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.
For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com . VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul. We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available. Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.
Victoria J. Peterson