Black Copper Marans discussion thread

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

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:We need to remember that the Marans is BRAND spanking new to the U.S., having just been accepted into the APA (Black Copper variety) this year. This of how hard folks work with breeds such as the Plymouth Rock, which has been approved for almost 100 years. Consider all that those dedicated breeders have worked on and continue to work on. When you think in those terms, it's no wonder we have so much diversity that we need to get cleaned up with Marans.

    Math Ace - I'm totally with you - excellent post, VC, thank you so very much for that! [​IMG]
     

  2. RedBugPoultry

    RedBugPoultry Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Jasper Co., S.C.
    Quote:This does help me! Thank you!

    I reread the threads this morning and it is starting to sound to me like it would be easier to breed for the comb. Not that I am going to do that in a sense but I do have a 6 week old cockerel with a really pretty carnation comb developing(AA & BB). I have 2 very beautiful Davis line hens(?) that do not show any signs of the comb. If the theory is correct and I breed this carnation comb roo to my girls and get no carnation combs showing up in their offspring I have 2 hens without the A or B gene, correct? I could also do this with my other developing hens and this little roo. Then the problem is getting a good rooster without the 2 genes--which if I can get a hen out of this bunch that shows the gene strong I could do the same with her and my other roosters. Humm, sounds like I might be eating a lot more chicken in my future.... [​IMG]
     
  3. pinkchick

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

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    Quote:Roger you the man! Thank you!

    I read and read and read and read this stuff and I can't put it together in my head like you do, let alone spit it back out so it can be easily understood. As you can tell from my post about the combs, they completely confuse me. Just give me the color blue and it's genetics to talk about and I am good to go.....bring in the rest and my mind just mostly goes blank.

    Ok, just so I am clear, what I get from what you have said is that it can't be eliminated totally, but atleast I should be able to eliminate one of them. I know I am going to get great flack about this..... but I rather deal with just a sprig, instead of those nasty ugly carnations.
     
  4. pinkchick

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

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    May 30, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:This does help me! Thank you!

    I reread the threads this morning and it is starting to sound to me like it would be easier to breed for the comb. Not that I am going to do that in a sense but I do have a 6 week old cockerel with a really pretty carnation comb developing(AA & BB). I have 2 very beautiful Davis line hens(?) that do not show any signs of the comb. If the theory is correct and I breed this carnation comb roo to my girls and get no carnation combs showing up in their offspring I have 2 hens without the A or B gene, correct? I could also do this with my other developing hens and this little roo. Then the problem is getting a good rooster without the 2 genes--which if I can get a hen out of this bunch that shows the gene strong I could do the same with her and my other roosters. Humm, sounds like I might be eating a lot more chicken in my future.... [​IMG]

    LOL! Yes it would be easier to breed for it if you have the genetics for it but unfortunately the standard doesn't call for carnation combs in the Marans. [​IMG]
    This carnation thing has been very frustrating, trust me. [​IMG]
     
  5. RedBugPoultry

    RedBugPoultry Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Jasper Co., S.C.
    Quote:I reread the threads this morning and it is starting to sound to me like it would be easier to breed for the comb. Not that I am going to do that in a sense but I do have a 6 week old cockerel with a really pretty carnation comb developing(AA & BB). I have 2 very beautiful Davis line hens(?) that do not show any signs of the comb. If the theory is correct and I breed this carnation comb roo to my girls and get no carnation combs showing up in their offspring I have 2 hens without the A or B gene, correct? I could also do this with my other developing hens and this little roo. Then the problem is getting a good rooster without the 2 genes--which if I can get a hen out of this bunch that shows the gene strong I could do the same with her and my other roosters. Humm, sounds like I might be eating a lot more chicken in my future.... [​IMG]

    LOL! Yes it would be easier to breed for it if you have the genetics for it but unfortunately the standard doesn't call for carnation combs in the Marans. [​IMG]
    This carnation thing has been very frustrating, trust me. [​IMG]

    Pink, what I was getting at was it may be easier to figure out which chickens in my flock have the carnation gene by breeding for it with those birds that show it. If they all have the A or B gene I would find that out too. It is easier to tell who does have the gene to start with than try to figure out who doe not have it--does any of this make since??? [​IMG]

    I would get rid of all carnations in the end....
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  6. Red - I understand what you're getting at. It's just that you have to be sure your roo is A/A B/B. You may still get a decent carnation with A/a B/B or A/A B/b. They are both dominant genes, and it's not been studied how variably they express. You'll have to hatch more than just a few. If you've got an A/a B/B and your Davis hens are a/a B/B, you'll only get half with sprigs. I've hatched 7 out of 8 hens before, so the 50/50 odds only work in larger numbers.

