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Question on Showgirl Genetics :D

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by super_chicken_man, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. super_chicken_man

    super_chicken_man New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Hello from un-sunny England!
    I'm a poultry keeper desperately trying to get a hold onto the Showgirl breed. As you're probably aware it's not standardised and hardly known over here. There are a sparce, in fact only one keeper i know of, who breeds these, and nobody is willing to give any advice. Actually many people are quite against it for some unknown reason [​IMG] Funny considering people are quite happy to make new colours.. I supose they are quite odd.
    Anyway, i've got some first generations just currently hatching out. I crossed a white bantam bearded silkie cockeral to a black naked neck bantam hen. I chose bearded just for preference i think they look cute! The only trouble is i'm sure the black skin is sex linked by using silkie male to naked neck female,, but i don't know which way round it is! Is it that the female chicks come out black skinned or the males? And does sex linked work by using a silkie female to naked neck male?
    Really interested in getting something started in Showgirls. I have one friend all the way over in Wales with some of my eggs, so we're cohersing to get the best results [​IMG]
    ANNYYY help at all would be amazing thanks!
    Stephanie xx
     
  2. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use a silky male to get darkskinned pullets. The cockerels are always the same, also in reciproke cross.
     
  3. super_chicken_man

    super_chicken_man New Egg

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    so am i right that either way you cross the parents male chicks will always be dark skinned but to get male and female chicks dark skinned use a silkie cock?
    Ive had a google search but every site i went on said something different [​IMG]
    Thank you!!
     
  4. blackdotte

    blackdotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes
     
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    The black skin is not sex linked. Rather it's at least one of the 'other genes' that can affect its expression called Id, it represses skin pigmentation in a specific layer of skin. If Id is present on a bird with the black skin gene, the birds can either seem to have normal or just barely 'tinted' skin.

    Naked necks are supposed to have clean yellow legs(at least in the USA standard).. Id is one way to accomplish that(it prevents the blue/willow leg pigments from showing up.. leaving the yellow if it has the gene for yellow skin)

    So a silkie bred with a Naked Neck(any hen really) WITH Id, the results will be "sex linked"- sons with either normal/pale skin and daughters can be completely black skinned. However a silkie bred with hen without any genes that can repress skin pigmentation can and do throw both sons and daughters with the dark skin.

    One strange problem though.. for some reason it can be rather difficult to hit on cockerels that keep the dark skin as adults. It's common for male chicks to hatch out with dark skin yet they become cranberry or downright plain red as adult. Dark skinned females are very easy goal in comparison!

    Using show stock silkies or silkies with good silking, skin pigmentation and type will give you much better results faster(fewer generations). Your breeding can literally be as simple as breeding the 'best' naked necked bird from each generation back to a 'good' silkie as Showgirls essentially are naked necked silkies. No need to do showgirl x showgirl crosses before you are really happy with the type as the naked neck is dominant, so as long as one of the parents has a naked neck, at least 50% of the chicks will have naked necks.

    I've had people react negatively to the idea but change their mind upon seeing them, so perhaps there will be a turn around once good, typy birds with dark skin are more widespread over there.. One common comment I get is the naked neck also shows off their crests much better than on silkies- it often looks more 'rounded' or bigger.. it's just the contrast against the bare neck.

    Not sure if the beard comment was simply in reference to bearded silkies.. I would not worry about using bearded vs non bearded.. would worry more about getting the best typy silkie possible. So if there's a non bearded that's way better than a bearded one.. use the former. You can always cross a later generation showgirl with any bearded and get bearded chicks. However the naked neck gene also affects the beard in various ways, most common it eliminates the 'beard' part, leaving the 'muffs'.. the birds can look like they have a sideburn thing going on(can be real cute). But some beardeds can have just barely visible trace of either beard or muffs.. or some will have both beard and muffs but it is reduced to a narrower strip- don't know what this beard pattern is called on humans, it sort of looks like the style where only the lower chin and a narrow strip along the jawline is left with everything else shaved off. (people tend to get a big kick when I point out the 'sideburns' or this 'Amish' beards on this or that showgirl..)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009

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