Black Copper Marans discussion thread

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by geebs, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,576
    94
    421
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Oh, I'm so sorry for so much loss...the 100 year old oak tree would be a tough one for me to handle, too. Sigh. I'm so happy you are pleased with your birds!! [​IMG]

    My current cock bird is descended from BayHorseBonne lines, so maybe that's what is going on...hmmm.....
     
  2. VillageChicken

    VillageChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Here I go again on shank color. First how old is he? A lot of the birds I have hatched here, that are from Germany, and theoretically originated in France, have pink legs. Usually not pink all the way up, but pink feet and legs up to the "knees". They are usually cockerels. When they get older and their hormones kick in fully, they usually end up with some slate epidermis - some of the scales will have gray in them, but the legs will still be predominantly pink, as in all the other Marans varieties.

    On the ER birchen allele, hormones cause the females to melanize more easily than males. Combine that with the fact that males get a double dose of the Id dermal melanin inhibitor gene, and your cockerels will have much lighter shanks than your pullets.

    There are those that believe that pink shanks indicate "wheaten influence", which I think is a broad term that includes any unwanted traits that come from crossing in wheaten.
    In all the other varieties, lighter shanks are always better. Wheatens and Whites often have trouble with bluish shanks where they should be pink. Cuckoos don't generally have this problem as the barring gene usually clears up shanks as well. Shank melanization is not completely understood. In general, the eWh wheaten allele is the most difficult to melanize. ER birchens are the second easiest bird to melanize.

    But if your BC flock has never thrown a wheaten in 3 generations, and you're not getting straw hackle or mossy, (if I remember right your flock is fairly dark) then I wouldn't suspect that these pink shanks are from wheaten cross in.

    Many of the pictures of U.S. BC that I see tend to have shanks that I would say are on the dark side, if not completely missing the Id dermal melanin inhibitors. Roosters that aren't showing at least a bit of pink dermis are probably missing one or both copies of the Id gene. It was only this year that the standard was clarified to state that rooster shanks should be pale slate, not dark slate. So many breeders have probably been using roosters with the wrong genotype for a long time. Combine that with the fact that hens tend to have dark shanks because of hormones and it's difficult to know if your hen is Id (correct) or id+, it is very easy to perpetuate incorrect shank genetics within a flock and to distribute incorrect birds via hatching eggs for a long time.

    All that to say, maybe your odd pinky footed roo is a step in a more correct direction. Most of the roos I've hatched out here have predominantly pink feet as juvies. Maybe I can take some pictures tomorrow and post them. They are not undermelanized at all. Some have pink feet and solid black feathers on them at 4 weeks. I'm almost finished hatching a bunch of BC's from single matings, all of them from a rooster with predominantly pink/red shanks with some gray scaling in the epidermis. One of the hens was a hatchmate, if not a direct sibling, at least a half sibling. So far there has not been a single wheaten chick. Some of the resulting hens have some light lacing in the upper breast, but the black on the rest of their bodies is nice solid deep black, even with a little green sheen, and some even have copper brown on the top and sides of their head. In other words, no other anomalies have popped up alongside the more pink shanked roos.

    This is just my personal experience with the genes I have found here in Europe. I personally like the lighter shanks because they show off the shank feathering better. In other varieties with Id clear shanks (leghorns, wyandottes), the goal is to get the shanks as clear as possible while still maintaining correct plumage color. If you can breed towards clearer shanks while keeping your birds the right color, I'd say that's a step in the right direction.

    In a private email from Bev Davis on this topic, she reiterated that BC's should have pink dermis and slate or gray epidermis. I found a couple old pics of a cockerel from the UK. He was very dark, too lightly feathered in shank, and a mean bugger, mean to the hens too. A fox got him early last spring. His shank color is like what I'm seeing on almost all the roosters here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,427
    63
    246
    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Quote:Very interesting. Do any of your bhb females have or throw female chicks with the lighter shanks? None of mine have so far, so I was just wondering if you noticed if any of yours did? I am wondering if it is only showing up on the cockerals?

