What is a blue Silkie?
The Blue Silkie Bantam is very difficult to find and almost as difficult to breed and it is common to get all sorts of odd colours in the mix.
Although it is actually a slate grey to look at and the feathers can have black lacing around the edges.
Blue is a diluted form of black and varies in shade from light to dark. Breeding blue to black can often help darken the chicks.
To breed for blue Silkies you need to breed a black or a splash to a blue or a blue to a blue.
- Black x black = 100% black.
- Black x blue = 50% blue 50% black.
- Black x splash = 100% blue.
- Blue x blue = 25% black 50% blue 25% splash.
- Blue x splash = 25% blue 75% splash.
Self-blue or Lavender is the term used for chickens that breed true and throw no other colours in the chicks they produce. This colour tend to be a bit lighter as well and seems to fade over time without careful selection.
The genetics of blue feathering:
The blue colour comes from two genes, black, known as (BB) in genetic shorthand, and splash (bb). Black is dominant and Splash is recessive.
By breeding chickens with these two colour genes, you can produce blue chicks.
If you breed a black (BB) parent to a splash (bb) parent, then the theoretic yield is 100% blue (Bb) as the chick receives a gene from each parent.