Iridescent blue on Silkie's ear?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just noticed that my 7-month old white Silkie has bright blue spots on either side of her head near the little tufts. I don't know how I missed seeing them before.

    Is there some purpose for them, like false eyes to confuse predators?

    Do all color of Silkies have them?
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    My little "Cousin It" also has them, he is a splash, I got it from Catdance Silkies. I love the color of it. Pretty huh.
    Michele
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    do you mean the ear lobes, or is it the feathers? Here is my showgirl rooster showing off the ear lobes.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I have blues that have it [​IMG] [​IMG] Best pictures I could find. Mine are very fluffy around there, so sometimes I don't even notice. Maybe that's what happened to you :) I have a buff silkie rooster, and his earlobes are a deep burgundy colour with a blue overtone. [​IMG]
     
  5. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, here's a pic:[​IMG]

    But why? Usually there's a purpose for things like this in nature. I'm baffled by this one!
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Probably the same reason why my mallard mix duck has a shiny head. It's weird, but why think too deep into it? It's pretty :) [​IMG]
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Are you asking the question of HOW this occurs genetically? Or the WHY of its purpose? If the later, no one can do anything but speculate, and some will always find reasons; others will deny that there are reasons; it is a philosophical debate. For the former, I think there is some discussion on it at The-Coop.

    As to whether it DOES anything (benefits the bird in some manner), I don't think so--especially not in bearded silkies where the muffs (NOT tufts) often significantly cover the earlobes, and you have to search through the fluffy feathering to find the lobes.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    :thumbsup
     
  9. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    What is The-Coop?

    I'm curious as to both why and how.

    I could see how a shiny green head of a mallard would actually serve as camouflage when the duck is in water or near a riverbank.

    But iridescent blue? On a bird that is already so bright white that she basically advertises her availability to the neighborhood hawk? I'm thinking that Silkies are originally from Asia - maybe from someplace where these colors are useful to them?
     
  10. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Here is my speculative guess as to why and how Silkies have blue ear lobes: After the Southeast Asians and the Chinese domesticated the chicken the blue pigment gene popped up as a random mutation (who knows if it was somehow linked with the Silkie feather gene) and the people raising them thought this was really cool. Thus they decided to breed these funny and adorable looking chickens to get more funny and adorable chickens that looked like them. In other words, the "purpose" of the blue skin is that people think it is pretty. Many chickens carry a gene for a lighter color ear lobe, so that combined with the blue pigment make some silkies' earlobes especially pretty (if you can see them through all the feathers).
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

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