    I have that line separated from my others now because I culled one of the BCM that had the light shanks and separated out the BTB to play with at a later time. There is one hen that has more red in her chest than the others and lays a big fat dark red egg so I put her with the BTB and gave the others to the remaining bhb BCM cockeral with the normal colored shanks. The hens from this line are beautiful, big and lay nice large dark eggs but I don't like the beefy combs that some of the males have.

    Village Chicken: None of mine from the bcm BHB line have straw hackle, mossiness, or cinnamon wing triangle like the wheatens but 2 of the male's shanks did not color up at maturity either. One of the 'bcms' turned out to be a black tailed buff male. Not a perfectly colored one or anything but closely resembles btb with lighter shanks etc.
    So my question is....If a bcm line throws black tailed buff, does that mean it has wheaten in it somewhere or could it just have black tailed buff in it?
     
  4. armadamork

    armadamork Out Of The Brooder

    37
    1
    24
    Nov 22, 2010
    Hi all. I finally got four FBCM in Aug. and need help determining if one is a rooster. Of the four I am pretty sure two are roosters and one is a hen. The one in question is the one on the left against the wall. My initial thought was rooster but the comb and wattles are less than the roosters but more than the hen. At this time all four are suppose to be about 15 weeks old. Any insight would be appreciated.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. rirbrahma

    rirbrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

    450
    0
    99
    Oct 25, 2011
    hawaii
    Quote:I managed to hatch one male and one female this summer. Gonna try to breed my own with this pair next year. I am on the Big Island. Maybe I could help you out in a year. Lol!

    Haha that's great! It's hard finding someone to ship day old chicks here. I have 3 people who are doing some research on sending them here. They are trying to send me true araucanas, true ameraucanas, and bcm's day old chicks. If they can do it I'll be so excited!!
     
  6. guard278th

    guard278th Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    29
    Apr 14, 2011
    Rogersville Tn
    Quote:I think I see hackle feathering u should be able to tell be the saddle feathers but looks like a roo
     
  7. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,620
    111
    233
    Jan 30, 2009
    Quote:I think I see hackle feathering u should be able to tell be the saddle feathers but looks like a roo

    If Im seeing correctly, he has copper feathers on his body, so should be a boy.
     
  8. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

    9,573
    66
    298
    May 30, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I think I see hackle feathering u should be able to tell be the saddle feathers but looks like a roo

    If Im seeing correctly, he has copper feathers on his body, so should be a boy.

    I believe I see 3 cockerels and 1 pullet. [​IMG]
     
  9. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,427
    63
    246
    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Quote:If Im seeing correctly, he has copper feathers on his body, so should be a boy.

    I believe I see 3 cockerels and 1 pullet. [​IMG]

    x2 !!
     
  10. VillageChicken

    VillageChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Village Chicken: None of mine from the bcm BHB line have straw hackle, mossiness, or cinnamon wing triangle like the wheatens but 2 of the male's shanks did not color up at maturity either. One of the 'bcms' turned out to be a black tailed buff male. Not a perfectly colored one or anything but closely resembles btb with lighter shanks etc.
    So my question is....If a bcm line throws black tailed buff, does that mean it has wheaten in it somewhere or could it just have black tailed buff in it?

    If your BTB were a true BTB, he would have been reddish wheaten color as a chick - sort of new hampshire like. Several genetic combinations can cause blacktailed buff-like coloring. The most likely within BCM flocks is the Db gene. A homozygous Db male will have a rusty, burnt orange color instead of the black chest. Db is a melanin restrictor, and maybe acts on the shank melanization as well. Since you are not exhibiting any wheaten traits in your flock, this would be my first guess.

    edited to add: by the way, BTB is primarily Wheaten + Db as well, but the chickdown is different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by