Author Topic: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers  (Read 100 times)

Steve Neumann

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:07:35 AM »
I have a lot of females with red that extends in their heads.  Some are the best type wise, so I can't cull for it entirely.  How hard is this to be breed out and do you have any tips on compensation breeding/color of cock that would help eliminate this problem?

Russ Blair

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 08:28:36 PM »
Check out the Brian Reeder blog under links to genetic pins on this forum. I found it very interesting, especially the silver documentation. Seems to really obtain what most prefer is through double mating in his words? I still have some that tend to have salmon/brown in the head area. Although I try to choose those with the least amount I still will keep an exceptional type pullet with it. My silvers still need work in size and type though. Seems the cockerels with the brightest silver tend to through better pullets, but I have also noticed the better silver headed pullets also have the lightest salmon breast. So it's kind of a catch 22 in my opinion and I just try to keep both attributes as close to the standard as I can. The joys of breeding Silvers I guess lol
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:30:25 PM by Russ Blair »
S.E. Michigan

Rebecca G Howie

  • Associate
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 08:35:53 AM »
Russ, Glad you mentioned the double mating. I was going to pursue it in the thread about my Silvers after you and Michael mentioned crossing for combs. After going through this forum and then searching other breed forums and a number of older books that discuss breeding for color (after type is attained), all the info I have found have pointed to double mating or outcrossing to produce exhibition color in duckwings.

I am still trying to digest what I have read. Several methods were used, one of them putting exhibition Q cocks over hens that are too dark or light to produce male/female lines. One breeder will breed exhibition Q cocks/hens together, but states that an outcross to a gold duckwing is needed to refresh the color (which looses its silver sheen and the salmon breast and goes too light overall) every 3rd generation or so.

When reading Europeon books, it seems that different terminology is used in some cases. What I was confused about was "stippling" and Euros use the term "pencilling" for the pattern that creates the French Grey on the females from what I could understand. That was in a discussion of Silver Duckwing Leghorns.

Also, I would read some descriptions of the desired Silver Duckwing pattern on a breed and then go to the APA standard. Has anyone noticed that there 3 Silver Duckwing color descriptions in that book? Old English Silver, Leghorn Silver and the Dutch Bantam standard that the Ameraucanas refer to. 

A friend of mine (an old timer) has an extensive library on breeding and I am looking forward to getting my hands on one book that has a great section on Silver Duckwing breeding methods.

Russ Blair

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
I believe the Ameraucana Silver description refers you to “Dutch” if I remember correctly. Which calls for striping in the hackles and saddles of males where old English prefer clean?
S.E. Michigan

Rebecca G Howie

  • Associate
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 01:59:32 PM »
Yes. It does refer to the Dutch as the Standard for AMs. I was just a bit perplexed that there was more than one Silver Duckwing color description in the Standard.

If I understand what I am reading on the challenges of colors regardless of breed, they are pretty much the same. It is a special Ameraucana challenge to get the type and characteristics we want along with the color.

Bear with me as I tackle understanding Silver and ponder the best way to tackle the comb and tail carriage challenge I have.  I am still very wet behind the ears   ;D

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 02:39:34 PM »
I have a lot of females with red that extends in their heads.  Some are the best type wise, so I can't cull for it entirely.  How hard is this to be breed out and do you have any tips on compensation breeding/color of cock that would help eliminate this problem?

I've seen it, especially with large fowl, silver hens with varying degrees from not enough salmon to way too much extending into the muffs and head.  My best advise is to continue to breed from the best you have available.   
There are so called "modifying genes" that may dilute or enhance the salmon color and perhaps others that may extend it beyond the breast area.  The modifying genes term is used very often to explain the differences in basic traits that we just can't label.
I don't get into double mating and feel it is really breeding two varieties to be shown under one variety name.  If double mating is needed to produce exhibition birds than the Standards need to be changed to reflect reality.
Reeder's theories/ideas about the genes required to produce a "clean" white (silver) are not widely accepted.  That isn't to say he is wrong, just that we all have opinions and experiences that we share.  Much has changed about what is accepted about poultry genetics over the decades and there is a lot still unknown.
With bantam silver males the combs often look like they are half single comb and half pea comb (rr/Pp), but they are pure pea combs (rr/PP) with a modifying gene(s) that extends the center ridge.  I've made a few outcrosses to try to bring in the proper genes, but haven't made much progress.  Be careful not to breed to a variety that may have red shouldered males when outcrossing.
 

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 978
    • Red Stag Acres
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 02:50:14 PM »
I believe the Ameraucana Silver description refers you to “Dutch” if I remember correctly. Which calls for striping in the hackles and saddles of males where old English prefer clean?

