I'm not new to understanding about biology and animal breeding and education about breed standards. But I am new to Black Cooper Marans. I got my first ones from a high ranking member of the MOAC last fall. And I have not seen one bird from my flock that has it all perfect... But I'm saying that with the perfect standard in mind and I'm just being honest. In my opinion I have good material to work with and I feel confident mine are good enough to be called BCM's... When my second generation matures this spring it's going to tell me alot about what my best rooster and two hens that survived my culling will produce. I've got 5 pullets and 3 cockerals I'm raising from my best three adult BCM's. But speaking of where I'm at now with what my expectation in my flock compared to what it was when I first started this past spring I was about 5 on a scale of 1-10. but recently knowing what I know now I would have to say I'm about a 7 on my expectation scale because I'm seeing prominent well respected breeders having similar egg colors and feather colors as mine and quirks... When I am able produce healthy off spring that are correct 95 percent of the time I'll be happy. What I mean by correct is by proper feather and eye color by SOP and eggs that start off at least solid 8's and lightens to around a 5 then I'll be happy. I know that egg color is possible because my best two hens lay approximately that. Egg color and quantity to me is the number one concern. I have read that in order for a chicken to be called a Maran it has to a "lay at least a 4 on the french egg color scale at some point in the lay." If I read that correctly a maran could lay a 4 for awhile then lighten to 2.... I don't feel that way for this breed. I think we can do better. I'm confused how this breed got APA accepted with so many quirks still so prevalent. I wish all the breeders would get on the exact same page and do line breeding within their own flocks until they get their get their flock up to standard and if can not be done cull and start over. After a breeder gets standard birds for several generations THEN find someone who has done the very same thing with their bloodlines. Then and only then should you out cross for genetic diversity. But you should not do out crosses until you've got it dang close to perfect and find someone else who's done the same If everyone who's breeding Black Copper Marans keeps out crossing with the person who they believe has the best marans they we will continue to have the same problems.