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{Silkie Crossbreed Breeding Project Idea}

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Is the Silkie feathering a dominant trait? For example, if I were to experiment with breeding a normal feathered breed with a Silkie, would the offspring take after the Silke parent?

I was thinking about playing with the Silkie feathering in experimental crosses. I would need to buy a Silkie chicken, my sex-links killed my only one last year, but I will not bother getting another one if the gene is very recessive.

Thanks,
-Kim


Edited by Wolf-Kim - 4/14/08 at 6:44pm
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post #2 of 32

Silky feathering is an autosomal(simple) recessive. Crosses result in birds with normal feathering, however if you breed them together, 25% will have silky feathering..  or 50% if crossed to a silky feathered bird.

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

Okay, thank you! So they are completely recessive. So for example:
f=Silkie Feathering
F=Normal Feathering

F1= ff X FF {full silkie X full phoenix } --> F1= Ff

And if I were to breed the F1s together, it would be:

F2s = Ff X Ff

Or if I were to breed the F1(Ff) back to the Silkie(ff), it would be:

Ff X ff

This is the easiest way for me to understand this. It is how I understand the Blue gene.

Thanks for all your help!
-Kim

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post #4 of 32

No problem. You got it right.

Ff x Ff= FF, Ff and ff. (1/4 ff)

Ff x ff= 1/2 Ff and 1/2 ff

The label for silky feathering is h for hookless. This due to the feathers not having barbs so they cannot stick together. Using Ff will work fine, if used consisently.

I was almost tempted to start a breeding program introducing silky into the phoenix so those things would not be able to jump the fence into the neighbor's.

post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

I was playing with the idea today of breeding a Phoenix(or other longtail) to the Silkie and trying to create a bird with the prouder carriage and longer tail of the Phoenix and the Silkie-type feathering.

I love the proud carriage and longer tails of the Long tailed breeds and the Silkie feathering is very unique "furry" quality. I just thought it would be a neat idea.

It will probably just go down in my "idea" list and who knows if it will be attempted or not. LOL. This breeding project would take quite a while just because I can assume that the long-tails are reccessive as well and trying to keep the longtail and trying to get the Silkie feathering would make it all the harder. Trying to breed for two recessive without compromising body type(Yikes!).

I may try a couple limited generations and see how it goes. It's not something I'm terribly worried about, not on "high priority" like my other projects.

You have any suggestions for this project? Any suggested longtails with a more dominant longtail? What would be the best colors from both breeds(Silkie and longtail) to use to get a uniform colored cross?

Thanks for your help!
-Kimberly

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post #6 of 32

Absolutely nothing wrong with imaging or trying.  smile 

First: I am not real familiar with the genetics for long tails..  someone else probably will have more information.. but in case here goes: the long tails are due to at least two genes(multiple sickles, saddles and non-molting).. three ideally but apparently it's very uncommon to find stock with all long tail genes present.  Anyways, the long sickles and saddles are more like semi-dominant.. crosses can grow sickles of longer than normal length not as long as on the really good ones.  So you are probably most likely to see roosters with fair tail length in the F1.. such as nearly or "just" touching the ground. If that makes you happy then your goal will be relatively easy. If you expect "tail draggers" then that's bit of a challenge but possible.

With projects like this, it's much easier to make progress by using excellent longtail stock. I probably would have done something like silkie x longtail then maybe  F1 x F1 and breed the silky feathered  F2 back to a pure longtail.. and/or tried my luck at a F1 x pure.. sometimes you can tell which ones are Ff by their looser and softer feathers, not very reliable though.

Color is very much a personal taste. I imagine black silkie & sumatra would be an easy one for a solid colored goal.. however it could be possible even those would be plagued with off color on hackles and saddles. Those would also have the extra feature of having black skin, all-black chickens have been getting a lot of attention lately. A white silkie and recessive white longtail would be another easy one.. probably the easiest one for color in fact.

Other possible challenges are the crest and leg feathering genes.. if your goal is for a crest-less and clean leg, they will be a challenge. Crest is relatively easy to remove from a line(when it's gone, it's gone forever), however leg feathering can be a pain as there are two semi dominant plus a recessive genes for leg feathering. If you like the leg feathering then this will be no challenge..  LOL

post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

One more quick question! Which would be better: Silkie cock over a Phoenix hen or a Phoenix cock over a Silkie hen?

I'm leaning towards a Silkie cock over the Phoenix hen. Just because I think a Phoenix cock may be a little rough on a Silkie and I already have access to a Phoenix hen. A Silkie hen may also be very prone to stop production to go broody, which may interrupt the project periodically. (you know how those broody lil puff balls are..LOL)

-Kim

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post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

I think I would aim for crest-less and clean-legged. When I imagine it, I see basically a Standard Longtailed fowl with the only difference being the hookless feathering. LOL. It would look like a long-"haired" chicken.

I may play with it, the more I think about it, the more I think I may get a single pair(1 silkie & 1 phoenix) going and see how it goes. One pair shouldn't be too much of a hassle, especially if I control my urge to put ALL the eggs in the bator. LOL. We all know how hard that is!!

-Kim

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post #9 of 32

I don't remember if any of the longtail genes are sex linked.  If none are, then it doesn't matter very much which parent is which.. however if some of the genes for the good tails are sex linked, then you either breed only the sons from a silkie x phoneix hen or choose whichever bird from phoneix x silkie cross.

Even if a phoenix rooster is rough on hens, you can just put him in  with the hens for a hour or two then kick him out..

post #10 of 32

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Edited by Frozen Feathers - 4/14/08 at 7:07pm
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