Silkie breeding, genetics & showing

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Fancy Feathers, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    These are partridge:
    [​IMG]


    As is this (although not pure silkie):

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ChicksNherps

    ChicksNherps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha LOVE that last one! He looks like an islander [​IMG]
     
  4. LaPetiteFarmer

    LaPetiteFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. chisNchickens

    chisNchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silver P and grey are one and the same.
     
  6. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    oh no, poor guy! Sorry about that. I don't let my silkies out either-- too much invested in them and it would be pretty dumb to let them roam around my place. I have tons of hawks and coyotes and random dogs that come through. I have neighbors that shoot about anything, so it's gotten a bit better. But I do need to catch a possum that is eating my feed. He dug under the fencing in my layer pen and created a burrow he's been using. No harm to the chickens-- they are locked up at night and I have started moving my feed into the coops at night. But a real PITA. Going to have to catch him soon though, I don't want him around. I think my neighbor has a trap, I'd like to borrow it and shoot him. And that pen is a temporary set up-- it's a chain link dog run, which is not ideal. We plan on digging in posts and putting up hardware cloth like I have for the silkie pens. And I haven't bothered to fix the hole, because I need to get motivated and catch him. I am really leary of the vaccines and have kept up on reading about what everyone is saying about them. So far have not vaccinated for anything. Still am not entirely sure what is safe and I don't want carrier birds. I would do it if I knew 100% it was safe and it would not make them carriers.


    [​IMG] love hearing your advice!



    About the only birds I would breed are your whites. But they have crests on the smaller side, but it's doable if you can work for a bit larger. I've found it's easier to get bigger crests on if ONE parent has the crest you are looking for. I did that when I had great type, but poor crest and still wound up with great crested birds after they grew out. But you'll have to check their combs and make sure they are the right color-- and the right shape. The last show I was at (last weekend) I was astounded to see someone brought silkies in with some sort of single comb on them and they were red. I'm guessing they had no clue what a silkie was supposed to look like. I should have taken a picture just for grins. Be careful on your colors too-- because not only are you breeding for the type, but for correct color as well. Wings are very important and for some reason, I have been fighting with that lately. They should be tucked in nice and high and when you pull them out-- absolutely NO gaps in them. You want all your toes, and no extras, no extra nails, and the correct skin coloring on them along with a well feathered middle toe. Anyway, I would go check out the standard and start checking off how close your birds are. If you have serious faults, then it's time to search for a better bird. I have gotten rid of gorgeous birds this summer, but had toe or wing faults.


    My girls are starting to pick up on laying (silkies). However, the ONE bird I want to start laying is refusing! I hope she starts up soon. She's still on the younger side, but not too young-- about 8 months. Hasn't laid yet. The others are all ready, but figure I don't want to over winter chicks this year. Last year I did it, was NO fun. We had ice all winter long and it was miserable.
     
  7. acmetnt23

    acmetnt23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think the white one is a little young so his comb is still growing. What would you consider the other color? The lighter one looks like it has some blue and buff but I don't know
     
  8. mystdogs

    mystdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay didn't know that. Thank you. So I would show this one as a grey then...cool :)
     
  9. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've no idea what I would to call the buff looking bird. But it's not a Standard color. Personally, because I'm showing and breeding for the SOP (standard of perfection) and I'm trying to be very ethical in my breedings (as is most everyone else on this thread), I am not interested in breeding birds with off colors, wrong colors or colors that are not standard. I might be tempted to pick up an AOV-- I really love the Columbian color. The most popular AOV's are paint, porcelain, blue partridge... those are the ones I see at shows the most. There are many other project colors, but there is a specific goal in mind for the breeders working with those colors. So if you are wanting an AOV, I'd work with something that is already in progress so you can learn the genetics behind it and get help when you go off track.

    If I were you, I'd think about what your goals are for yourself and your birds. What do you want to do with them? Start with what colors interest you the most and research them before you dive in. Some colors are just very difficult to work with, and if that is a deterrent, then decide if that is something you want to face-- with lots of potential culls from your breedings. Some colors are just much easier to work with. Some colors also show better than others. I'm finding the BBS colors easy to work with color wise, because I never ever breed anything with leakage, and so far (knock on wood) have not had that pop up. But then, past that, the rest of the stuff comes into play, we are working on type, as I think we have decent birds, but nothing that is "WOW" on the type so far. At the same time, I've had to eliminate my two best grow-out birds that popped up with the BEST type I had all year this summer because the wings were so bad! I was tempted to breed them anyway for the type, but just couldn't bring myself to continue on with a problem that is hard to get rid of (the wings). I know the wings are going to crop up time and time again for me anyway because I had good birds resulting from that same breeding. I'll be having to cull for that for a while is my guess even with my good birds because I figure that will still try to pass on anyway .

    So just knowing that your best looking birds can produce some really bad offspring is also something to keep in mind. Just because you start with fantastic birds doesn't mean you'll get fantastic results... BUT your odds are sooooo much better! By doing that, you should have eliminated a lot of faults by starting with better birds (like maybe wings, comb, color, etc), but things can still pop up. It's just something to keep in mind. I was talking to one of the top pigeon breeders this last weekend at a show-- he raises them and is a Judge and judges all over the world (he is judging in Norway next month) and can sell one pigeon for more than 1K! I only tell you this, because I respect his opinion and think very highly of him and he has great advice. He told me to cull until it hurts even if it leaves you with very few birds. NEVER breed anything you don't want to see again and when you are finally at a spot you want to be, to breed birds that look related (but aren't) together to maintain your line and keep your type. He out crosses to other colors to bring in new blood (out of his own birds) to bring back in his type and breed back for color. So he has a pen working for nothing other than breeding back to color-- not for breeding to his top birds. Then those birds that make the cut will then be used only when they meet his criteria back into color and they've maintained the type. Then he takes them to breed in new blood and keep it fresh. He said he does not buy birds anymore. It's almost like a Spiral/Rotational breeding but without the relation. He is against Line breeding. He's very interesting to talk to. I hope that makes sense. It's like breeding out to white JUST to get the type you want. It's not something you really want to do often-- if ever-- unless you just can't get the type any other way. But with silkies, there are so many good birds out there, I don't know if it's going to be necessary unless you are working on a project color. Or if you are really good with genetics, then it's something you could tackle and realize it will take a few generations to get color back.

    Anyway... that's just my opinion!! I hope some of that helped. I am not a genetics guru like Sonoran!
     
  10. chisNchickens

    chisNchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grey, or gray. lol Either will work [​IMG]
     

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