Breeding for Beards and Muffs? (EE, d'Anver, Orloff)

TreesAndBrees

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
43
2
34
Miami, AZ
Hi there,

Here are my thoughts. Can I breed an Easter Egger to a d'Anvers to get a slightly slimmer-looking EE with a guaranteed beard and muffs? I love EEs, and I love d'Anvers, but d'Anvers are too small and EEs are too poofy/heavy-looking, and not all of them have beards/muffs. Does anyone know how beard and muff genetics work?

Or would I be better off breeding an EE with a slender breed such as Old English Game or Fayoumi or Yokohama? Or would that ruin the look of the slender breed by breeding the slightly heavier looking EE? And would a slender breed like that look strange with a beard and muff?

I love the beards and muffs of EEs, d'Anvers, and Orloffs, but apparently not all EEs have beards and muffs. I also love the random multi-colored-ness of EEs. But I ALSO love the slender Game Fowl breeds and Long Tail breeds. Some EEs look like hawks, and some Game Fowl/Long Tails look like roadrunners- both so cool! Since hatcheries usually make you buy at least 5 of each breed, I would end up with like 80 chickens if I get all the ones I love! I'm hoping down the road I can breed some together to achieve the beard/muff look on a chicken that isn't as bulky/poofy as an EE but not as small as a d'Anvers.

Anyway, does anyone think it's possible to make an almost fool-proof bearded/muffed slender EE? Or am I crazy and wasting my time and I should just buy one or the other...or all of the above :p

Thanks for viewing, and please, if you do have pictures of an EE + d'Anvers mix or an EE + Orloff mix or Game Fowl/Long Tail mixes or anything similar please post them!
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
This may help. Regarding beards, there isn't a lethal trait listed in this site, however I've read elsewhere that homozygous beard genetics are lethal to some percentage. EDIT: can't find any clarification for that but did find some negatives so most likely worth disregarding.

Quote: Quote: Best wishes.
 
Last edited:

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
Ear tufts can be lethal, but beards and muffs are different and are non-lethal. They're different genes.
I also like the beards and muffs, I just plain like Easter eggers. I've found the beards and muffs seem to be dominant.....this is just in my own backyard breeding, not a genetic study or anything.

These hens are brown leghorn/EE mixes. They have light beards, funky weird combs, light legs and lay pale blue/green eggs...










I've used them as my foundation hens. That was a great cross for me, they were high production colored egg layers. I put them under either my (clean faced) bsl or my barred Rock rooster and still got some beards and muffs, not as heavy as an EE, but then again I wasnt breeding for them, I was breeding for eggs....










I think if you had heavily bearded EE stock and crossed with a game bird, you should get the look you're after, easily. You could then breed selectivly for the traits you want, if you have space, etc for that. I don't think it would take but a few generations to get what you want. The game bird blood could also introduce broodiness and increased foraging ability--you could wind up with a nice unique colored egg layer!
 
Last edited:

nicalandia

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 16, 2009
7,597
2,132
406
Stuck In a Dream
My Coop
My Coop
This may help. Regarding beards, there isn't a lethal trait listed in this site, however I've read elsewhere that homozygous beard genetics are lethal to some percentage. EDIT: can't find any clarification for that but did find some negatives so most likely worth disregarding.

Best wishes.
Beards are not lethal, the gene you listed is for te Tufft gene, which in its homozygous state is lethal, the bearded gene is different
 

TreesAndBrees

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
43
2
34
Miami, AZ
Thanks for the info, and for the pictures!

I've read on here that ear tufts like in Araucanas can be lethal, but I am more a fan of the beard and muffs! Besides, EE chicks are much more common.

I'll definitely try breeding some EEs with thick facial hair with some Game Fowl and possibly others to see what the results are- I am not sure how my neighbors will react to any possible rooster offspring yet, though, but that shouldn't be a huge problem. I think I already have a few in my flock of chicks (Tractor Supply Co neglected to put up a sign of the breed and sex and also neglected to tell me that all the chicks I bought from them were straight run...luckily I only got a handful of chicks from them and the rest from other more knowledgeable sources) so we'll see! Breeding chickens just seems so exciting!

Unfortunately I only have one EE currently, my other one died (either by suffocation from the other chicks piling on each other for warmth, or from a scorpion sting), and she is only a few weeks old. I want to buy more the next time I am near the place that sells them, but that's about 100 miles away and I already have 18 chicks! But I am looking forward to the prospect of breeding.

Thanks again for the replies!
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
Beards are not lethal, the gene you listed is for te Tufft gene, which in its homozygous state is lethal, the bearded gene is different
Yes, thank you, I am aware I listed a trait for tufts not beards, and yes, I am aware they are different things. ;)

The OP asked about beards and muffs, and information on the genetics regarding both, and I attempted to respond to both questions.
 
Last edited:

gotthefever

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 6, 2014
103
6
68
I see this is an old thread, but Ameraucana's are not heavy looking at all. Very agile and lean looking.
 
Top Bottom