I set about trying to reproduce the Silver Laced Barnevelder for several reasons:
1. Fertility of the males was terrible, we had had several that were completely sterile and most couldn't cope with more than a single hen.
2. There was a lot of red leakage into the silver on the feathers due to poor breeding and crossing back to the standard double laced. We have had some silver barnevelders in the past that were almost muddy.
3. There needed to be new genes as the silver is so rare it is becoming very inbred.
4. They are absolutely stunning.
The original was created with a Silver Laced Wyandotte so I chose the same breed as a starting point.
As it turns out I have a friend who breeds Wyandottes and was lucky enough to be gifted a Cockeral. In the past it would have taken several generation to breed out the rose comb as this is dominant, but luckily he had one with a straight that I rescued from the pot.
He was set in a run with two really well marked Gold laced hens. This is a picture of him below:
The results of the first generation were very mixed, everything from almost true Gold Double Laced hens to some quite nicely marked and coloured birds. we selected this one as he was well coloured and marked
Choosing which birds to breed from is a conundrum not easily solved. My choice was to choose for colour from the male and pattern from the hen as I knew from my experiance in breeding the bantam silver that the red leakage could be bred out over several generations with good selection.
This Rooster below is a 3rg generation:
The picture right at the top of this page is a 4th generation hen and below is the 5th generation day old chicks:
and the 7 week old grower:
It is worth bearing in mind that serious breeders produce a lot of birds that do not make the grade. Make sure you do not end up buying these birds, it is often these inferior specimens that end up in auctions or with general keepers.