- Feb 24, 2021
Does anyone know if the Exhibition line silver laced Wyandotte’s from cackle hatchery are any good? I saw they said they have foley in their line.
I know this is an old thread, but was foley able to completely breed the single comb out? Is that possible?I don't know re Cackle's claims, but I do know a good bit about Jerry Foley's line of Silver Laced Wyandottes. I would suggest instead of getting chicks from Cackle, put the money into buying a dozen chicks straight from Jerry Foley. You can find him at foleyswaterfowl.com
First, understand that any breeder is going to have some genetic quirks in his birds. Foley is no exception. He has some very good looking SLW's from which about 10% are typically excellent and about 1 in 100 will win at a large show. This is par for the course with most breeders readily stating that about 10% of their highly selected birds are show grade.
I used Foley's SLW's as repeat backcross parents in my blue egg laying Silver Laced Wyandottes. In doing so, I found a boat load of recessives that are normally hidden behind the major traits (Silver, Pattern, Columbian, Melanotic, pouffy tail). One that is difficult to get rid of is a comb modifier. Silver Laced Wyandottes should be Rose comb which means they have to have a gene for straight comb on chromosome 1 plus the inversion for rose comb on chromosome 7. Foley's birds carry a second variant that causes inverted walnut comb. I think this gene is on chromosome 1 and may replace the straight comb gene that is normally present but do not have breeding proof of this. The result of this gene is that Foley's roosters have flat rose combs caused by the inverted walnut plus rose comb inversion on chromosome 7. It is an issue where judges pay close attention to comb type. This is not a negative for pullets as the extra gene just makes their comb a tad smaller. Look very closely at the picture on Cackle's page and then look at Jerry Foley's pictures and compare them with a standard rose comb male. You should be able to see the differences.
There is one other cautionary gene which is a variant of slow feathering. Foley's birds tend to produce a lot of chicks that lose their fuzz and are half naked until adult feathers grow in. While I don't like this gene overall, it has the advantage of producing beautiful lacing on adults.
Other than the above, Foley's birds carry recessives for half a dozen feather variants that don't normally show up as they are covered by dominant genes. So long as you breed to birds that carry the same dominant genes, you won't see them.
Please note that I am NOT dissing Jerry's birds. They are exceptional, but like all breeding lines, you have to understand their genetics.
So if the single comb was bred out, does that mean the fertilization rates for those higher quality Wyandottes are low? I’ve spoken to a breeder that states to stay away from anyone claiming to not have single combs in their line, as the fertilization rate is abysmal. I’m just trying to get started with a heritage line and work on them as best I can.To my knowledge- yes.
The single combed gene is recessive, so it can show up in many lines of Wyandottes. However if you have a single combed Wyandotte hen, it’s not always a horrible thing… if you are wanting to use a rooster, but are unsure if he is homozygous rose combed, you can breed him to that single comb hen, if any of their progeny come out with single combs, you know he is a carrier of the single comb and not always the best choice for a breeder.
I have purchased “Foley line” BLR Wyandottes that never threw single combs, but have also purchased from a different breeder who carried Foley’s birds and saw one single combed cockerel out of several hundred chicks.
My guess would be getting almost any birds of a high standard breeder will result in low, or no single combed chicks.