Silkie breeders, need your input please

High Roost Ranch

The Chicken Whisperer
11 Years
Dec 15, 2008
1,230
10
176
St Tammany Parish, Folsom, Louisiana
OK, I have a question for the silkie color gurus. Regarding a cock bird that is black, what causes hackle bleed in either silver or gold, IF these birds were from black x black parent stock? It's just color on the hackles, nothing in the saddle. Only on the cocks. Can it be bred out, and what is the likely cause of it? I'm curious because I have a black cock that has done just that, developed unexpected color in the hackle. I know it's a trouble issue in another breed in the making that I'm working with that color in the hackle will pop up but from a black x black silkie, where is this coming from? Can I expect to breed it out, and if so, what's the best way to do so? And what color would these birds be considered, to be genetically correct with a color variety?
 

Three Cedars Silkies

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 17, 2008
5,032
75
283
Gainesville, Fl.
My understanding is that the bird lacks sufficient melanizers to completely "fill" the feathers and that on cockbirds it usually shows in the hackles. ?? caused by parent flock with something other than black in their background?

Here is a link where I asked the same question. This was one of the best birds I've ever had but I sold him....just couldn't take the chance he would pass it on...



https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3528810#p3528810
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
538
328
Ohio
High Roost,
I know in OEGB's that a Black bird will leak Red in the hackles and it is do to them having BB Red in the background.
Blacks that come from Blue x Blue don't have that problem.

Chris
 

High Roost Ranch

The Chicken Whisperer
11 Years
Dec 15, 2008
1,230
10
176
St Tammany Parish, Folsom, Louisiana
Thanks for the replies. I'm not that versed on how the silkie breeders breed their varieties. I was wrongly under the assumption that a black x black in a silkie was fairly reliable. The two in question have such faint color, but it is detectable, hence not a true black bird. I suppose sisters to these would appear black, but actually aren't as being proven by the male siblings?
 

ultasol

Songster
10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
1,987
15
163
SE Washington
It has nothing to do with the quality of the line of blacks. According to Mr. Mihalik, the gold/silver leakage occurs often from the same breedings that will produce some solid black birds with the proper green sheen. Purple sheen is a no-no.

I have a awesome black cockerel with some gold leakage that has been throwing the NICEST black chicks for me, and so far only one of the ones that is old enough to see mature color on has had any leakage. While this cockerel will never win a show, he's been fantastic in the breeding pen and I really like what he is throwing.
 

Smoky73

Lyon Master
12 Years
Feb 8, 2007
1,618
22
194
Colorado
I have fantastic blacks in my yard, and the cock birds show varying degrees of silver hackles. I assume its because they carry the silver gene that I get silver. I also get white chicks from these black birds, that so far as feathing out to be blacks.
Here are pics of offspring that was white and is turning black, it is blacker now and father bird and offspring (hens) it created. you can see just a touch of silver in some of the hackles.

.








 

destiny_56085

Crowing
11 Years
May 29, 2009
1,488
344
261
Sleepy Eye, MN
I've found that this is just a huge problem in black silkies period. I've been raising silkies for 9 years and really been concentrating on my blacks for about the last 5. I raise about 400+ chicks a year and growout at least 100 + of them. You get to really notice trends... To find a perfectly clear black cockbird that is also excellent on type/feathering is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. You can find alot of decent ones type wise with some silver or gold in the hackles. About 4 years ago I finally had my blacks to a point that they were producing no off color at all. They were Bobbi Porto's old line (before Alan's and George's birds were mingled in). They were ok typewise but nothing that was going to knock your socks off. Then in the heart of winter I lost my old cock when temps dipped in the -30's. My backup came up lame on me the next spring with an abscess on his leg and eventually died too. I replaced them with one of their sons. This would have been that bird and I'm still using him a few years later:


Well then I got into showing more hardcore and I wanted to improve on type even more. I wanted no hard feathering in the tails, huge crests, round cushions, the perfect combs, the rounder bodies, shorter backs, etc. I bought 5 pullets from Premier Silkies. OMG amazing birds if you are looking at blacks. I crossed them on my old cockbird and results have been downright amazing for the pullets. The cockerels produced that were drop dead gorgeous type wise had off color in the hackles. Of course all the clear black ones were nothing spectacular. Maybe I just needed more in my growout pens to choose from there. This year I was able to get my hands on a perfectly clear black cockerel from Premier and am crossing him back on those pullets from last year. I have to get a better pic of him.... He's trimmed up for breeding now though and they really don't do him justice at the moment.


These were pics from some of the babies from last fall. Some off colors but majority were clear. I even did a few test breedings from one of those silver hackled boys and he did throw some clear babies too.











I find the better birds you get into, the more you will see it. Its just something you deal with and sell out the off color ones as PQ culls.
 

Smoky73

Lyon Master
12 Years
Feb 8, 2007
1,618
22
194
Colorado
Quote:I agree and my cock bird also came from Premier, but the silver int he hackle is barely noticeable. The make AWESOME females for sure!
This is a picture of the son of my Premier cock (I thought htis was a hen for a long time)



and two of my daughters of my Premier cock.



 

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