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albino chicken - Page 3

post #21 of 33

Albinos need to be protected from sunlight as the lack of protective pigment makes them prone to cancer. So no free range albino chickens. I read that the yellow on their legs & in the egg yolks is lutien which comes from what they eat, especially corn, so maybe an albino chicken would still be yellow. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

post #22 of 33

I would love to know more about the albino pullet on the last page-health, lifespan, what the eggs & offspring looked like!

Edited by Catharina - 6/5/16 at 11:53am
post #23 of 33
Just hatched this silkie from my black pen. Missing all pigment. No mistaking seeing as is supposed to have black skin and even that is missing.

Have had this once before too.

Last time someone who purchased silkie eggs from me thought perhaps it was cross red but nope just a sweet albino.

post #24 of 33

The eyeballs look pretty dark. Albinos have very light eyeballs,  the difference can and often is obvious before the eyes are open, such as albino vs non albino newborn rats, mice, etc. Are the eyes as red as on chicks from the first page:


If the eyes aren't red or pink, the chick more likely is simply missing the Fibromelanotic gene for black skin.This happens not so rarely. Aside from the gene making the skin organs etc dark, they are a white skinned breed. White skin also makes for white beaks, the legs probably will take on a light blue color.


White feathers is due to recessive white, these can pop up from any color silkies.

Edited by Kev - 12/30/16 at 8:15am
post #25 of 33
Sorry I might have misunderstood but you said they are a white skinned breed. Silkies have black skin.
post #26 of 33

All chickens are either white or yellow skinned.


Silkies are a white skinned breed that also have the Fibromelanotic gene, which turns their skin and various other organs dark- bones, muscle, etc.  It is a mutation that hyper-pigments all connective tissue.


In other words..  "remove" the Fibromelanotic gene from a silkie, it will be a white skinned chicken.   The dark skin feature is a separate mutant gene thrown onto them.


Silkies with normal skin color do pop up now and then and not terribly rare event either. In any color silkie too- partridge, black, white etc.

post #27 of 33
Interesting. you certainly seem to have your head wrapped around the genetics. Wish I understood them better. This chick was also hatched at the same time as the white one from the same nest in the black pen. Unfortunately it passed away but I would still like to know your opinion on the genetics side of things as to its colouring.

post #28 of 33

Sorry for that one passing on.


It's a black(feather color) and is lacking the Fibromelanotic gene. The white tips on toes and white parts on the beak plus large areas of white down are clues to that..


Since you got two.. might want to do inspection of the breeders?  Easiest ways to check is by lifting the wings to look at the "wing pits" where feathers are thinner in number and also look at the vent.  If the vent lips are flesh colored, it is lacking Fibro.  


A common(and less embarrassing, ha!) hint of a black skinned bird not being pure for Fibro is the insides of their mouths a flesh color instead of black or greyish.  This is obvious even on day old chicks. However, checking the vent and armpits is much clearer sign of the bird having or lacking Fibro.


Fibro is a dominant gene, which means in crosses or if both parents have it then the expectation for all chicks to show dark skin.  However,  if it happens both the parents are not pure- for the Fibro gene, then a percentage of the chicks will be lacking the Fibro gene. Those will show "normal" skin- either white or yellow, as on any chicks of other breeds.


Those chicks are evidence the father and mother either are not pure for Fibro. It happens more often than most realize. It is also relatively easy to miss, as the skin is not terribly easy to see on silkies and  the black feather color has a side effect of pigmenting the legs and beaks(like on australorps- those definitely do not have Fibro) so a black silkie lacking Fibro would look reasonably black all over, unless the comb got quite large, that big red non-Fibro comb would be hard to miss. 


The other thing about Fibro being a dominant gene, if both parents have it but are not pure for it... 75% of the chicks will come out black skinned. Which makes it look like a normal hatch.. however there is a 25% chance for normal skins(lacking Fibro).


Add to that, if they are in a group of say, a non pure Fibro rooster with one non pure hen along two or three pure hens, nearly all chicks would come out black skinned because of that 75% example above, plus those pure hens making all of their own chicks 100% black skinned, despite the rooster.  This breeding group will make the normal skinned chicks seem to be an "extremely rare occurrence"  when this kind of thing is quite normal and expected if the genetics are known.

Edited by Kev - 12/30/16 at 9:56pm
post #29 of 33
Is a non fibro the same as carrying dominant white gene. I am interested in breeding paints and own a few paint hens so curious as to whether locating the mother of these babies should be put in the paint pen or whether she is something all together different.
post #30 of 33

Different/uinrelated things.  Fibro has to do with connective tissue pigmenation,  dominant white mainly has to do with affecting black pigments on the feathers.


If the parents are exceptional or useful in other regards, go ahead with the awareness that culling and care in picking out the next generations is necessary.  It's the challenge in all breeds, not just silkies.


Paint is a new-ish color and since dominant white was not traditionally present in silkies, outcrossing was necessary. So, a few birds missing fibro in this kind of project is almost inevitable but can be dealt with. 


Good luck, it's a very nice color on the silkies. :)




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