BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Chicken Breeds › General breed discussions & FAQ › Creating a Standard-Sized, Sex-Linked Silkie?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Creating a Standard-Sized, Sex-Linked Silkie?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi there everybody! I'm thinking I may have found an interesting project I may begin working on next spring, luck willing.

It occurred to me recently that if there was such a thing as a Large, Sex-Linked Silkie, it would probably be pretty popular - I encounter so many people who want Silkies, but, A. Do not want to risk getting a cockerel, and B. Are scared of putting a bantam bird with their standard flocks. I think that if these were created, it could result in a lot of popularity! Done correctly, of course.

Now if anyone could correct me if I'm wrong - but I'd be attempting to create a Black Sex Link, most likely. They seem more fool proof than reds, as some reds are not really sexable until they are several weeks old. But the Barred dot on males' heads is nearly always visible at 1 day old, correct?

My current plan is to start out the female line by using Barred Cochin cocks over Black Silkie hens to get a sort of large Barred Silkie and then of course improving the type (beard, crest, toes, skin color, and getting them as big as possible, etc) for a couple generations by selecting the best offspring, and breeding them back to Silkies to get that recessive silkie feather to show. The male line I'm not quite as clear on. I know I want to use a Red Cochin cock (potentially New Hampshire cock, if I can't find a standard Red Cochin) but I'm not very clear on the color of Silkie henI want to use. What will allow the red to become the main color showing in the line?

Any tips on doing this? Opinions on how many original birds to use? I'm thinking 2 cocks and 3-4 unrelated hens for each hen/cock line. Once I get into multiple generations, how much inbreeding is too much inbreeding?

Please keep in mind that I'm not going after any kind of show quality bird. I'm just looking to get a nice fluffy bird with Silkie characteristics (dark skin, 5 toes, beard/muffs/crest, etc.), but significantly larger - Cochin sized - and of course, Sex Linked. It just makes me sad how many people want Silkies but don't get them because they are worried about roosters or them getting bullied, and I'd like to be able to offer people a nice pet quality solution to this, preferably with a decent laying ability to boot.

My rough draft of the bird is this: Cocks, 8-10 pounds. Silkie feathers, crest, muff/beard, plum skin, 5 toes, heavily feathered feet, walnut combed (or maybe Rose combed, I rather prefer the Rose comb), Silkie-type body shape. I'm hoping to create a decently heavy-bodies bird, since males will probably ultimately be used for meat. And of course, the lovely Silkie temperament that the original stock is known for. Color would be of course Black Sex Linked male, so a sort of muddled Cuckoo with touches of red? Hens: 6-8 pounds. Silkie feathers, crest, muff/beard, plum skin, 5 toes, heavily feathered feet, Walnut comb (again, possibly rose), and Silkie body shape. Decent layers, 3-4 eggs per week, white shells, nice sized. And of course a lovely calm temperament. Color should be the Black Sex Link type, black with a red hackle and upper breast.

And of course parent lines would have the same characteristics, except cocks would be a nice mahogany red and hens would be Barred/Cuckoo.
Edited by QueenMisha - 10/27/15 at 8:24pm

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #2 of 8

How about starting with cuckoo silkies instead of black? That could get you closer to your barred female line. You'd just need the larger size bird like the Cochin to breed up the size. I'm not sure how a large Cochin over a silkie hen would work, though? Sounds kinda scary :ep

 

 

For your male line, I'd say stick with Red birds. Red cochins, do silkies come in pure Red? I'm not sure. Another thought is to use a buff male line. Buff over barred makes a really pretty sex link hen and I think they're easy to sex at hatch.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post
 

How about starting with cuckoo silkies instead of black? That could get you closer to your barred female line. You'd just need the larger size bird like the Cochin to breed up the size. I'm not sure how a large Cochin over a silkie hen would work, though? Sounds kinda scary :ep

 

 

For your male line, I'd say stick with Red birds. Red cochins, do silkies come in pure Red? I'm not sure. Another thought is to use a buff male line. Buff over barred makes a really pretty sex link hen and I think they're easy to sex at hatch.


Thanks for the input! I was originally gonna start with Cuckoo Silkies, but had crossed them off my list since they seemed pretty rare, and Black would have been the easiest to use in lieu of a Cuckoo. However, just today I contacted my local Silkie "dealer" (she's got the best birds in the state, imo!) and as it would turn out... not only is she pretty low on Blacks, but she's actually got a good stock of Cuckoos on hand! I told her I can't buy any right now since I've got a trip coming up, but she said she has a bunch of chicks that will be available right around the time I can get them in Nov. Fingers crossed!

