Sex-link barring question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Blisschick, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I'm attempting to breed cuckoo silkies, and I'm wanting to make sure I have the correct understanding of how the gene works. I have a cuckoo hen in with a black roo. I was told that any offspring between them would be sex-linked, and that it would be the males that would have the barring with this mating. Is this correct? If so, will the males always be barred, or is there a chance that some may also be black? (I'm thinking that "yes" is the answer to this, but I just want to be sure.)

    I just had a dozen chicks hatch in the incubator, some from my cuckoo, and some from my blue hen. Since they were both sharing the same nest, I know that there is going to be a higher percentage of black chicks to other colors, but the ratio I got is really lopsided. Out of 12 chicks, I've only gotten 2 blues and 1 cuckoo. The up-side to this is that if the cuckoo is male, I'll have plenty of black females to work with, and possibly more cuckoos next time around. I just didn't want it to take so long! [​IMG]

    Miss Cuckoo is out sitting on 10 eggs at the moment, so I'm just waiting to see what that clutch brings. Maybe more of those eggs are hers.
     
  2. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am I right in thinking the cuckoo, the black & the blue are all silkies?

    From the black male on the cuckoo all male offspring will have one gene for barring & all female offspring will be black. From the blue, in the region of 50% of the offspring will be blue & 50% of the offspring will be black.

    You have a disproportionate number of black chicks in your hatch. But this is not uncommon .....chickens haven't learnt about statistics.[​IMG]
    So your cuckoo chick is a male with one barring gene. If you breed him to a cuckoo female, in the region of half of his female offspring will be cuckoo, the remainder being black; in the region of half of his male offspring will have two barring genes the remainder having one.
     
  3. blackdotte

    blackdotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2008
    You are not going to succeed in breeding good show quality Cuckoo Silkies, because Silkies should have black/dark mulberry combs ,wattles and skin. The effect of the Cuckoo (barring gene) is to remove this pigment .
    OK if you only want pet quality
    David
     
  4. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Yes, all the chickens are silkies. I'm familiar with the blue:black ratio because I have other blue breeds. I'm not really concerned about those, just the cuckoos. And yes, I'm painfully aware that chickens don't give a cluck about stats.[​IMG] I've never met a pair that actually put out what they were supposed to.

    I'm also aware of the pigmentation issues of the barring gene, and I know that has been worked on with a lot with silkies. I think the consensus has been that it's never going to be perfect and some concessions will have to be made for the color. You can't get perfectly black skin with whites, blues, buffs, and lavenders. They will always be a few shades off and not as dark as breeders would like. My cuckoo girl comes from show quality stock and has a relatively nice slate skin color, although it's lacking a bit on the ends of the toes. I don't know if the color has been accepted by the APA yet, but I do know the color has been shown, and I'm sure the judges are aware of the genetic limitations of the color.
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Some of the breeders have been working on the cuckoo silkies long enough to achieve crossover and get darker skin and combs on them. Many do still have the too red combs and light skin. Definitely a work in progress. I have 4 that hatched this year; none are particularly great quality, but I believe I will keep the best pair and see if I can improve them a bit. I have a range of skin and comb colours. The one I am certain is a pullet has the darkest skin & comb (as expected). I hatched one pullet last year who was better than any of these; she definitely has dark skin and comb, although for a girl it should have been even darker. I sold her, not expecting to get more. My crele silkie cock was busy when I wasn't watching [​IMG] and I ended up with these 4. He also went to a new home; his quality? He won champion in an Ugly Bird Contest [​IMG]

    Cuckoo is not a recognised variety.
     
  6. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    It's been my hope that breeding with a black roo will help me get the darker skin color. My little guy has well feathered feet, but the toe spacing is lacking some. Out of all these that I have and am expecting, I'll probably only keep a few of the quality black ones, my blue ones, and any cuckoos, if they're half decent.
     
  7. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some of the breeders have been working on the cuckoo silkies long enough to achieve crossover and get darker skin and combs on them.

    Why do you say "crossover"? Which genes would have been involved in the crossover?
    As far as I'm aware it is the action of the barring gene itself which inhbits skin pigment.​
     
  8. swheat

    swheat The Bantam Barn

    Mar 18, 2008
    Alabama
    My Coop
    Here is a pic of 2 of my cuckoo chicks. Leg color looks good now..but will probably change. Combs are looking white so they will more than like turn red.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. swheat

    swheat The Bantam Barn

    Mar 18, 2008
    Alabama
    My Coop
    Quote:Would love to see pics of the crele silkies ! [​IMG]
     
  10. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I'd like to see a Crele silkie, too. I have two crele OEBG hens. They're among my favorites. [​IMG]
     

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