Which Silkie is the father?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Freeholder, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    I have two Silkie roosters, one white and the other is either black or dark blue, not sure which. Last August, two of my EE hens hatched out chicks, a total of eight. There are two cockerels; I think one is wheaten and the other looks like a golden duck-wing. The six pullets are a range of colors -- one is white with black penciling everywhere except her head and neck; one is definitely blue; a couple look silver-based, with penciling and salmon breasts (one of these has a darker head than the others, and is the only chick from one of the EE hens); and the others are mostly orangey with penciling.

    Is it possible to guess which of the two Silkies fathered these youngsters based on how the offspring came out? The EE's are the usual mix of colors; the hen who hatched seven of the chicks is quite reddish-orangey, while the other one is dark, looks like maybe partridge.

    The reason I'm wondering is if I could determine that one of the Silkies sired this batch, then I'd pen the other one with a couple of the EE hens who aren't the mothers and see if I could get a second line going. Guess I could do that even with the father, but would rather do it with an unrelated male. I'm going to keep the pullets and see how well they lay, although I mostly wanted them for broody hens. The two cockerels, although beautiful little fellows, are going in the freezer, since Grandma says she's willing to eat dark meat (unsure at this point whether crosses are dark all the way through, guess we'll find out!). They appear to be wide-breasted; it will be interesting to see how much meat is on one of them. But I don't want to breed them to their sisters.

    Kathleen

    ETA: I know pictures might help, but I'll have to work on that this afternoon (if it doesn't rain), as I'm getting ready to go to church right now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    It would be almost impossible to tell, and I have to ask why you think one of your silkies fathered all the chicks--it is likely that each fathered some.
     
  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    Well, that's a possibility, but the white one is definitely dominant and runs the black one off (they are loose in the yard). So I wasn't sure if the black one had been breeding any of the hens or not.

    I was wondering, given the color genetics, if there was some way to guess which of the roosters fathered which chicks -- looks like several of the pullets have silver base to their color, so most likely fathered by the white roo; the blue pullet most likely fathered by the black/blue roo?

    Kathleen
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Neither white nor blue predominantly carry silver or gold--you are as likely to find a blue carrying silver as a white carrying gold. White turns off the appearance of all other plumage colour genes present in the bird, so there is no way of knowing what the bird actually carries except through experimental breeding. With blue, you can tell the presence or absense of various genes that create patterns, although on a silkie, it is more difficult to tell with some of these than on a non-silkied bird, however silver, gold, mahogany, and various diluters of red pigment cannot be determined (unless there are insufficient melanizers, in which case there may be leakage and these colours will appear to varying degrees).
     
  5. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    Thank you -- that's the kind of information I was looking for! So, I'll have to find a couple new roosters, which is what I was trying to figure out. You've been very helpful!

    Kathleen
     

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