In general I find that Marans roosters have longer/larger wattles and combs than this guy here (my other roos, which I don't have pics of on the computer, have the larger wattles/combs typical of Marans). But this guy is built much better than my other roosters from other lines (for example "squirrel tail," where the tail sits upright at an almost 90 degree angle from the back, is a common fault with Cuckoos). So he's my main man around here.
And with those smaller wattles, he's the only Marans roo that didn't get frostbite this winter--a plus in my book! He's a good looking boy, I think (though I admit to being a bit biased). You can't see in this photo, but he is feather-legged as well. Too bad he's meaner 'en stink.
So do you think the roo in bantaman's picture has a squirrel tail? It looks like it does in the first picture but not in the second one. Thanks for the info. I didn't know it was a common fault of Cuckoos. I raise BC's so have never seen it in any of mine.
It's hard to say and I definitely am not in any place to judge anyone else's birds. But if he carries it like that all of the time, yes, I would call it squirrel tail (in the first pic). But any bird can carry its tail like that at any given moment--you can't tell from one snapshot--so I wouldn't say that this bird has squirrel tail (I don't know). The thing is these guys have mostly been bred with the goal of improving egg color (and rightly so), and so conformation hasn't been paid attention to as much. I have one rooster that isn't half as pretty as the one I posted the pic of, but he came from fabulous bloodlines and out of a really dark egg, sooo....he's a keeper. I try to keep feather-legged birds w/good conformation, and I would never breed a bird with a serious fault, but I have to put emphasis on egg color. And so I have some birds that are clean-legged and some that are just not so pretty.
But I'm working on good egg color AND pretty. It's gonna take awhile.
Yep, I agree. Egg color first when it comes to Marans. You can work on confirmation once the egg color is where you want it. What lines are your cuckoos from? I had Fugate and Ripley lines years ago but they were all clean legged. I prefer feather legged but couldn't find any at the time. They did all lay very dark eggs. I just started with BC Marans but may get some cuckoo again down the road.