How prevelant are single combs on silkies? And I have one that I think is a male and he has just a small protrusion on his silkie comb that seems like a bit of a single type on top. He is 10 weeks approximately. Is this normal? Can he grow it out?
the single comb is recessive which means both his mother and father carried it. By using this roo for breeding, you will only pass the genes on and all of his offspring will carry the gene for it if not show it depending on the hen he is bred to. It is a breed DQ so keep him as a pet, sell him as a pet, but I personally wouldn't use him for breeding.
if there is a ridge, it is a single comb. if your roo and hen carry the gene, you can have a 50% chance each baby will have a single comb versus a walnut, you also have the chance of just justting a pea or rose comb too.
Single combs aren't all that rare in all stocks, including show stocks. Often, it's either not noticed due to being mostly obscured by the crest... or nobody wants to admit it, lest people think their stock ain't so pure. Elephant in the room, basically.
There is another problem here, that isn't discussed much also. Huge majority of silkies actually have a modified rosecomb that looks like a walnut comb. (this in itself is not a problem, as they do look very convincingly like a true walnut on many good roosters)
The reason I bring that up is because roosters pure for rosecombs have much lower fertility than all roosters of other comb types- including rosecombed roosters NOT pure for rose comb. A rosecombed rooster with one copy of single comb is going to be far more fertile than a rooster pure for rosecomb.
So the overall effect is that those not-pure roosters are going to seemingly prove themselves as great studs and producing lots of fertile eggs. This has the effect of spreading that single comb floating around mostly hidden. I agree though with above advice, it would be preferable not to use any single combed birds for breeding. Increases the chance of it showing up again quite a bit if those birds are used.
It is strange, that in comparsion other rose combed breeders are much more open about it- single comb showing up in a Wyandotte is generally regarded as no surprise. Not desired, but understood as result of the pure rosecomb rooster fertility problem.
3/12 is about what you'd expect to get when breeding parents each carrying the gene for single comb. 25% would have a walnut comb (no copies of the gene), 50% would have a walnut comb (and one copy of the gene), and 25% would have single combs (two copies). If you bred the single combed birds to silkies with walnut combs...if they had one copy of the gene, you would get 50% with one copy (walnut comb), and 50% with a single comb. If you bred them to birds without the gene, you would get 100% with walnut combs, carrying one copy of the gene.
This is so correct too. To admit you produce single combs in silkies is very taboo. Best thing to do is cull or pet out all the singles that are produced no matter how good their other qualities are. Of course it is up to you personally if you want to use the roo. If he has something your hens are lacking (and they have correct combs) by all means you can use him, but you will have more of a chance of his offspring also being single combed.