A Black Crested White line was started by Connie Gilligan in one of the midwestern states in America. She used a Lakenvelder hen and a White Crested Black rooster then added Crevacour. There is also some silkie mixed in (If you look at the skin of the black crested, you will see that it has a faint purple hue). It is such a rare variety that it will require alot of dedicated effort on the part of many to make this variety as beautiful as possible. The standard size Black Cressted White is recognized in the American Standard of Perfection. The bantam size has yet to be recognized.
BREEDING THE BLACK CRESTED WHITE
(Silver Columbian Color)(with eumelanin intensifiers)
The black crested white polish that I have been raising for the past three years have always been the most frail. If there is a problem in any of the pens with health, it is usually in the black crested white pen.
The body plumage is white but not a clean white. It has a dirty cast and alot of yellowing on the roosters'back feathers. Also, the undercoat is a slate gray. They all have the slate gray undercoat whether they are white or colored. Plus, some of the cockerels have black in their tail feathers. They are second generation in the same line. My point is, I was reading a post talking about the weakness of a white bird and wondered if this might apply to my pen of black crested whites. How can I strengthen this line.
My bc whites are not nervous or flighty . They are a real nice bird to have around the farm. The roosters are not very aggressive but do like to protect their hens.
Another thing, when they are bred, alot of the male chicks are almost black with white blotches throughout their body and stay that way as they grow. These birds are about half of the flock of chicks that are hatched. I have yet to get a black splotchy pullet. These are my first culls so I don't know about their health as they grow.
Also, there will be a splayed legged chick now and then. Maybe one per every 50. Sometimes they come out of the egg like that and other times the leg will splay after three or four weeks.
An old-time breeder told me that when they were created a white crested black was put on a Lakenvelder and then some silkie was added. This was years ago though and you would think the color would have strenghthened by now but it always seems to stay the same. There is one cockerel in the pen that is whiter than the other cockerel or rooster. And, he doesn't seem to have any health problems (yet).
A RESPONSE FROM BRIAN READER OF ONOGADORI GENETICS MESSAGE BOARD
The black crested whites were made from lakenvelder and other columbian birds over polish. It seems that the Black cresteds then are most likely columbians with eumelanin intensifiers, perhaps charcoal or ebony. They are not clean because there is much heterozygosity and yousee ER, eb, Co, char, S ans s+ at least segregating in these birds. They may have Pg and Ml, owing to their polish heritage, because even if they were made with white polish, the whole group of polish seem to be segregating for most of the traits seen in polish. Dominant white only shows black as spots or ticks and recessive white covers the black altogether in most cases. Introducing color genes to clean up the white would surely be a sizable undertaking, perhaps yellowbirdmom could help both the color and the vigour by obtaining from unrelated stock, a clean white black crested white to put on her best birds, then improve by selection?
I do not know of any way in which recessive white could be coupled with a black crest, nor could dominant white. The black crested whites are silver columbians with eumelanin intensifiers most likely. They probably don't have anything to do with white but are rather silver.
It would be unlikely that yellowbirdmom could find a strong, hardy clean black crested white, as the current strains are fairly recent recreations and are not well set in any examples I have seen. As well, since they are a young breed with a complicated genotype, many birds have been kept which looked close to phenotype but were less than superior in vigour; ie, weak. This is a very common occurance in rarer breeds, where inferior examples are kept just because they are rare and/or because they look right. To strengthen them is going to be a bigt undertaking.
There is two ways to do it. One is to hatch every chick available and keep literally only the birds which never get sick for breeding. The other method requires outcrossing to a breed chosen for vigour rather than type. Such breeds may include anything from very resistant silver laced polish to dark brahma, columbian rock or wyandotte oto very strong lakenvelder or vorwerk (which are s+ so only half of young would be savable for use). The important part is to select the hardiest most resistant silver columbian like bird you can find, cross it to the b c w and the select the hardiest f1 birds to breed back to the parent. You would keep crossing back for several generations, always picking for hardiness and type from the f2 forward and in the pure birds. If you undertake both projects, you should have a drasticaly imporved and much hardier bird within five generations. Not short term but well worth the effort if you are really into preserving or improving a breed.
They are white, but that white is silver. To the casual observer, I know of no way to distinguish white from silver by tone, only by function. The reason they are white birds is that the Columbian gene distributes pheomelanin or red pigment across the normally eumelanic areas, then the silver gene turns those gold areas to white or silver. It however, doesnt effect the eumelanin of hackle and tail, but actually intensifies it. Then when you add further eumelanizers, you get basically a "white" bird with a black hackle(and crest in this case) and a black tail.