Silkie genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by erin0415, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. erin0415

    erin0415 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    North Texas
    Is there anyone who can help me with silkie genetics?? I was wanting to know what colors/ characteristics are dominant/ recessive and what I can expect by breeding certain colors together. Are the blues and splash mixes from black and white silkies?? Does anyone know of a book or other resource that discusses silkies specifically. i understand quite a bit about genetics, but don't have a clue as to what is dominant/recessive in silkies. Thanks!!!
  2. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    I breed silkies and as far as I can tell the color genetics for the standards excepted run along the same genetics for any chicken colors that are black, splash, blue, white , buff. Hope that helps. There are lots of genetic color guides for chickens that you can google. I try and read the info on Top Breeders Websites as they are very helpful in their experience.
  3. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008

    As Bama said, the genes found in a silkie are the same as the genes found in other chickens. The scientific community has written quit a bit about chicken genetics so there is much to be learned. These are the genes found in a silkie or at least all I can think of for now. I am using the classical notation for the genes.

    Fm fibromelanosis
    id+ dermal melanin (sex linked) These three make black skin.
    W+ white skin

    h hookless for silkie feathers

    Mb for muffs and beard (bearded variety)

    P pea comb
    R rose comb P and R form a walnut comb

    Po polydactyly 5 toes

    dw sex linked dwarfism Dwarfism can be caused by a number of
    genes and there are two other alleles at the
    Dw+ locus

    Pti-1 and Pti-2 feathered feet ( silkies most likely have a different allele at one of the loci)

    Cr crest

    0+ for white egg shell color (no brown egg shell genes)

    c recessive white Recessive white is an epistatic gene and can hide any color. Most recessive white birds are black under the white.

    Bl/bl+ blue is an incompleley dominant gene that dilutes black to blue.

    Bl/Bl produces a splash chicken or white with splashes of blue.

    Most black birds are extended black ( E) because this genes needs the least amount of help from other genes to make a black bird. Some black birds are birchen or E^R. Birchen needs help from black extenders to make a black bird.

    Do search on this site for blue. You will find the information you want in other strings.

    Try this string:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  4. erin0415

    erin0415 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    North Texas
    Thanks for all the info. The link about the blues was very helpful too. Does the bird have to have 2 sets of the recessive white for it to mask the other colors or just one since it is an epistatic gene? Also, what are some examples of black extenders? Thank you for info. It is a little more complicated than simple Punnett squares.
  5. new2chix

    new2chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    New Palestine Indiana
    Hi! I just started a small flock for laying, but I love the silkies. Do they come in standard size, or are they all bantams? If they are all bantams, how do they mix with a standard size flock of 10 hens and 1 roo?
  6. Chicken creek

    Chicken creek Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2012
    Silkies are all Bantams. They are a natural bantam. They can be put with standard breeds but because of their gentle nature usually wind up getting picked on.

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