Unusual Silkie Chicks

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by adcgroup, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    I will bore you with some background in the next post, but I have a couple of Silkie Chicks like I haven't seen before among our plain Black and White flocks.

    This Silkie Chick is the offspring of a Rooster that is White, and one of four hens - 3 white and 1 black. Here it is pictured beside one of its "gray" siblings.

    All of it's siblings are varying degrees of yellow or gray. When this chick was born, it was the most yellow of all except for those two black dots on its head. Here he is "Day One"

    I was looking for a day old picture of the other one, but couldn't find handy. He was the "first of the litter" and was all yellow except for faint "chipmunk" markings on his back. They're just a shadow really, and have started to fade as it grows, but I've not seen one like it except Partridge Silkies, in which the markings are fully colored across the back. Out of 8 chicks hatched, every one has a slightly different coloration. From just yellow to yellow with gray to just gray to black and yellow to these two.

    Any ideas what will become of particularly this one pictured? Anyone seen this in their Silkies?
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    You'll simply have to wait and see, imho.

    You've bred a white bird. White, while often dominant, also covers a multitude of other patterns which leak out in breeding.

    You also have a "black" bird, but I suspicion has in its background grey/splash.

    With mixed patterning in the genetics, you will get a variety of coloration in chicks.

    So, watch and wait to see what develops. It will help you understand what genetics are lurking behind the mask of white and black on your parents.

    Have fun.

    Some light reading on genetics you may enjoy:
  3. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe

    Feel free to update!
  4. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    I guess I'm just used to Silkies being... well, Silkie-ish! We've predmominantly had Black Silkies from which everything - everything turned out black with black skin, feathered legs, and five toes.

    My avatar is a picture of Elvis. He was Silkie in every single point - except he was hard feathered. He mated with a Welsummer hen once that produced "Lucky". Lucky was beautiful and well-tempered, larger than a Silkie but smaller than a Welsummer, five-toed, feather-legged, and rose-combed, but with pale skin and red comb/waddles.

  5. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    Is the chick on the right regular feathered as well?
  6. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    It's hard to say at this point. When our Silkies are getting their first feathers to replace their baby down, the wings will appear a bit like regular feathers until they get out a little more. His (or her) wings look roughly like the others - with the exception of the coloration.

    All the Silkies in the flock the eggs hatched from are at least 6 point Silkie bred (black-skinned, five-toed, feather-legged, walnut/Silkie-combed, Silkie-feathered, Blue/Green earlobes). The two outlying factor (that don't necessarily correlate here) is that the father has redder comb/waddles than anyone else in the flock, and is non-bearded - even though he is the progeny of the very flock that he is now siring (all with good Mulberry and Beards).

    If they freely mixed with other flocks, I'd blame "the woodpile", but I keep both bearded and non-bearded Silkies and keep both flocks intentionally separated and don't ever let them co-mingle. They "get the yard" at different times and all to themselves.

    Here's the rough genealogy:
    - Mother
    - either a white or black Bearded Silkie (I've got 3 whites, 1 black)
    - if white, the Maternal grandparents are unknown. (**See WHITE PAIR below)
    - if black, the Maternal grandmother is one of those 3 white Silkie hens (**not pictured)
    - if black, the Maternal grandfather is a black Bearded Silkie (**See Mr. Poof E. Pants, below)

    - Father
    - White Silkie, beard in question (**See White Roo, 2 pix, below)
    - Paternal grandmother is one of the 3 Silkie hens mentioned above (**See WHITE PAIR below)
    - Paternal grandfather is assumed to be the black Bearded Silkie mentioned above. (**See Mr. Poof E. Pants, below)

    I say, "assumed", because we are flummoxed that this White Silkie Rooster is clearly (or apparently) completely non-bearded, has large waddles, and does not have the good Mulberry color in comb/waddles that all the rest of our silkies do.

    Pic of Presumed Parents (although it could be a black Silkie hen, not pictured) - WHITE PAIR
    White Couple.jpg

    Here is a brighter picture of DADDY - the WHITE ROO above - 2 pix
    White Boy.jpg 20170608_182450.jpg

    Here is GRANDDADDY (perhaps on both sides) - Mr. Poof E. Pants
    Mr. Pants.jpg Mr. Pants Beard.jpg Mr. Pants Beard 2.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  7. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    By the way, "Elvis" from an earlier post died a few years ago and doesn't have anything to do with the genealogy of any chickens in the line I'm dealing with right now.

    I brought his case up as an example of when we clearly had "cross-pollination", so to speak, among breeds which clearly explained the unusual offspring.

    In this case, a latent genetic anomaly would have to go back a couple generations. The hens for which I don't know multiple generations back are well-appointed to the breed, having won awards in exhibition, and having always produced picture-perfect offspring until this one white rooster (father of the subject chick) was hatched last year. He's the only white offspring I ever got from them when paired with a black roo (Mr. Poof E. Pants in the previous reply).

    He broke their perfect record because of his comb/waddle coloring and the fact that he turned out non-bearded when everyone else is bearded. All of the black offspring this flock produced was pretty impeccable as it pertains to the general aspects of the breed (toe spacing, etc for true show quality is often just the luck of the draw for individual offspring. Enhanced by having good stock, but even they have a kid with a crooked toe from time to time! lol).

    All of his other breed characteristics are ok, so it seems to be a leap that because his comb color is off that suddenly a chick would be a completely different color - although it does demonstrate that their might be something unexpected back in the ancestry.
  8. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    Here is a picture from the day this chick was born:
    20170616_092309 (2).jpg

    Here are some from today showing his tail and wing feathers more close up:
    20170629_100353 (2).jpg 20170629_100340 (2).jpg 20170629_100345 (2).jpg 20170629_100335 (2).jpg

    I'll be interested to see what this chick turns into.
  9. adcgroup

    adcgroup Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    Here are 4 possible lineages of this unique chick. There is no possibility of a different father or grandfather unless someone snuck in the coop at night and did some hanky panky. Since chickens don't have opposable thumbs and raccoons have little incentive to perform such shenanigans, I'm counting that out. On the mother and grandmother side of things, it could be different and I only know (for sure) the lineage of my black hen.

    OPTION 1 - it's a 3 white hen to 1 black hen advantage both at paternal grandmother and mother that makes this the most likely - from a statistical standpoint:
    OPTION 2 - it's 1:3 on paternal grandmother, but very unlikely unless a recessive white gene ruled the day on the father's side, 3:1 on mother
    OPTION 3 - it's 3:1 on the paternal grandmother, 1:3 on mother. This seems the MOST LIKELY from a genetic standpoint because the lineage of the father makes sense (Except for the whole "beard" thing and maybe comb/waddle color) and the black mother gives an opening for more color to be introduced since she came from mixed lineage.
    OPTION 4 - it's 1:3 on paternal grandmother, but again very unlikely for 2 black parents to produce a white offspring, and 1:3 on mother. Least likely, but possible, I guess at some level.

    OPTION 5 - A traveling Non-Bearded Silkie of questionable heritage was traveling through one night, picked the door latch, and spent a "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" kind of a night with my Silkie hens after apparently knocking out my Rooster, then left before the crack of dawn, re-securing the door - the result of which was a son roughly 3 weeks later that arrived with "other side of the tracks" genetic code leaving him beardless with a miscolored comb and waddles. By the time it was apparent that he wasn't "Daddy's little boy", everyone had grown to love and accept him so that when it was his turn to lead the flock, those "Floozy" white hens didn't miss a beat and gave him this little anomaly.

    At least that's the only other explanation that has come to mind...
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

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