Silkie colour genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by silkiebilkie, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. silkiebilkie

    silkiebilkie New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 13, 2015
    I have been searching an cannot find a clear answer. I'm wondering, of two white silkies (I don't know the parents colours etc) would produce different coloured offspring. Whether it will be a definite white silkie or just random. Any ideas are appreciated thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,621
    4,115
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Chicken color genetics can get pretty complicated and white is a pain to work with. There are two different genes that could give you a solid white chicken. One gene is called recessive white, the other dominant white. They are separate genes and act different ways. With white chickens you don’t know which white gene you are working with just by looking at the chicken.

    White is pretty powerful. It can cover up a lot of things. For example, you may have barring hiding under the white. If you take away the white, you have a barred chicken. It doesn’t happen all the time but it’s possible. You can have any color or pattern hiding under white.

    If you mate two white chickens, especially from the same flock, the odds are really good you will get all white chicks. Even if they are from different flocks the odds of all white chicks are still really good. But occasionally you might get some surprises, black being quite common when you see a surprise. I’s also possible you could get leakage. That’s where a few random feathers show a different color, like maybe a few red or black feathers scattered among the white.

    The short answer is that you will probably get all white chicks but some color surprises are possible.

    The Silkie gene is a recessive gene. It has to be paired up at that location on the DNA for Silkie to show. Since both your chickens are Silkies, they will definitely both contribute a Silkie gene so whatever color you do get, they will be Silkies.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by