Black Copper Marans discussion thread

desertmarcy

Crowing
9 Years
May 26, 2011
2,435
410
266
Tucson
Yes, looking at my group of 8 it's obvious those four are cockerels. BCMs are hard to find in my area, so I have been looking online for a place to order from. I'm not in a hurry, so I have time to find just the right ones. I've checked here on BYC some, but haven't found much yet. I'm not real fond of gambling on eBay. I don't see a place on Bev Davis' site to order directly from her. The most interesting I have seen are what I think is Wade Jeanes original line that has changed hands, at least that's what I gathered from the website. I am definitely open to suggestions if anyone has recommendations. Like I said, I've been a hobby farmer for several years, but the BCMs are the first birds I have ever seen that I want to get serious about.
I thank you for your honest criticism of the ones I have

From my own experience and from talking with others involved with this breed, no matter who you get them from, expect to cull a lot. That is just a fact of the state of this breed right now, if you are trying to breed to SOP plus dark egg color. Even Davis birds have issues. This year, I bought chicks from another breeder to work with as well as hatching from my own birds. Some are his own line that are a mix of various birds from different people that he has worked with over the last 7 years. Some are Bev Davis chicks, some are Little Peddler chicks. I have approx. equal # of these 3 lines. He has kept the BD and LP lines separate and although the chicks are less than a month old, I can already see some differences. I have worked hard on SOP with my birds, but their egg color is a #4 at most, I never get any darker from them. But they are large birds and good temperament and lay large eggs. These new chicks all came from eggs at least a #5-#6. The breeder marked the chicks that came from the darkest eggs for me, #7-#8, so I can use that information as part of decision making when it comes time to pick breeders. This is a huge commitment for me, since I will need to build more pens if I want to keep some lines pure. I also plan to raise all of them (27 chicks) past the point where I probably would cull if they came from my own stock. That is a lot of space and feed needed just for those. At least that's what I'm thinking now...easy to say when they are little chicks in a brooder
wink.png
I do want to get my eggs darker. I have another line that lays #5-#6, but I only have a couple of hens that do that, and they are small birds, too small for SOP. See, it is just so hard to get it all right in one bird! So I hatch a couple of hundred every year and cull, cull, cull!
 

scflock

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 13, 2015
14,366
2,286
368
Upstate South Carolina
From my own experience and from talking with others involved with this breed, no matter who you get them from, expect to cull a lot. That is just a fact of the state of this breed right now, if you are trying to breed to SOP plus dark egg color. Even Davis birds have issues. This year, I bought chicks from another breeder to work with as well as hatching from my own birds. Some are his own line that are a mix of various birds from different people that he has worked with over the last 7 years. Some are Bev Davis chicks, some are Little Peddler chicks. I have approx. equal # of these 3 lines. He has kept the BD and LP lines separate and although the chicks are less than a month old, I can already see some differences. I have worked hard on SOP with my birds, but their egg color is a #4 at most, I never get any darker from them. But they are large birds and good temperament and lay large eggs. These new chicks all came from eggs at least a #5-#6. The breeder marked the chicks that came from the darkest eggs for me, #7-#8, so I can use that information as part of decision making when it comes time to pick breeders. This is a huge commitment for me, since I will need to build more pens if I want to keep some lines pure. I also plan to raise all of them (27 chicks) past the point where I probably would cull if they came from my own stock. That is a lot of space and feed needed just for those. At least that's what I'm thinking now...easy to say when they are little chicks in a brooder
wink.png
I do want to get my eggs darker. I have another line that lays #5-#6, but I only have a couple of hens that do that, and they are small birds, too small for SOP. See, it is just so hard to get it all right in one bird! So I hatch a couple of hundred every year and cull, cull, cull!
Thank you for all of that information. That does give me some things to think about. The feathering on these birds doesn't really bother me. I bought them for egg color, and I will never show them, but at the same time I don't want to be advertising chicks for sale that I know are incorrect. If they had small deductions for combs or colors, I could live with that, but I didn't know about the green legs. I honestly hadn't even noticed. I have space to raise that many, but with 55 other full time chickens and the comings and going of their offspring, I don't know that I could dedicate the time to ruthless culling and breeding for a strict SOP. As long as they lay dark eggs (they were 6-7 with a few 8s onsite), I am happy, but I couldn't ethically sell the chicks as purebred BCMs if I knew they had such an egregious flaw. If these pullets lay the dark eggs, I may just keep them, be happy with them, and sell the chicks as a BCM mix
 

One Chick Two

Songster
Jun 13, 2013
1,067
234
206
My first BIG concern is that 2 of the cockerels have green feet. That means their skin is yellow and that is a HUGE NO NO. If they came from the same breeder 100% of the others carry yellow skin genes. It is recessive and will not express without 2 copies and for sure where ever they came from the sire carried the gene and one hen did too. I would eat them and start over.

