’t worry, if she does not sit back then you will have to move the eggs quickly to an incubator…. But this never happens!
Keep an eye on her after this, she should then remember to get up and feed, if she doesn’t just keep repeating this once a day until she does.
The eggs will take up to 21 days to start piping in the case of hen eggs.
Eggs from common ducks like Pekins require 28 days to hatch. Eggs from Muscovy ducks hatch in about 35 days.
4. What to do when the eggs start Pipping.
When your eggs begin to pip (the chick uses their little beak to break the shell from the inside). This means your chicks are on their way, this can begin anywhere from 2 days before hatch date to up to 2 days after so the main thing is to be patient.
With a sitting Silkie you will not need to do much, she will do the work for you; just keep an eye on her.
If you have a lot of other hens in your coup you may need to move them to allow your Silkie some peace to hatch the new babies. I wouldn’t advise moving Mumma at this stage as it might disrupt her.
Once her babies are hatches and a few days old then you could move her and them to a secluded location away form jealous older birds and cockerels.
(However a coop of only Silkies will not hurt the new arrivals not even the cockerels).
Keep an eye on your Silkie as she hatches her new chicks, but don't be tempted to "help" your chicks out of their shells.
If they're not pipping or they've pipped but they're not pecked a out of the shell they're not ready, leave them! By “helping” you could release a chick too early and without meaning to you could kill it.
If the yolk sac together with the blood vessels have not been fully absorbed into the stomach, the likelihood is that trying to 'help' by peeling away the shell will rupture one of these blood vessels and the chick will bleed to death.
Remember - from pip to hatch can take as long as 36 hours.
Let Mumma do the work she knows what she is doing!
Once all the chicks have hatched then you can help by removing old shells.
We once had a Silkie hatch 8 chicks in the dead of winter, we did offer her some help in the beginning by putting in a hot water bottle with her at night, to help keep the babies warm, I’m not sure of this is what you should do but we didn’t loose any and Mumma hen seemed happy with it, otherwise just let her be.
5. What do I feed the new baby chicks.
Put some chick crumb in the cop with Mum when they start to hatch, in a chick feeder, this will be small enough for the chicks to get to, keep feeding Mum her normal grain but in a feeder that’s raised up off the ground so the chicks can’t reach it.
Once they are 4-5 weeks they can move onto a grower or a rearer then at about 20 weeks they can go onto adult food.
Be careful with water, this will need to be in a chick water feeder, if you put a saucer in or anything shallow and open chicks can fall in and drown very easily.
You’re done! You did it, you now have a lovely little clutch of chicks hatched by your very own broody Silkie. Once the chicks are large enough they can go on their own. You will know when this is as your Mummy Silkie will continue to sit on the chicks to keep them at the right temperature until they no longer need her.
DEFRA Warnings for poultry keepers in the UK.
DEFRA have recommended all poultry keepers in the UK do the below to minimise the risk of contamination from wild migratory birds.
3 easy steps for keeping birds to adhere to the DEFRA recommendations.
1. Keep domestic birds away from wild birds.
This is quite easy to do, DEFRA recently lifted the MUST HOUSE rule and you can now let your bird free range, keep your eyes peeled for wild birds and make a conscious effort to divert them from your chickens. If you can net a run area this is ideal but if not then do not panic, just keep food and water away from the risk of contamination from wild birds.
2. Keep food and water covered, to prevent wild bird pooh from falling into them.
3. Keep a clean and tidy area for your birds you can do this be regularly cleaning and disinfecting their run, houses etc... You can also introduce a foot dip with disinfectant in it to be at the entrance to your property for anyone visiting to ensure they do not bring an infection with them. (This would be more for farms and large smallholdings)
Transporting your birds.
There have been some confirmed outbreaks in the UK in Lincolnshire, Wales ad Lancashire, if your farm or small holding falls with in a 3km radius of these confirmed infections you can not move poultry with in those areas.
However, you are still able to move pets, so your new pet chickens won’t be a problem.
So Keep Calm and Chicken on…..
For more information: CLICK HERE
We get asked this question nearly everytime we have customers come to the small holding.
What's the best way to introduce my new Silkie or hen to my existing flock.
In our experience introducing new birds can be a delicate process and can very much depend on the happiness of your flock going forward.
There are 5 simple steps to take to make this 1st encounter go well.
1. We would never advise trying to introduce 1 bird to an existing flock especially if your new bird is quite a bit younger. They will instantly get picked on and ostracised from the existing group. The best way is to buy them in pairs, this way the new birds have an instant ally and are not such an easy target.
2. Make sure you have plenty of room in your run as if there is some hen pecking and territorial bullying there is plenty of room for the birds to run away and escape.
3. Never introduce birds face to face in the cold light of day! This always ends in an argument of some kind.
4. Keep your new birds separate form your flock until night fall. Once your existing flock are sound a sleep in their coop, literally in the dead of night, gently put your new birds in the coop amongst the sleeping flock.
5. In the morning let the birds out into the run and by then they have all night to get used to each others smells and will adjust a lot easier to the idea of new birds in their flock.
Good luck, do let us know how you’ve got on either using this technique or not using it, we'd love your feedback.
This page is for you... the chicken enthusiast and the new to chickens keeper. Anything you need to know from care and advice to where to buy feed, equipment. We have many, many years experience in rearing rare breed poultry and are always being asked for help and advice from our lovely customers. So we thought this page would be helpful. Please feel free to leave a post and we will endeavour to reply with useful tips and information on how to keep rare breed birds happy and healthy.