Strange result of crossing

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nagleobr, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. nagleobr

    nagleobr Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2015
    A little while back I hatched a couple white silkie x blue andalusians. They are now about a month and a half old. They all have black skin, five toes, and tiny little crests. However, on two of them, I noticed orange feathers coming in. There aren't very many of them, just one or two here on the neck. Since neither their of their parents have orange feathers, I was wondering what may have caused this. Here are some pictures of the chicks and their parents:

    Two days old

    A couple weeks old with their adopted mom (real mom was the blue andalusian)

    The parents

    As soon as I upload some more recent pics, with the orange feathering, I'll put them on here. Thanks!
  2. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Black crossed with almost any other color very typically throw black chicks that eventually show either white or brown/red/orange "details" as they grow up.

    There is no single gene for a solid black chicken. What a solid black chicken has is a main gene that makes them mostly black(like a black copper marans for example) PLUS several independent genes that "help" cover up the colored areas. It is important for the bird to be pure for all the necessary genes.

    So when you cross a black chicken with say, a rhode island red, the result are black chicks that are not pure for all those necessary helper genes.. result is they end up showing some color.

    Now to the white silkie. White is not actually a color, it is a gene that stops any color the bird has from showing up in the feathers. So a white chicken can genetically be a black, or brown, or partridge, or buff, except you can;t tell because the white gene "hid" the color from your view, if that makes sense. The white in silkies is a recessive gene which means the white will not show up in crosses with non-white chickens.

    Your white silkie probably is partridge under the white- this is extremely common, by the way.

    So genetically, the cross is actually in genetic terms, between a black chicken and most likely a partridge.. and that is how you get black chicks that eventually grow out orange details. The male chicks will get a lot of orange on their necks and backs and the females usually get the color only on their necks and as edging on their breast feathers.. however this varies a lot.
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