Barred Rock & Cuckoo Marans, or not?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 5, 2013
I have five chicks that are 5 weeks old. One of them was sold as a barred plymouth rock, but her feathers don't seem very barred to me, so I'm not sure if it's just an age thing where they will bar out more, or if she is another breed.

Our Barred Plymouth Rock

This chick was sold as a Cuckoo Marans.

this is the two of them together, they look so similar to me.
In front is our Cuckoo Marans, and in back is our Barred Plymouth Rock.

So, what are the opinions on them? Is it just that as they feather more, their distinction will be obvious?
So, barred rocks are supposed to have yellow legs, and cuckoo marans have pink legs. I had a mix of barred rock and cuckoo marans chicks, and for the life of me, I couldn't tell them apart. I gave all but two chicks away...thought they were cuckoo marans because their legs were pinkish, with super dark washes. Well, at 8ish weeks, their legs started turning yellow. At 18 weeks, they are bright yellow with a dark wash down the front. My 2 chicks turned out to be barred rocks, not cuckoo marans.

Anyway, I think their feathering looks slightly different as adults (cuckoo marans are darker with more of a random spotting), but as chicks there isn't a difference (that I could tell). Check the leg color on your two, and MAYBE, you'll notice a difference.

eta: the first one, that you have labeled a barred rock? Looks like it has really pink maybe that's the cuckoo marans?
The third photo, with them together, the 1st bird looks like it has yellowish legs, so maybe that is the barred rock?
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Hmm, the cuckoo marans legs look pink with a yellow-ish tinge compared to the barred rock that has pink legs. Both have black coloring down the front. I suppose one thing that points to our BR being one is that I've read they mature more quickly than other breeds, and she definitely has gotten bigger, faster (much like our Silver Ameraucana). She also has much bigger feet than our others.

I was in Urban Farm Store the other day, where I got them, and saw a cage of older chicks that looked around the same age (which would make sense due to delivery schedule if these were from the last batch and hadn't sold yet), and they were barred VERY distinctly whereas mine looks a little murky instead of good lines.
The hatchery CMs I've gotten have had varied leg color with some definitely on the yellowish side. On the other hand I don't remember getting a hatchery BR that had white legs. The CMs have also been all over the place so far as feather color / barring goes, some were much crisper than others and some were a lot darker overall. When they were sold, did they have the breeds in separate cages where the public could handle them? Were they sold as sexed pullets?
Urban Farm (writers of the book, A Chicken in Every Yard) has them as generally two, sometimes three when they have a huge batch of chicks, different (distinctly different coloring) breeds sharing a cage. The cages are closed, and no one can move them around without employee assistance (well they probably could try, but the employees would see/hear this right away). These were sold as 80% guaranteed to be female sexed chicks. They take them back for you if you get a rooster, and in exchange give you another chick.
You get all sorts of weird colors with hatchery birds. I have barred rocks that are very muddy, it's just a norm for hatchery birds. You'll just have to wait and see who lays what.

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