 

Yeah, given the size difference it's definitely gonna be a challenge to make sure the Cochin boys don't hurt the Silkies. However I think because they are more frame than meat they should be OK... now if it was a Cornish roo or something, that would be a different story! Plus at least one of my Cochin cocks is going to be hatchery stock (a friend has a young one already on hand), so he won't be the omg-crazy-humongous-fluffball size a breeder Cochin would reach - a bit easier on the hens. Although I do think I'll be using a breeder stock bird for my second Barred Cochin cock, to help get that nice big size. Maybe I could use the breeder stock roo for second-gen crosses produced by the hatchery stock male, since the females will be bigger than the original stock?

 

I'm thinking I'd like to stick to a straight red for my male like, but the availability of those colors... it looks like it's gonna be a lot of searching before I get them! There seem to be very, very few standard sized Red Cochins, and although I have seen Red Silkies before, my "Silkie Dealer" doesn't have any pure reds. She does have Buff though - Maybe use a combination of Red Cochin x Buff Silkie and weed out the lighter colored offspring/breed back to red repeatedly?

 

Buff would produce an interesting color of Sex Link though... they should show as a mostly black bird with leakage around the hackle, just light a BSL that uses a red male, right? That would be very pretty, with that nice buff-gold color around the hackle/upper breast. If I do go with Buff I'm going to be shaking my head at myself though - I actually got a Buff Cochin cockerel as my "free rare extra" in my MMH order this year... aaaaaand then I caponized him last month. :rolleyes: Figures.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #4 of 8

The sex links I've seen with a buff Orp cock over a barred Rock hen have a lot more buff color than the traditional Red over Barred hens have red. Basically the front half of the hen is buff/gold, kind of speckling toward black on the back half. Very colorful birds. The buff seems to "compete" with the black more than the red does, for lack of a better term.

 

Most of the red x buff crosses I've seen have wound up an orange-ish color. I guess breeding them back to red would deepen that shade, it would just be another step.

 

I think hatchery stock large fowl Cochins would be plenty big enough. You're not trying to breed a giant breed, just a standard large fowl size, right? Actually, some hatchery silkies I've seen are pretty darn big, honestly, so maybe getting your hands on some of those wouldn't be a bad thing.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post
 

The sex links I've seen with a buff Orp cock over a barred Rock hen have a lot more buff color than the traditional Red over Barred hens have red. Basically the front half of the hen is buff/gold, kind of speckling toward black on the back half. Very colorful birds. The buff seems to "compete" with the black more than the red does, for lack of a better term.

 

Most of the red x buff crosses I've seen have wound up an orange-ish color. I guess breeding them back to red would deepen that shade, it would just be another step.

 

I think hatchery stock large fowl Cochins would be plenty big enough. You're not trying to breed a giant breed, just a standard large fowl size, right? Actually, some hatchery silkies I've seen are pretty darn big, honestly, so maybe getting your hands on some of those wouldn't be a bad thing.


Wow, that's an interesting color. Part of me wants to say "Just make a Buff line and a Red line and use both!" but... even I don't have that much room. Maybe, maybe once I get my turkeys and guineas moved into their own pen but... not right now, nope. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

 

I wonder if the orange would breed true, after a couple generations back and forth between the red and buff cross? It'd be interesting to see if something could be produced halfway between the standard BSL color and the Buff BSL form you described above. More of an orangey color, more leakage than the regular BSL since you might get more of that "fight" like the Buff produces. Maybe something to consider if I can get my hands on Red Silkies and/or Cochins. If I can't find them by the time I get my Cuckoo Silkies sometimes next month, I'll probably go with a straight Buff line, but maybe I'll luck out and find one or two to experiment with to see how the color goes.

 

Hatchery Cochins do get decently large, I'm just thinking the extra "oomph" of a huge bird might make breeding up in size easier. And honestly, the more I refine my rough draft of the breed, the more I think of them as being somewhere between large fowl and giant. Maybe another "shoe size" or two above a hatchery Cochin, so to speak. I definitely want to emphasize the "extremely large fluffy creature with lots of back and little or no discernible legs" features that both Silkies and Cochins possess, which is part of why I think I want to use at least one or two breeder stock Cochins - the hatchery ones seem to have legs miles long, at least compared to the breeder birds. Some hatcheries produce something that reminds one of a Brahma with bigger feet.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #6 of 8

Here's one of the threads with some good pics of the buff sex links

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/229407/buff-orpington-x-barred-rock-results-pics


Edited by donrae - 10/29/15 at 12:16pm

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

Here's one of the threads with some good pics of the buff sex links

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/229407/buff-orpington-x-barred-rock-results-pics

Thanks for the link! Interesting colors. Still so much Buff color though...

I got a Red Silkie (from Red Partridge Silkie lines) cockerel who arrived at the post office today, I'm gonna try and use him as much as I can in my male lines, crossbreeding with LF Buff and (hopefully, if I can find them) LF Red Cochins, without ending up with everybody being cousins. Hopefully I can aqcuire more Reds in the future but for now he'll be an awesome addition to the program.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #8 of 8
Pictures?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General breed discussions & FAQ
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Chicken Breeds › General breed discussions & FAQ › Creating a Standard-Sized, Sex-Linked Silkie?