Usually when discussing darker colors in silkies we talk about a Blue, Black and Splash pen. Those three colors can be housed together because they will produce blue, black and splash coloring when mated together in certain percentages.
Blue X Blue = 50% blue, 25% black and 25% splash
Blue X Black = 50% blue, 50% Black
Blue X Splash = 50% blue, 50% Splash
Black X Black = 100% black
Black X Splash = 100% blue
Splash X Splash = 100% splash
I keep my blacks in a separate pen in order to keep them a deep, rich, black. I do not want the color diluted in any way. I am looking for a deep black with a beetle green sheen to the tail.
In the blue/splash pen I like to keep the darkest blue possible. I feel that it is the nice dark blue that creates the best splash. The best splashes I have ever seen were dark blue matings. I will not usually keep a grey or light blue in my breeding pen if I want to create nice splash birds.
Mating a splash with another splash will dilute the splash markings. The more you continue to cross splash together, the lighter the markings will become and you will have a washed out effect.
Splash are highly desired birds and are quite stunning when their markings are clear and sharp. The problem is that they are also rare. I probably get around one or two per hatch. They hatch out a silver color which looks different from a white. The splash are not born with their spots. They start to develop gradually around 3 weeks old. This is similar to a dalmatian dog.
A Blue/Black/Splash is probably the easiest color pen to start out with. They can cross breed and still produce birds with colors that can be shown in a poultry show. At VJP Poultry we are proud of our beautiful blues and Splashes.