daughter wants to "make a showgirl"

BUG126

Songster
11 Years
Jun 28, 2008
143
0
119
WA State
My 7 year old daughter has 1 NN pullet that we got from Ideal. We found out the other day that grandma ordered her 5 silkies. Being the little chicken enthusiast that she is, she now wants to "make a showgirl". haha! She is hoping and praying that she gets a silkie roo, but where do we go from there? Obviously they need to mate and I know how that works and we are getting her an incubator for her birthday. But what can I expect from hatchery birds? I am assuming that not everything we hatch will be a Showgirl.
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
406
421
Tempe, Arizona
First generation will not have silkie feathering. Breed back to a silkie or to each other and you should get some with silkie feathering. Probably better to use two breeding sets: 1 rooster with one group of hens and a 2nd rooster with a different set of hens. That way you can breed the offspring from these different sets together rather than breeding brother to sister.

If the naked neck has two copies of the Na gene, then all the offspring will receive one copy and have naked necks. If only one copy then you'll get about 50/50.

It takes quite a few generations to get a really good showgirl.
 

BUG126

Songster
11 Years
Jun 28, 2008
143
0
119
WA State
Thanks for the info. Maybe I will buy some showgirl eggs just to ease her desire of having one while she is working on breeding her own. I don't even want to think about how many different pens we are going to end up with, she has soo many projects in mind.
 

Kev

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
6,517
700
361
Sun City, California
Yes it is a good idea to get a showgirl.. it really does take a "few generations" to get at least decent looking ones. It's pretty straightforward to get a silky feathered, naked necked bird.. but it's the "little details" that's the tricky part. Such as good quality of silkiness, body shape(the first generations can be long bodied, too tall, struggling with skin that is too light etc).

The good news is that you really need only one showgirl at a minimum. Simply breed it with any pure silkie and you will get both silkies and showgirls out of this sort of breeding. Need new blood? Just get new silkies and repeat.. However if you want ones pure for the naked neck trait(neck is far more naked- too naked for some), you do need to breed two showgirls together.

Hatchery silkies can be cute, but don't expect birds to look very close to what's seen at shows. If health/ 'just for fun/pets' these will do very nicely. If very typy birds with very poofy feathering with good crests & leg feathering, it is definitely best to get in touch with private breeders who either show or maintain their stocks up to show standards.
 
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BUG126

Songster
11 Years
Jun 28, 2008
143
0
119
WA State
wow, lots of good info, thanks! My daughter is just doing it because she loves her chickens. Maybe when she gets old enough to do 4-H we will get some "real" chickens rather than the hatchery chickens.
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
406
421
Tempe, Arizona
Go to a local show and purchase your birds there rather than from a hatchery. There are several silkie breeders in Washington and also Oregon.

Your daughter is not to young to enter her birds in a show--it doesn't have to be 4H. The American Silkie Bantam Club has a fantastic junior program. Before and at the nationals last December many of the adult members were saying "I want to be a kid!" because they had such great prizes and activities for the kids.
 

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