Quatre Saisons - natural sustainable farming
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Yass River Road
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E: Quatre Saisions
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The first written account of the Silkie comes from Marco Polo, who mentioned chickens with fur-like plumage in his Asian travelogues in the 13th century. Once an oddity promoted in sideshows, today, this ornamental breed is fairly common in the poultry world.

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Silkie-like feathering may appear as a recessive mutation in individuals of other varieties, but no other true breed has the Silkies unique, fluffy plumage, which has been compared to silk and to fur. Their feathers lack functioning barbicels, and are thus similar to down on other birds. The overall result is a soft, fluffy appearance.

Due to a lack of hard outer feathers, Silkies do poorly in extremes of temperature or inclement weather of any kind.

The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot (most chickens only have four). In addition to their distinctive physical characteristics, Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. Among the most docile of poultry, they are often exhibited in poultry shows, come in several colours and do well in confinement.

They are extremely friendly birds and interact very well with children. This docility can cause Silkies to be bullied by more active or aggressive birds when kept in mixed flocks.
Silkies lay a fair number of cream-colored eggs; a hen who works hard will produce only 100 eggs in an ideal year. Production is often interrupted, as the birds tend to go broody every three weeks.  Their capacity for nest sitting, which has been selectively bred out of most egg-laying fowl, is used to incubate and raise the offspring of other poultry including waterfowl like ducks and geese and game birds such as guinea fowl, quail and pheasants.  Aside from looking cute and entertaining us with their antics, egg hatching is their key role at Quatre Saisons.