Brown Egg Blue Egg
Why White Silkies Are White
Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
Think of the Silkie white gene as a "though shalt not" or skip the rest of the chapter gene.
The Short Story

Silkie white hides color. If the parents have put two Silkie white genes into a Silkie of any color, even for example fire engine red, you get a white bird!
The Long Story

Parents pass things to offspring that make a plan for building the offspring. These plans are a true joint effort (a minor exception is the sex chromosome but that is another story). Traits are chapters in the book. Some traits are single page chapters but multiple page chapters are common. All the pages have a front side and a back side; one parent writes the front and the other parent writes the back.
Mom and Dad Have Equal Says But There Are Wild Cards

Each page of the book has a mom side and a dad side. The two sides interact to make a plan. Sometimes one side of the page is dominant (wild card) and always wins. If a page gets two sides that are not automatic winners (not dominant, called recessive), then a different chick is built.
The Silkie White Color Is Not a Wild Card (Is Recessive)

Both sides of the page (mom side and dad side) must be white to build a white Silkie. Many colored Silkies do not have even one side of a page with the white plan. That means when one parent is white and the other is not, the white parent's white plan is often on the opposite side of a color plan. Voila! White Silkie x Colored Silkie almost never gives white Silkies.
The Color of Feathers Is One Chapter

This chapter has a general section and several subsections devoted to the feathers on various parts of the body. In the general section is a page for the white Silkie gene. If both sides of this page say white, then don't read the rest of the chapter!
White Silkies Have Genes for Colors

Just because a white Silkie skips the rest of the color chapter doesn't mean those pages are blank. There can be instructions for building all sorts of colors but usually those ignored pages have instructions for building a partridge Silkie. That means when you cross a white Silkie with a colored Silkie the offspring often contain variations of the partridge color and, of course, the color of the not white parent.

Brown Egg Blue Egg