Sorry, I know you didn't expect to hear that but yellow skin is a gene that is very hard to remove and you also don't have any idea where the yellow came from, no telling what is in the gene pool.

Donna, I thought that a marans expressing yellow shanks already carries the 2 copies of recessive yellow skin, and the ones that don't express from the same flock carry both as well.

This may help to see tonal differences.

L-R Wheaten/ BCM split shanks, Yellow shanks, Correct shanks

 

DMRippy

Pallet Queen
8 Years
May 18, 2011
14,981
543
381
Nashville
To express takes 2 copies and ALL the other I would assume are carriers. You know the site carried one copy (maybe 2) and at least 1 yen has one copy. I would so assume the clock they came from all were at least carriers. I personally wouldn't use them at all. No telling what the yellow skin came from.
 

scflock

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 13, 2015
14,366
2,286
368
Upstate South Carolina
To express takes 2 copies and ALL the other I would assume are carriers. You know the site carried one copy (maybe 2) and at least 1 yen has one copy. I would so assume the clock they came from all were at least carriers. I personally wouldn't use them at all. No telling what the yellow skin came from.
I do assume they were all carriers, even though I didn't know that at the time. I was so infatuated with the eggs that I hadn't studied up on the SOP before I bought. Do you have any specific breeders that you recommend here in the SE?
 

berkeleysprings

Songster
11 Years
Dec 30, 2008
2,082
53
198
Berkeleysprings West Virginia
I am not sure I understand your question.  I always make sure my cock/erels are well feathered.  I don't worry too much about the pullets but do prefer they have some feathered legs..... I will use a perfect pullets with clean legs.  I rarely get clean legs.

My cuckoo Marans (was VERY hard to get any with feathered legs) I have a HEAVILY feathered cock (middle toes too) and he NEVER throws clean leg chicks, even though some of the hens are clean. 
you may have a rooster with heavily feathered legsbut that does not mean he's not carrying one copy of the clean leg jeanand if you breed him to a hand that has two copies of the feathered leg jean and she has feathered legsyou can still get the occasional check that comes out clean leg sorry about my spellingI'm using text to speech swinging a hammer on a lighter
 

DMRippy

Pallet Queen
8 Years
May 18, 2011
14,981
543
381
Nashville
My cuckoo hens have sparse feathering if any. I have been breeding these guys for years and rarely get clean legs if ever. I get light feathering. I have hatched way more than 20. If I remember correctly there are 3 or 4 sets of genes at play. I don't think there is a gene for clean legs......just the lack of the feathered leg genes.

The point is like I said clean legs is an easy fix. May not be 100% but it is a high number if you breed properly.
 

berkeleysprings

Songster
11 Years
Dec 30, 2008
2,082
53
198
Berkeleysprings West Virginia
Feathered legs Pti-1, Pti-2 Dominant. Two different feathered leg genes. Research has shown that these genes are most likely not allelic (they belong to different loci of the chromosome). When both are present, heavy feathering as in Cochin, Sultan, Belgian d’Uccle. If only one is present, the feathering is weaker as in Langshan, Faverolle, Breda. Genes demonstrate a dose effect.
Recessive feathered legs pti-3 The recessive leg feathering gene was identified in a Russian breed referred to as the Pavlov breed. Test matings confirmed the recessive nature of this gene. so I guess with only one copy you can get little to no tFethering
 

desertmarcy

Crowing
9 Years
May 26, 2011
2,435
410
266
Tucson
I do assume they were all carriers, even though I didn't know that at the time. I was so infatuated with the eggs that I hadn't studied up on the SOP before I bought. Do you have any specific breeders that you recommend here in the SE?

You can always test the birds to see if they are carriers by breeding to a yellow-skinned breed like Plymouth Rock or Rhode Island Red. Hatch out enough of the offspring to avoid statistical error---I would say at least 6. If your bird is carrying yellow, 50% of the offspring should show it, the other 50% will be carriers.
 

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