    Pink - I don't think it's impossible to eliminate both genes from your flock. Like Red plans to do, if you have a rooster that's A/A B/B you can test all your hens. If you're not sure your roo is A/A B/B, but may be heterozygous, it still works, just in bigger numbers since not all offspring will have sprigs, only half.

    The problem would be culling some really nice birds because they only carry the one gene, and maybe only one copy. But if you want to really go the anti-sprig purist route, you'd have to get rid of all the carriers. The thing is, some very highly rated breeders with closed flocks may be quite "polluted" with one gene or the other. It's not just from Pene, it prevails in lots of other breeds as well. So someone who may be absolutely sure they have no pene blood in their birds (who can really say that?) may still have hidden sprig genes in their flock and never throw a single sprig til new blood is brought in.
     
  7. wilmothfarms

    wilmothfarms Songster

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    Cecilia Kentucky
    I just wanted to thank each of you that replied to this - really really answered questions for me and made things clearer for me! Nice discussion. :)

    Quote:The reputable breeders didn't get there overnight. Most of them are what I'd respectfully call "old timers" who have spent a lifetime - some since childhood - combining old school techniques with modern knowledge of genetics to develop a line of one specific breed that gains a reputation for being one of the best. When you think about all the different genes that are necessary to put together a correct bird, you can see why folks would want birds from some of these reputable lines. Though with Marans I don't know that there are really any "proven" lines that produce consistently correct birds more often than not. But these reputable lines have had more of the incorrect traits culled out, narrowing down the challenge if you can start with birds from these lines. Can you produce good birds from "far removed" offspring? That depends on what you've got to start with. You'll probably go nuts if you don't keep your flock relatively closed. But if you've worked with what you've got, and you still can't produce a bird with enough size or proper type, shank color etc. then you'll have to bring in new blood. But by that time - several generations of a closed flock later - you should have eliminated many incorrect traits from your flock if you are willing to cull all but the very best. And you will have learned that your flock just won't produce, for example, a correctly colored hen hackle, or a proper tail set, or proper pale slate shanks. Then you will have a specific set of genes that you can carefully introduce into your flock. You will have learned what traits you don't want to re-introduce back into your flock, and you will be a LOT more knowledgeable and picky about who you purchase from to help your flock.
    Quote:I know some of this is just a rant, but most of us have probably felt the same frustration at some point. I think once you recognize that Marans are so new and so unique, it will be easier to accept that the process will be long and challenging learning process. I believe it STILL is for those reputable breeders. That's why they are on this forum. I don't think any of them has the whole ball of wax figured out. I know some of the long time breeders are still learning about genetics and the role it can play in eliminating large numbers of culls in a breeding program. I think most folks don't have the time and funds to invest in developing their own line, and most folks just breed Marans for fun and because they love the hobby. Some folks who breed champion birds never aspire to develop their own line. Creating a champion bird every few years, and creating a line that breeds true and consistent are two different things entirely. The information out there about marans is relatively small compared to the entire scope of chicken genetics that include all varieties and all traits. I believe it is possible to get most of it in your grasp within a year, if you are diligent to research, ask lots of questions, take good notes if necessary, share what you learn in the process, and find reputable "partners" to verify that you're heading in the right direction. I believe that is what most of us are doing here on BYC.

    I think that often hobby breeders (like me) have "issues" that keep them from progressing more quickly - for example they keep their sweet tempered roos with major faults, or they don't keep good records, or they maintain a layer flock with all their less than desirable hens - which consumes resources, etc. Some start breeding before they have a basic knowledge of the genes involved, and unintentionally breed forward dominant faults into their entire flock, which then takes them several generations to eliminate. I think everyone needs to decide what kind of breeder they want to be, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, and having realistic expectations from themselves and from their flock. Then it can just be really a really fun and fascinating challenge. Otherwise it's just an expensive means of being frustrated.
     

  8. wilmothfarms

    wilmothfarms Songster

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    May 3, 2010
    Cecilia Kentucky
    Can someone post a picture of a sprig so I know exactly what your talking about please? And this is an indicator of carnation comb (possibly) carrier (recessive?)
     
  9. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  10. RedBugPoultry

    RedBugPoultry Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Jasper Co., S.C.
    Quote:Gosh, this makes my head hurt. I have 2 more sets of egg in my incubator from the same breeder that my hutch chicks are from--I still think I will keep the nicest carnation comb I get from that lot and test from there. I will at least have a better idea of what I am dealing with. It will take time but either way a person goes will take time and I plan on keeping the hens I think are undesirable and putting them in my laying pen anyway. Roosters will go to freezer camp!

    The persons birds I got these eggs from are beautiful! Nice colors and very nice leg feathering. My first batch of chicks are across the board. I guess we will see what the next 2 batches give us. [​IMG]
     

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