Exotic Chinese Silk Chicken
Chinese silk chicken is a completely unusual breed, a native of Southeast Asia which can be seen in a photo or video. Her feathers are more likely to resemble the fluff of a rabbit than the usual bird plumage. The peel and meat of chickens and roosters are black. The breed belongs to the decorative which is worth admiring, although in recent times it has begun to be bred on an industrial scale. Exotic black meat has become popular in Western Europe and North America.
Chinese silk chicken
Chinese silk chicken is very ancient. Its first descriptions date back to the 13th century. Birds were raised at the courts of Chinese emperors. Black meat and testicles were used to treat diseases. Birds came to Europe in the 18th century. First, there were legends that these hens were born from the cross of a rooster with a rabbit. They were easily believed in, because the plumage of hens is quite unusual.
In silk individuals, the feathers do not have specific hooks with which they are fastened together. In addition, there is no solid pen shaft. As a result, the plumage becomes fluffy and soft, like silk. It seems that Chinese black silk hens are covered with soft down, the normal structure of the feather is only on the feathers of the feathers. Hens do not fade at juvenile age. Otherwise, the description and characteristics of the appearance are as follows:
- Small head
- Scallop-shaped scallop without cloves
- Small beak
- The color of the scallop and beak is bluish gray
- Earrings are poorly developed, red-gray
- Earlobes are small, turquoise
- On the head there is a lush and fluffy crest, tanks and beard
- The neck is short, stocky, giving the birds a proud bearing
- The case is strong and tightly knocked down
- The back is shortened and extended, steeply rises up
- The tail is short, hiding behind the fluffy plumage
- Feet fully covered with feathers.
Another distinctive feature of babies is the presence of five well-developed toes. Their skin is almost black, which gives the carcasses a special exotic look. The chickens have a very calm and friendly character, they can follow along with their master, sometimes even sing in an original way. It is better to consider the appearance of Chinese silk chicken in the photo and video.
Silk Chinese Chickens
Those involved in silk Chinese hens are aware of the variety of their colors. Despite the fact that the skin of the birds is black, the color of the pen can be almost anything. Is that absolutely white color is extremely rare. The most popular colors of silk Chinese chickens:
- All black plumage
- Hue lavender
In addition to the standard breed, there are dwarf ones. They weigh about half a kilogram. Dwarf chickens are also black-skinned, with fluffy plumage and approximately the same body structure as large ones.
Chinese silk hen is admired by many. But can they be useful with anything else than decorating the yard? the product characteristics of laying hens and roosters are rather weak. They are compensated by the high cost of meat, despite the fact that it is black. Here is a description of breed productivity:
- Chickens weigh -1-1.1 kg, roosters - 1.5-2 kg
- The annual number of eggs is 80-120 pieces.
- Egg mass - 35-40 g
- Egg production starts early, at 4 months
Their meat is very tasty, it contains a unique set of amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Silk chicken in China and many Asian countries is considered a delicacy. The meat and eggs of silk Chinese chickens are used for the manufacture of medicines in oriental medicine. The dark carcass is unattractive in appearance, but this is fully compensated by its taste and useful properties. Black meat is suitable for broth, it can be baked on the grill, marinated in honey juice, etc.
In addition to traditional products, fluff is also obtained from this breed. Crested fluffy hens are cut every two months. For two haircuts it is easy to get 120-130 g of products. Silky edge can be used for stuffing pillows, making yarn for knitting. the life expectancy of chickens is 5-6 years. All this time they perfectly lay eggs and breed.
Advantages, disadvantages and features of selection
Not so many farmers are engaged in Chinese silk chickens. But they get great reviews. After all, these beauties are grown not so much for meat and eggs, but for the sake of their original appearance. The advantages of the breed description include:
- Unpretentiousness in the maintenance
- Cold resistance
- Useful properties of meat and testicles
They have Chinese silk hens and their shortcomings. The disadvantages of the breed include:
- Low productivity
- High cost
Sometimes black meat is brought into shortcomings. But now it is becoming so popular that it is rather a virtue. White carcasses in stores are cheaper than black. To increase the productivity of chickens, while preserving the original plumage and dark color of the carcass, experts conduct complex breeding. Such breeds take part in it:
- Brama and Orpington - for weight gain
- Yurlovskaya breed of chickens, Leghorn, Rhode Island - to increase the number of eggs
- Araucan - increase in egg weight, the acquisition of an interesting green color
These breeds are crossed with silk chickens only once. In the future, mating occurs only between hybrid Chinese hens and males.
