Cuckoo Silkies- Progress on common faults


10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
SE Washington
I have a couple cuckoo silkies. I had a nice cuckoo showgirl (young roo) that I had to cull. I thought I would share some pictures of what is currently the most promising cuckoo I have ( of three cuckoos, so it's not as though I have a bunch) and the challenges of the color as I see it.

First off, the promising bird I have is considered so promising for these reasons:
1) has mostly dark skin and a mulberry comb
2) has nice black/white coloration
3) has decent toes
4) dark eyes
5) nice crest

Things I don't like:
1) has some hard feathering in the tail
2) has a couple of white feathers in the crest
3) is smaller than other birds the same age, although is vigorous and healthy
4) has pink skin on one toe
5) light beak
6) could have a wider body- although is still young and might fill out




I need to get more pictures.

I have been told most people with cuckoo silkies still struggle with the skin/comb color as well as the beak/eye color. Are you working with cuckoo silkies? If so, what obstacles are you encountering?
I wasn't planning on working with cuckoos, but the breeder I got some of my silkie stock from gave me a nice cuckoo roo and a couple chicks because she wanted someone else to have her cuckoo line in case she had a catastrophe.

According to conversations with her, one struggle with the cuckoo coloration is skin color. From watching these guys, I think you can also add beak color and possibly eye color. She has also seen white feathers in some of her cuckoos. I should get a whole body picture, as when I say 'hard feathers in tail'- there are a few but not terribly many.

I think this is a pullet. I hope to pair her with a typey black roo in hopes of improving beak/skin color and hard tail feathers.
wow great project and I think one of the best I have seen so far.
Cuckoo is hard with silkies I thought of trying it but dont have the patience lol
Cuckoo Silkies are wishful thinking, you are producing a genetic conflict as the barring gene removes pigment from the skin,comb etc. You are trying to produce the require pigment by the use of Fm & id+, and at the same time removing it by the use of barring/cuckoo.
You will always live in hope with the young cockerels,they will always be darker until about 12 weeks ,then male hormones kick in, pullets will always be darker.

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