Silkie Question...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Chickie Mamma, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Hello, I was just wondering if it is only the silkie males that have the mulberry/pink/rose colored comb or do the females get them too? I have one that I am pretty sure is a boy, he has a large mulberry walnut shaped comb. 2 others have black flat combs and one has a black "bumpy" comb. Of all the pics I see on here, the hens seem to always have dark combs. It was just a thought ?? [​IMG]
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    All my hens have flat, dark combs. My roo doesn't have the 'correct' comb, but I have only ever seen those nasty 'brain tumors' on roos [​IMG]
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    Male hormones tend to make roo combs lighter in colour than those of females---this is why a darker comb on a young cockerel will often lighten as he matures.

    Pink or rose is too red, and would be disqualified. Mulberry to black is the standard. In general, the genes that dilute feather colour often also dilute skin colour, so your darkest combs will be on birds that do not carry diution genes: black, often white, partridge, red. Buffs seem to be the most affected with too light a comb. With cuckoo it isn;t dilution, but rather gene linkage that makes a dark comb difficult to obtain.

    A orrect comb should look like the nut it is named for, a walnut. There are some gnarley combs that I could see being referred to as brain tumors, but not a correctly shaped one. As with all breeds, male combs are larger than female combs. Some females do have almost cmopletely flat combs,but the standard calls for the same walnut shape--most of mine have that.

    Walnut combs are genetically a combination of rose and pea comb genes. There is an additional gene that occurs with some rose combs that causes a rough versus a smooth surface. I've seen silkies with both variations. I prefer the smooth. Ther is also a gene that causes points at the top of a comb. At one point the standard required them; they are now considered a fault.

    I should also throw in that while I described the genetics of a true walnut comb above, traditionally silkies have instead posessed a modified rose comb, and not carried the pea comb gene. Tomorrow I'll try to find the site that has photos to show the difference in appearance. I have a few of the modified rose comb birds, but most of mine are true walnut combed birds.
     
  4. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Quote:Thanks for the reply! I know, I have seen some pretty funky combs on the males, I just didn't know if color determines the sex. My older silkie hens also have dark, flatter combs.
     
  5. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Thanks for all the info Sonoran Silkies! I have a young roo that has the "walnut" shape and his comb is getting a darker "mauve- ish" color. It was much lighter weeks ago. The 3 others that hatched with him, do not have any color in their combs, but 1 is "bumpy", round in shape but is almost black (no color at all). Its hard to tell the sex by looking at their top knots. They have HUGE top knots (I've already needed to give hair cuts because of terrible vision impairment). The top knots are long and fall to the back somewhat just because of the length. They are tough. Thanks again!!
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    Don't judge gender by comb colour on silkies--if they are too young to tell from appearance, comb colour will tell you nothing Girls can also have the too red combs. Size is a better determinant, although there are girls with larger combs.
     
  7. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  8. k2chickens

    k2chickens Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Quote:so then what are some "tried and true" method's of determining the gender of your silkie "white" in this instance? Reason i ask is that i have a few day old' chick's that i will be selling/trading at a BYC party on August 1st. That would put them at about 7 week's old.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    At seven weeks you can guess; you'll have a 50% chance of being right. With partridge or grey the odds are better as the plumage differs between male & female.
     

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