Well, I mentioned in a prior post about breeding my two chocolates, Cadbury and Lacey Louie, and it's time for an update on their offspring. Their girls have not been too cooperative, but there have been some interesting results to share…

Cadbury

Cadbury was paired with my two black silkied girls, both A's, one of whom recently died. I have several chocolate pullets from him, one smooth and the rest are frizzled. This leaves me in a quandary, since these girls should be crossed back to Cadbury, but that means breeding frizzle x frizzle, which brings up the subject of “curlies” again, which I'll get to later on. All the cockerels from him are black, some black with white, in smooth and frizzled feather. These boys are called “chocolate splits”, meaning that they are black but carry the chocolate gene, and will produce some chocolate offspring if paired with a chocolate or black hen. They are also “silkied splits”, since their mama was silkied. This means that they carry the recessive silkied gene, and will produce silkied offspring if crossed to a silkied hen. As a matter of fact, the chocolate pullets are also silkied carriers, so I'm thinking about crossing one of these pullets with one of the cockerels, to start a line of chocolate silkied seramas. I could also cross one of the pullets to a silkied black roo (which I have), but that would yield only chocolate silkied cockerels, since the chocolate gene is sex-linked. The resulting cockerels would then be crossed back to their mother to yield chocolate males and chocolate females. So, I think the faster route would be to cross the current chocolate girls to one of the split boys…Good God, have I lost you all yet? Confusing, isn't it?

Lacey Louie

Now, getting back to Louie…I crossed him with Sophia, a smooth black little girl, and only got two frizzled babies, since Sophia decided to go broody when I decided to collect eggs! Sophia weighed 10.5 oz at 11 months of age when I purchased her, which makes her a Class A…this picture was taken by Paradise Seramas, who originally sold her to me…

The result of this cross was enlightening, if not a little disappointing. It turns out that Louie is not chocolate, or at least, I don't think so. The pullet appears to be black, but she could be a very, very dark blue. The cockerel appears to be splash, but does have a little color on some of his feather tips. They're too young yet to make a definite call. I have a few more eggs from Louie in the incubator right now, so I'll see what this new clutch produces… I currently have him with Joule, a fluffy little black silkied girl. I would be thrilled to see some chocolates out of this pairing, but I'm now pretty sure he's going to throw blue. His offspring from this pairing will also be silkied splits! The serama gene pool is so vast, I think it may take a little longer to pinpoint exactly what color Louie is, much less to isolate it. I'd really like to cross him with Blue Pearl (his mother), but she's currently paired up with Cadbury, another mother/son team. Don't forget, Cadbury and Louie are full brothers from Blue Pearl!

So, I'm now down to working with only Cadbury for my chocolate project. Needless to say, Cadbury's going to be one busy boy for the next few months! The above results show the importance of test breeding, especially for chocolates, since there is no other way to know for sure which gene you are working with. You can't really tell by looking at a bird if it is dun or chocolate, or even blue…both can look similar, so test breeding is a must!