Birds of Paradise
home of Cozy Silkies
This page is a running diary of my experiences breeding and learning about Showgirls. If you have any questions or comments about my Showgirls please feel free to e-mail me. You can also post comments and questions on our message board.
My first mature showgirls arrived from Mo. April 3, 2004. This is a trio of buffs which were hatched by Lyn during the winter. The two hens were already laying and had been broody for several weeks just before the trip to Texas. It took several weeks to see eggs again but they were immediately place in my incubator. The first egg hatched May 10,2004. This was a really nice white showgirl. Following close behind was a dark skinned brownish looking chick.
These two are the first two surviving Showgirl chicks. They are two months old.
Incubation is still going on now, July, 2004. I am hatching 4 showgirls to one silkie chick. I have hatched just about every color. This has me puzzled since ALL these are coming from the buffs. I have hatched a both a black and white chick. Both of these were silkies though. This breeding group has two nice buff hens. They both have good feathering on feet, five toes but one has light skin while the other has dark skin. The cockerel has pink skin, nice feathering on feet, 5 toes, and a good comb. (Now I know the comb was NOT good :)
Buff Breeding group
April 2004 Buff trio was introduced to Texas. This group has been hatched by Lyn.
The pictures below are of chicks that Lyn brought to Texas, April 2004. They have developed into beautiful splash hens along with a splash rooster. The rooster has pink skin which we will work to breed out. All the hens are dark skinned, good feathering on feet along with 5 toes. The top knots are really nice too. These showgirls are about 4 months old. The hens are more gray/blue splash while the rooster is more white and without the blue tint of the hens. The original group she brought me has two more chicks. One chick showed the limber neck problems so he was put down. He WAS a rooster with really nice DARK skin but we did not want to risk the possible problems of breeding this rooster. Another hen was removed from the breeding group due to lack of growth. She did not exhibit any signs of disease, was not growing as the other chicks. Her size was half of these pictured.
Splash Breeding Group
July 5, 2004 This was my first group of color matched chicks. There were six originals brought from Mo. April, 2004.I have eliminated to these 4 which I feel have the best points to breed with.
July 7, 2004 I just have to add this picture of one splash hen who got into a fly strip and I had to give her a bath. They are definitely all feathers and fluff!
July 25,2004 Splash cockerel is developing very nicely. His comb is not what we are looking for but he is handsome otherwise.
October 2,2004 Lyn traveled to Texas to help pick the BEST of this generation of showgirls. We have settled on four buff showgirls (two hens, one rooster ) and one we are still wondering about. If it is a pullet, it will remain in the breeding stock. We have also decided to breed better silkie traits into this stage of stock. I have two silkie pullets and one cockerel that are going to breed back to these showgirls. We are in hopes that our cockerels will begin to show darker skin color and darker combs. We have both bearded and non-bearded stock at this time.
2005 Breeding Stock
April 2005- Starting spring hatches with the above pictured white silkie rooster, three buff hens, two splash hens, and two white silkies hens. Below are what hatched by leaving this group together all winter. My first eggs were set the middle of March. My thoughts were to improve the dark skin and feathering. So far I have not hatched a rooster with dark skin. The chicks below are F4 in the breeding process.
July 29th 2005 ~After the first few months of the 2005 season I was finding my roosters were not holding with the dark skin. I am now trying to breed back to a buff silkie rooster doing my best to achieve the silkie qualities my showgirl roos are lacking. This is my attempt to get the best quality buff rooster I can. Hat Trick Silkies was nice enough to ship me 16 eggs. Right away very few showed any development. I got down to four and realized several has stopped. Final out come is ONLY this little one. I am thinking positive. I only need ONE ROOSTER. I got the one...now for the ROOSTER.
Breeding Choices from 2005 hatches for buff
I have decided to keep only buff showgirl hens and breed back to buff silkie roosters to improve the showgirl line. I am keeping a young pullet I hatched from Hat trick to see how she turns out. The top two rows are my cockerels, from Fawke's Feathers. The last row is two pictures of a showgirl pullet and then the silkie pullet. The cockerels have more red and have some black feathering in wings and tails. The sg pullets have some white in wings and tails but no black.
Breeding choices for white showgirls and splash showgirls 2005/2006
I only have one white showgirl pullet along with two splash showgirl hens which I will be breeding with a really nice white silkie rooster. On the left side is a nice white silkie hen (Fawke's Feathers) who will also be with this group.
Birds of Paradise
I started the 2006 hatching season with the above white and buff stock. One nice white silkie rooster mixed with a white showgirl and one white silkie. I used the silkie rooster to improve traits in the showgirls. I had the two buff silkie roosters from Fawkes Feathers mixed with three buff showgirls. From early May until mid August I hatched showgirls and silkies looking for the perfect chicks. Here are my results. This breeding also gave me some very good quality silkies.
The year ended with Lyn and I taking an assortment of showgirls to Silkie Nationals in Mo. We were VERY proud to win Champion AOV with Alexis, a white showgirl pullet!
Breeding Stock 2007
After Lyn and I went over her results compared to mine from last season, we have decided to continue the silkie/showgirl breeding rather than breeding showgirl to showgirl. I may try one hatch of such just to compare but we are convinced, for now, we need to keep silkies in the crosses.
First hatches of 2007
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bren & Lyn