Naked Neck Silkies
by Inga Ladd
Edited by Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
The First Generation
Showgirl breeders are not a real organized group. There are about maybe 10 serious Showgirl breeders in the entire United States. If you want to breed your own Showgirls from Turkens and Silkies, I suggest you first cross a Silkie male with a Turken female. Guessing which Showgirls are males is HARDER than sexing Silkies and that is saying something! You can easily find the female offspring in this cross. All the females from this cross will have black skin because the gene for black skin is sex linked.
Cross the naked neck female offspring with Silkies; choose the naked necked females with the 5 toes, best combs, and best crest.
The Second Generation
Showgirl Female x Silkie Male or Silkie Female x Showgirl Male?
In later crosses, it doesn't matter. If you use a Showgirl male on Silkie females, you get more Showgirl chicks for your investment. One Showgirl male with say three Silkie females laying well could fertilize maybe 10 eggs a week. Crossing the other way gives the same numbers but good luck finding three Showgirl females of breeding age.
Improving Your Showgirls
Most breeders usually cross Showgirls with Silkies to improve type. The Showgirls I use are heterozygous for the naked neck gene. They are N/n (one naked neck gene and one not naked neck gene). These birds have more than just a few feathers on the front of their necks. Breeding these N/n birds with Silkies produces 50% naked neck chicks and 50% normal chicks. The normal ones look just like regular Silkies but might have the poor type of the Showgirl parent. Sometimes the Silkie offspring have great type. Backcross them them like any other Silkie to improve type. I usually sell or give away the not naked neck chicks from these matings.
Get the naked neck in your line first. The naked neck is an incompletely dominant trait.
It will take A LOT of chicks and at least three generations before you get something like this Splash female.