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Brahma with Silkie Feathers....Update at 13.5 weeks.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pgpoultry, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought this 11.5 week old cockerel was just slow to feather, but it does not seem to be the case.. His blue body feathers seem now to have permanent feather bases, and are not just baby fluff. The few 'normal' feathers that he has on his wing tips are not , in fact, normal at all. They have a shallow spoon shape, with the wide part of the 'bowl' pointing upwards. The little feathers on his head, neck, and legs look fairly OK. He should be a Blue Partridge Brahma cockerel, and the stage of feathering of his contemporaries is shown by the well-feathered little guy behind.

    [​IMG]

    I have never owned a Silkie, and we have no near neighbours. My chickens are pure bred Brahmas and Naked Necks with a few crosses.

    Does anybody know how and when the genetic change to Silkie-type feathers occurred? Could this be an example of a spontaneous genetic mutation to a similar feather type?

    I guess most folk would say he should be culled...cockerel with defective feathers....but I won't. I may have to knit him a winter jumper, though! (And probably a raincoat)
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  2. Hi PG! He looks really unusual and interesting. His feathers might be silkie or
    fray --- read here and see what you think. Could be Fray or something else entirely.
    Also look for "what's wrong with their feathers" thread here.
    I'd keep him around at least until you can figure out what it is.
    Good luck with him.
    [​IMG]
    Lisa
     
  3. brahmapapa

    brahmapapa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Iwould deff. not cull him, spontaneous mutations are often the basis of entire new patterns or breeds, used correctly you could develope an entire new genetic pool. The fact that he is a partridge cock is a plus I think as partridge is the base I believe of alot of the newly developing color patterns in Brahmas. I am not well versed in genetics so I hope one of the members that are more skilled in genetics will step into this conversation with some professional advice. I will be watching to see what others say on here as this is intertesting. Good luck
     
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Lisa and Brahmapapa,I definitely won't cull him as I think he is very sweet and I want to keep him ( and I always do my best to rehome anything.)

    I don't think he has 'fray' feathers Lisa, and have since carefully looked at his feet and beak which are perfectly normal at present. He seems fit and healthy in every other way, and is the same size as his hatch mates. His appetite is excellent and he runs very fast. He cannot fly as he has no real flight feathers, but neither can any of my Brahmas as their body weight to wing size is not favourable!

    Here are a couple of additional pics where his beak and feet can be seen as can one of the downy feathers on his neck with a normal enough looking feather shaft . The downy feathers are very soft to the touch.

    [​IMG]

    In this next pic, some more normal looking feathers on the tips of his wings can be seen, but they are curved upwards from the feather shaft and not downwards.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. cubakid

    cubakid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What color is he?
     
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He is the colour usually described as 'blue'.....a gentle light grey. The pictures give a pretty accurate reproduction of his feather colour.

    For comparison here is my Blue Partridge Brahma.....he probably should look like this (minus the green eyes).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  7. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some one else posty a curly looking BO. I am not an expert on this by any means. I would imagine that most of these odd feathered breeds are accomplished by intense inbreeding and genetic alteration. The silkie and the frizzle feathers are mutated and then the birds are inbred more to accomplish a breed standard. It is likely to pop up in any breed of bird now and again.[​IMG]
     
  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am pretty opposed to in-breeiding from a genetic point of view as in-breeding has the potential for unwanted recessive genes to pop up. The parents of this fluff ball are not related...totally different blood lines...mum Gold Partridge Brahma, father Red Pyle (Splash).

    The only Blue Partridge Brahma girl I have at the moment is one that has a twisted spine who is never used for breeding. Her eggs are very easy to tell from any of the others as they are much rounder than the others, so easily separated off.

    I'm very grateful for all thoughts and suggestions that are being made, and I'm getting more baffled with every credible suggestion!
     
  9. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not mean you had inbred them. Generations ago. When creating a breed standard the birds were bred back to one another. It is how all breed traits, good and bad, are "locked" in. It is probably a genetic from generations ago. A friend of mine has a daughter. Blonde shirley temple curls and big blue eyes. The whole family both sides. Dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. Mostly Indian heritage. They had to do ALOT of research and found a great, great,great,great,great grandmother that was fair and curly! This baby is the ONLY child ever in the family to pick up her coloring and hair texture. It happens.
     
  10. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, laseterlass....you are quite right about the amount of in-breeding that went on and still goes on. If folk are trying to get specific traits, then this may be the only way. I personally avoid it as I could not cull the chicks with genetic issues. This is why I have a blind crossbreed ram, a very oddly patterned ewe, a hen with a twisted spine and too many roosters.

    So, I will post pics. of this little guy a he grows and hope that he is not carrying another gene which will mean that he won't live out a normal chicken life.
     

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