Hi there everybody! I'm thinking I may have found an interesting project I may begin working on next spring, luck willing. It occurred to me recently that if there was such a thing as a Large, Sex-Linked Silkie, it would probably be pretty popular - I encounter so many people who want Silkies, but, A. Do not want to risk getting a cockerel, and B. Are scared of putting a bantam bird with their standard flocks. I think that if these were created, it could result in a lot of popularity! Done correctly, of course. Now if anyone could correct me if I'm wrong - but I'd be attempting to create a Black Sex Link, most likely. They seem more fool proof than reds, as some reds are not really sexable until they are several weeks old. But the Barred dot on males' heads is nearly always visible at 1 day old, correct? My current plan is to start out the female line by using Barred Cochin cocks over Black Silkie hens to get a sort of large Barred Silkie and then of course improving the type (beard, crest, toes, skin color, and getting them as big as possible, etc) for a couple generations by selecting the best offspring, and breeding them back to Silkies to get that recessive silkie feather to show. The male line I'm not quite as clear on. I know I want to use a Red Cochin cock (potentially New Hampshire cock, if I can't find a standard Red Cochin) but I'm not very clear on the color of Silkie henI want to use. What will allow the red to become the main color showing in the line? Any tips on doing this? Opinions on how many original birds to use? I'm thinking 2 cocks and 3-4 unrelated hens for each hen/cock line. Once I get into multiple generations, how much inbreeding is too much inbreeding? Please keep in mind that I'm not going after any kind of show quality bird. I'm just looking to get a nice fluffy bird with Silkie characteristics (dark skin, 5 toes, beard/muffs/crest, etc.), but significantly larger - Cochin sized - and of course, Sex Linked. It just makes me sad how many people want Silkies but don't get them because they are worried about roosters or them getting bullied, and I'd like to be able to offer people a nice pet quality solution to this, preferably with a decent laying ability to boot. My rough draft of the bird is this: Cocks, 8-10 pounds. Silkie feathers, crest, muff/beard, plum skin, 5 toes, heavily feathered feet, walnut combed (or maybe Rose combed, I rather prefer the Rose comb), Silkie-type body shape. I'm hoping to create a decently heavy-bodies bird, since males will probably ultimately be used for meat. And of course, the lovely Silkie temperament that the original stock is known for. Color would be of course Black Sex Linked male, so a sort of muddled Cuckoo with touches of red? Hens: 6-8 pounds. Silkie feathers, crest, muff/beard, plum skin, 5 toes, heavily feathered feet, Walnut comb (again, possibly rose), and Silkie body shape. Decent layers, 3-4 eggs per week, white shells, nice sized. And of course a lovely calm temperament. Color should be the Black Sex Link type, black with a red hackle and upper breast. And of course parent lines would have the same characteristics, except cocks would be a nice mahogany red and hens would be Barred/Cuckoo.