Showgirl Silkie Bantams: How to start own line

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cmitchell, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. cmitchell

    cmitchell Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would like to start my own line of Showgirl Silkie Bantams for showing. What is the best system of breeding/crosses to get improved type for showing?

    In researching this I read that I should start the 1st generation with a silkie bantam roo/turken bantam hen cross because the sexing is easier (female offspring will have sex linked black skin). Then cross the naked neck female offspring with Silkies; choosing the naked necked females with the 5 toes, best combs, and best crest.

    For the next generation I should do a showgirl bantam roo/silkie bantam hen cross. In later crosses it doesn't matter whether the roo/hen is silkie or showgirl.

    Does this sound like a good plan or am I way off?
  2. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Black skin is not sex linked. The illusion sometimes happens due to completely unrelated genes that are sex linked and happen to affect black skin expression. Barring and Id are two common examples, those are both sex linked and do affect black skin by repressing it either completely or mostly.... so if you happen to use a hen with Id, the results will seem sex linked for black skin when it's actually just the Id gene doing the work(realize, the male chicks will have the black skin gene..).

    Id is dermal(skin) melanin inhibitor. It is what causes a lot of either white or yellow legs on birds that are not barred, such as Orpingtons(white legs). (barring also dilutes skin pigmentation Barred Rock legs are yellow due to side effect of the barring gene) Birds with green, blue or black legs usually don't have Id.

    If you used a hen that does not have Id or barring, chicks in both sexes will have black skins.

    A challenge is, on paper your plan will come out as expected for naked neck, silky feathering etc.. but it will be several more generations to finally hit on truly good type, good quality of "silking", good dark skin coloring etc. Many of the early generation birds will have problems such as body too long and narrow, very long legs(for a silkie) etc. Or this bird may have great crest but very poor leg feathering, while the other bird has excellent leg feathering yet a very scant crest..... In other words, it will be a project that takes a several more years than you might expect, especially if your plan is for birds good enough for showing.

    I would suggest using silkies that meet your expectations, a single or 2 showgirls to breed with the silkies and go from there to create your own line. Might seem like a cheat, but truly good quality showgirls(as in otherwise their type matches the show silkie standard) are still not that easy to find.
  3. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Quote:I agree! It is very hard to find good showgirls (especially good ones for sale). I would buy the best showgirl rooster you can and pair him with complimentary and high quality silkie hens. Mating a clean neck to silkie will give you all bowties, bowtie to silkie will give you half of each.

    If you want to truly start your own line by crossing a Naked Neck/Turken to a silkie I would read Alan Stanford's article on breeding showgirls.

    also has some great info on her site and even has pictures tracking her progress.'s_brood.htm

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