Getting Green-Egg Laying Bantams

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Wishapup, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    At the moment, I have one Easter Egger hen, who lays a nice blue/green egg. I also have a line of Silkie/bantam crosses who lay miniature white eggs, possibly with a creamier shade. I was thinking of crossing them as an experiment to see what I would get.

    Do I have a probably of getting medium-sized birds, some hens of which lay green eggs? I know the blue egg gene can be carried by either parent and is dominant. If I got a green-egg-laying medium-sized hen, could I then cross her back to a bantam rooster to get even smaller green-egg-laying hens?

    These are the two eggs compared, from the birds I would be crossing (the rooster would be a full sister to the white egg laying hen). The colour is a little off in these pictures:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Bantam EEs are a fun bird to have, the small blue/green eggs are cute. ime, most of the time with standard x bantam crosses the chicks seem take more after moms size, probably because of the egg size, (bigger eggs can hatch bigger chicks). But, still if you cross your standard EE x a bantam roo, you should wind up with some chicks that will be smaller than the EE, and at least half the pullets should lay blue/green, (they all will if your girl happens to carry 2 blue-egg genes). If you cross one of those smaller blue/green egg layers back to another bantam, you should get half blue/green egg layers, hopefully some smaller yet, and so on.
    Quite a few of the big hatcheries now carry bantam EEs by the way, if you would rather go that way for bantam EEs faster.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    Thanks! I would like to create some myself, if I can, as a special project.

    My EE I believe is crossbred, so I think she would carry only one blue egg gene. So 50%. Can EEs have two blue egg genes?
     
  4. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    I plan to use my broody Silkie cross, the one in my avatar, to hatch some of the "experiment" eggs!
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Silkies make great mothers, bet she will be more than happy to help hatch the eggs for your experiment. EEs can have two blue egg genes if they happen to get one from each parent. But most EEs are crosses where a blue/green egg layer was crossed with one who laid brown or white eggs so a lot of them can only wind up with one.
     
  6. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    Yes, that's what I was thinking. Her egg seems sort of greenish so that probably indicates a brown egg gene. But I don't know how to compare it to an actual green or blue egg.

    The Silkie mix is 6 years old or so and I've never let her hatch anything, but I don't think it's too late to try! She goes broody constantly.

    I had golf balls in nest boxes to encourage my 3 new pullets (RIR, EE, BR) and I had to remove them today because all three Silkie cross hens stopped laying and were eagerly trying to hatch the golf balls [​IMG] They ruffled up and protested when I took them away.
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    If you are really particular, the Araucana Club store does have a blue/green egg color reference chart ... http://www.araucana.net/Araucana_store.htm From what they say, there are so many genes that affect or are responsible for brown, that once you have it, it is very difficult to breed it back out.
    I would think that a silkie of any age would be more than happy to try hatching eggs, or golf balls, they are persistent aren't they. Looks like your EE needs to lay some eggs so the silkies have something to do :)
     
  8. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    Interesting! My Silkie will probably enjoy it!

    I am puzzled as to one thing. I can start out with 8 eggs in the first cross --- all should be medium-sized, half carrying blue laying gene, half hens. So I should get approx. 2 blue laying hens. These two I can pick out and cross back to white egg carrying bantam roosters...here's where it gets tricky.

    My thought was to hatch 16 eggs in the second cross...half of which will carry the blue egg gene/half white egg, half of which will be bantam, 25% large, 25% medium size. Of those 8 carrying blue, there should be 4 bantams. 2 roosters, 2 hens. I can pick out the 2 bantam, blue laying hens easily enough once they begin laying.

    However, I will have 4 bantam roosters in total. 2 will carry white. 2 will carry blue. How will I determine which carry blue vs. white, since I want to keep a blue carrying rooster?

    This is also assuming all eggs hatch and assuming ratios of hens and roosters are 1:1, or with 1:3 at worst I should still get at least 1 hen with the right qualities. And I may not be doing this correctly.[​IMG]
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    You can't tell positively what one of those roosters is carrying except by test breeding him and seeing what his daughters lay. You can pick roosters with peacombs to increase your odds since it is closely linked with the blue egg gene and usually inherited together if a bird has both (have seen various numbers for the odds they are not, but seems to be less than 10%). Saying that, I have had plenty of hatchery EEs or my own crosses with peacombs that lay plain eggs, and my own with modified single combs that lay colored, so no 100% guarantees with that.
    Sizes do tend to trend smaller, and you should be getting some smaller than the larger parent to keep breeding from with any luck. Remember odds are just that, each chick is an individual event and you may wind up with a hatch with ten roosters and no hens... my theory is always if I am trying to hatch something specific, the more eggs I hatch the better, but I have no problem eating my mistakes :)
     
  10. Wishapup

    Wishapup Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    34
    141
    May 1, 2013
    Canada
    Yep, I've had disappointing rates of roosters and hens. The last 5 Silkie mix eggs I hatched were 4 cockerels!

    Thank you for all the information!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by