Karen.......this is not the dog world........lol.
You got that right, Walt. Poultry is much harder than the dog world. I find that out daily. I had thought the BOSS and silk were just part of regular show grooming like oil on the combs and legs and such. Guess I need to re-think that too. Sometimes I wonder if I am ever going to land on a real answer instead of ones which keep needing re-examining because I am a newcomer.
Well, ok then, how does one breed gloss into feathers on white birds? I had thought "gloss" was part of "environment", at least on white birds.
You are the first dog person to agree with me that poultry are difficult. Wow!!
Selective breeding will do that for you. Next time you see some white Rocks, Leghorns whatever in a show, you will be able to tell which ones have a natural gloss and which don't have a shine at all. More of a dull white. It is most evident in the male and the males hackle and saddle feathers, but can be seen in the females as well.
The environment is also a factor as you noted.... and to be fair we here in norcal are blessed with a climate that makes a lot of things easier. I get cool and sometimes damp weather even during summer mornings and evenings which helps with feather quality. In some areas of the US the weather is so hot it dries out the feathers and will sometimes even curl the feathers so that they somewhat resemble a frizzle. The don't look exactly like frizzles, but the feathers start to curl.
When do you get your birds?