silkies extra toes (6 per foot) questions about genes breeding cull?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SkyRoo, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. SkyRoo

    SkyRoo In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2008
    we recently received our first order of chicks via mail order.
    I noticed that out of our 20 silkies we have some defects in the chicks sent to us. One posses a very pronounced cross beak another has subtle deviation of the beak aliment.
    I'm sure those two are obvious culls. (pet quality freebies for others) not to ever be used for breeding.

    however my main questions are....I read that it is hard to breed for perfect feet in silkies and a common defect that arises in silkies...

    but I dont understand the exact limit for extra toes or incorrect placement of the 5 toe.
    7 out of the 20 have 6 toes per foot. Some others have just a double toenail (extra toenail formed on 5th toe of one foot). many others have just bad position of the 5th toe. A few of the silkies have good correct toes. the black linage appears to be a bit better foot structure than our whites sent to us. cross beaks are also only in the whites.

    My plan was not to breed these silkies back to each other. I was mostly looking forward to crossbreeding them with some Turken/Naked Necks. (showgirls)

    should all chicks with extra toes and toe nails be culled?

    just a note of explain: (when I refer to cull I mean not to keep them in any part of my flock for breeding purpose and to give them away as pets) or used only for brooding other hens eggs.

    is this defect gene too dominate that this will come out when crossing them with a different breed?

    would this be warrant enough to not use any of these silkies (including the correct toe siblings) for any breeding program?
    would it be likely that even the correct toe chicks still carry the genes for cross beak and bad feet?

    *no splay legs or crooked legs all looks well except two cross beak and half chicks have extra toes. (mostly in the whites)

    thank you for your time
  2. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Did you get your chicks from a hatchery? If so, they are most likely not all closely related. If you have a Silkie with good feet then You should be able to breed them. I would definitely not use any with bad toes. 5 toes is a dominant trait over 4 toes. I don't know where 6 toes stands but it is a defective gene and will be passed to offspring even if it is not expressed in a particular bird.
  3. SkyRoo

    SkyRoo In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2008
    yes I did get them from a large hatchery.
    I really appreciate you help and wisdom.

    so that answered that not to use the 6 toes or extra toe nail silkies...bummer half gone. guess I learned. [​IMG]
    I best start looking for good private Silkie breeders. [​IMG]

    if I may inquire is that a common practice for hatchery to not cull and go through Silkies to ensure not sending people 6 toe chicks or cross beak?
    I have not contacted hatchery as I am still unsure if this is common and unjust of me to complain.
    I dont expect perfect but did not expect this.

    so it could still be a 50/50 if the correct toe chicks have defective genes hidden just not being expressed...that might be passed onto their offspring? right I have read about 5 toe dominate gene I was wondering if the additional toes might be dominate also.

    I have another question...forgive my ignorance pretty new to the chicken world....
    as we find homes for the other chicks...mmmm are these silkies with extra toe automatically disqualified from 4h exhibitions?

    we will just give them away...but I know of a few kiddos in 4h and wonder if this is no good for them also?
    I dont want to bog them down with something that is not productive either.
  4. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    If you want to show in 4H most silkie breeders would give you good prices for better quality birds for showing. I definitely would not breed any with beak problems or toe probllems.
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    A large hatcheries is not going to really 'inspect' each chick - even for major physical defects like cross beak, much less something like correct toes on a silkie. Many folks here have received the occasional chick with obvious life-threatening or impacting deformities from large hatcheries (like cross beak).

    That's why they usually throw in a couple extras in a batch - they know a certain percentage of chicks will have issues either with the transport OR genetic/physical problems.

    If you want 'correct' silkies that are reasonably close to standard, you'll need to get them from a breeder who had good stock.

    There are loads of really nice silkie owners here on the list. If you want to find something in particular, post in the buy/sell/trade section with your location and what you are looking for, and I'm sure you can find it here!

    Then there's always hatching eggs - and there are always good quality silkie hatching eggs available here too.

    Good luck with your projects!
    tjo804 likes this.
  6. SkyRoo

    SkyRoo In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2008
    arlee and Bama wow thank you that makes sense now.
    I will have a look around in the buy/sell. I appreciate your help.

    I did not even think about that when we got the chicks from the hatchery.
    makes sense that they cant invest time to do a complete inspection of each chick when dealing with thousands every week. guess that would be a lot more time per chick and price should reflect that.
    I think I had higher expectations than what was reasonable. I appreciate your honesty.
    at least we have a great opportunity to learn and grow and gain hands on experience before investing in higher quality stock for any breeding projects.

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