Despite its exotic nature, Chinese silk hens are unpretentious in content. They are able to live both in cages and on free-range or in a closed house. With a cellular content, the productivity of laying hens increases by 25-30%. Therefore, in industrial breeding they prefer this particular method of keeping.
If you decide to keep silk chickens in the house, try to arrange it properly. The area of the room should be at least 10-15 m². On one square meter, you can hold 2-4 chickens. It is best to cover the walking area with a net to protect the hens from predators. Both the premises and the pen should be kept clean. Delicate silky feathers quickly get dirty and deteriorate, especially on the paws. You can put ash containers for chickens so that they can take baths. This will not only make the plumage clean, but also protect against parasites.
The lighting in the house should be good. On 10 m² of floor, it is advisable to make one window with an area of square meter. The power of the bulbs in the house should be 60 kW. The chicken coop is regularly ventilated or a hood is installed in it. They make sure that there are no drafts. Heating is not necessary, except that the region has very cold winters. The litter is changed regularly as soon as it begins to get dirty. The thickness of the litter should be at least 10-15 cm, only the top layer can be removed when replacing. Mix shavings or straw well with ash or slaked lime to combat germs and parasites.
Chinese fluffy hens are unpretentious in food. They are small, because the cost of feed is not too large. You can feed the birds with ready-made feed, or make a menu yourself. The diet should include:
- Grain (wheat, corn, oats, barley)
- Legumes (peas, lentils)
- Vegetables (boiled potatoes, beets, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin)
- Greens or grass meal in winter
- Meat and bone meal or fish meal
- Sunflower or soybean meal
- Brewer's yeast
- Mineral additives - gravel, chalk, salt
- Vitamin supplements, e.g. Premix
It is allowed to feed chickens with kitchen waste, but always fresh. There should always be some water in the house, change it at least twice a day. All chickens are fed 3 times a day. In the morning and in the evening they give grain, and in the afternoon wet mash. It is important to carry out feeding at the same time. Separate containers are placed for wet and dry feeds, as well as for water.
Chines of the Chinese silk breed are quite resistant to various diseases. Most problems arise when improperly maintained and cared for. They can affect livestock and some infections, especially if they have arisen in neighboring chickens. The most common pathologies:
- Pulmonary diseases (pneumonia, bronchitis)
- Infections and inflammation of the digestive tract
- Skin parasites
If you properly care for Chinese silk chickens, there will be no problems. Small chickens must be vaccinated. Vaccination helps prevent the most dangerous infections that can kill an entire herd. From time to time, antibiotics or potassium permanganate can be mixed in the drink. For the prevention of helminthic infestations, birds are given antiparasitic drugs. Regular cutting and treatment of feathers with insecticides helps to combat skin parasites.
Determining the pathology alone is difficult. If you have the slightest symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian. For the treatment of diseases, immunomodulators, antibiotics, antiviral agents are used. When vitamin deficiencies are corrected, supplements are prescribed. Be sure to tell the veterinarian in detail about the diet of chickens and care for them, this will help to quickly identify the problem and cure it.
To breed chickens, you need to buy an incubation egg or form a parent flock of adult chickens. Chinese roosters are very active, so for 7-10 females you can keep one rooster. Mother hens can produce chickens up to 5-6 years old, roosters keep only 2-3 years. Chinese silk hens are excellent mother hens, with natural breeding there are no problems. Sometimes they are used to incubate eggs of other chickens and even ducks.
Chinese silk breed chickens are very sensitive to temperature extremes. Improper maintenance and care in the first weeks can lead to the loss of half the herd. If the chickens are bred without a brood hen, immediately after hatching from the eggs, they are placed in a brooder or box with a temperature of 30 degrees. Over the course of a week, it is gradually reduced by 2-3 degrees. In a month they feel good at normal room temperature.
When feeding with silk chickens, there is no problem. Like other breeds, they first eat a boiled egg and cottage cheese with herbs. Then they are given cereal, steamed grain. Boiled potatoes are added to the diet for a week, and mineral supplements for two weeks. To prevent intestinal diseases, potassium permanganate, chloramphenicol or other antibacterial drugs are mixed in water.
How much are the birds of this breed. If you decide to seriously engage in Chinese silk cuties, be prepared for the prices for them. An incubation egg costs 200-250 rubles. Daily chickens - 400-500 rubles. The price of adult hens and roosters is about 1000 rubles per head. A family of a rooster and 3-4 chickens can be bought for 4000-5000 rubles. Implementation is carried out in the suburbs, Moscow and other large cities. The breed is really royal, so its elite farms breed it.