Lemon the Duck

Silky Ducks
Laura Backman
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Silky ducks...

...Silky ducks are one of the newly developed breeds with many problems and are not considered heritage ducks. If they were heritage ducks they would be able to hatch on their own without any assistance...They are normally weak at hatch and ducklings dehydrate rapidly....Unfortunately when breeding for one specific trait you loose the good traits such as hardiness and vigor and can magnify the bad like weakness, bill deformities, blindness and leg problems, all seen commonly in the Silky ducks. Silky ducks were bred from a single sport bird making their genetic lines form a bottleneck and thus they are not a sustainable breed.

We have a flock of 22 Silky ducks of all color varieties. I have found them to be the weakest of the bantam duck breeds. They are really sensitive to water and food born pathogens. They also take a long time to get started sometimes, even lacking the instinct to feed. The ones that do make it to adulthood are wonderful little pets. Very confident and personable. You just need to make sure their water and food is impeccably clean, particularly in the first three weeks of life. The White Silky ducks seem to be the weakest and the Mallard and Black the strongest. Many people are now out-crossing the breed, but because this is going to flood the market with hybrids that are far from what the original breeder had in mind, many of these birds are starting from square one in attempts to standardize the breed. Keep your Silky Ducks on a High protein starter for about three and a half weeks before switching to a grower feed, this will keep them growing strong and fast and they will be more able to withstand any infections or pathogens.

Silky ducks are notorious for being unable to break free of their tuff shells. Nine times out of ten they have to be helped out. Humidity levels have to be near perfect throughout the incubation process and the breeding birds must not be fed a calcium rich diet. 

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