Silver is not the same color variety as Silver Duckwing.   The major difference is hackle and saddle striping in the males of Silvers, whereas Silver Duckwing males are supposed to have clean hackles and saddles.   
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Rebecca G Howie

  • Associate
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 05:03:45 PM »
Thanks John and Mike. I need to go back and re-read, I thought the Silver was based on the Silver Duckwing(pattern).  This is why I need to ask lots of questions and even talk about what I "think" I understand.

Then I count on you to guide me back into the right lane  ;)

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 05:47:25 PM »
Thanks John and Mike. I need to go back and re-read, I thought the Silver was based on the Silver Duckwing(pattern).  This is why I need to ask lots of questions and even talk about what I "think" I understand.

Then I count on you to guide me back into the right lane  ;)

This is one of the areas where a word has more than one meaning in the fancy.  I have a topic on Terminology that helps with some of the jargon, like outcross vs crossbreeding.
Silver is a gene (S) and also an accepted variety name.  Duckwing is the same as wildtype (e+) and it refers to the wing triangle of e+ chickens, but "Silver Duckwing" together is another accepted variety name as Mike described it.
Some others to watch out for are wheaten (both a gene or two and a variety name), birchen (both a gene and variety name), etc.

Our silver variety is based on the duckwing or, as we generally call it, wildtype e-locus.  If you take a light brown variety of chicken and change the gold/brown (s+) to silver/white (S) you pretty much have our silver variety of Ameraucana. 

Quote from: BANTAM CHICKENS by Fred P Jeffrey, page 204 - Silver
It is not necessary to have double matings to produce good silvers of both sexes.  Select males with well defined black striping in hackle and saddle and freedom from white ticking in body.  Females should be chosen which are free of reddish tinge in wing bows and back and for high quality body stippling which extends to the tip of the feather.

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 978
    • Red Stag Acres
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 05:56:05 PM »
When we first set up the Standard for silvers there was some debate on how to describe the muffs and beard on Silver females.  Jerry wanted them to be black, like the males.  He actually had a strain going at that time where the females muffs and beard were very dark.   But the topcolor of the back, wings, etc., on his were also very dark, and it would not conform to the standard description of Silver Leghorns, which was considered the ideal before we changed it to Silver Dutch to allow for a little more shafting.  So in the end we went with the present description which is  "Gray shading to salmon at the lower extremity of the beard."
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Russ Blair

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 06:31:39 PM »
i have been wondering lately if the shafting on females may not be caused by the "best males" with striping I have been using? I notice very little shafting on Silver Duckwing OE bantams which there males have clean hackles. Has anybody kept cleaner hackled males to breed with, ever noticed the pullets from the mating tend to have lesser shafting? I know I had my large fowl females with little or no shafting but at the expense of losing size. Seemed the males I had also lacked the defined striping I prefer. Now I am getting the size and type back, my males seem to have darker striping and the pullets more shafting  :o. It's almost like riding a see saw with this certain variety  ::) sorry I got a little off topic lol
S.E. Michigan

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 07:23:16 PM »
Here are a couple quotes pertaining to salmon breast color and shafting by Sam Brush.  They may help when selecting breeders.  Although our standards call for both hackle and saddle stripping, more is not better.  It may not be what we have in our flocks today, but we should breed for the hackle stripe in the "lower hackle feather" not in the upper part of the hackle and the saddle stripe should be "less stripping than hackle". 

Quote from: Sam Brush 9/12/2005
...In discussions with the Leghorn breeders (and I mean some of the deep ones that worry or ponder over the fine points of color) the counsel is that the color of the cape (neck area under the hackle) is a link to the shafting, and they select for males that do not show color along the shaft in the cape.  In fact, one advised that cape color can be evaluated pretty early in young males.  To get less shafting in females, select males that have strong black color at the feather center, and which do not show any light striping in the middle along the shaft.

The thinking on the saddle stripe in males is that it has more of a link to breast color in females...

Quote from: Sam Brush 9/21/2005
...The APA Silver Leghorn style has lower hackle striping and no saddle striping.  The Silver Dutch calls for lower hackle striping and saddle striping.  The ABA Silver pattern is essentially the same as the APA Silver Dutch - stripes in lower hackle and stripes in saddle.  The full hackle striping situation is more normally associated with the crow wing varieties like Birchen and Brown Red.  Every kind of duckwing variety, whether it be the Game style of Black Breasted Red and Silver Duckwing with fully clear saddle and hackle, or the Light Brown Leghorn and Silver Leghorn style, where striping is ideally zoned in the lower hackle, does not use a full hackle stripe...

We had a big discussion a dozen years ago when we worked with Sam to change our "silver" standard to what we now have. 

Russ Blair

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: Salmon in the Head/Muffs of Silvers
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 09:20:33 PM »
Thanks John, that makes sense and definitely helps, to bad I didn’t know that 8 years ago  ;D
S.E. Michigan