Crossing marans with leghorns and minorcas

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jarcoo0153, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    I have several leghorns and minorcas and having hard time selling white eggs, if I put my maran rooster with them and hatch the eggs will the offspring lay brown or cream eggs or is their a chance some could lay white eggs still?
    Thanks, Jared

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There is a really good chance you will get brown eggs from that cross, but just because the rooster is a Marans does not really tell me what his genetics are. A lot of people think because a chicken is called a Marans they will get those dark chocolate eggs. Some people are occasionally disappointed.

    Do you know what color egg he hatched out of? Do you possibly know what color eggs his grandmothers laid? Since roosters don’t lay eggs it’s a bit hard to know what genetics they will contribute, but if you know what is in their parentage you can get a pretty good idea.

    With chicken genetics unless the person selecting which chickens get to breed selects for a special trait, like the really dark eggs the Marans are supposed to lay, they can lose that trait in just a few generations. That’s why I’m not sure what genetics your Marans rooster has. I don’t know what the person selecting the parents and grandparents of your Marans was selecting for.

    With all that said, there is a tremendously good chance you will get brown eggs from those crosses. The way egg color genetics work there is one gene that determines if the base color is white or blue. Yours are going to be base white so let’s ignore the blue.

    There are a whole lot of different genes that determine what shade of brown goes with the base white. That’s why you can get so many different shades of brown. I’ve read that there are 13 different genes that have been documented that affect brown but there are several more that have not been documented.

    I don’t know which of those brown genes your Marans rooster has. Odds are he has a lot so there is a tremendous chance several of them will get passed on to his daughters. If he is crossed to a white egg laying hen that will not contribute any brown genes the odds are pretty good the shade of brown will not be as dark as his Mommy laid, but you should get some shade of brown. And if he really does have those fairly dark genes those eggs could wind up fairly dark.

    I won’t guarantee you will get brown eggs but I’d bet a lot of your money and some of mine they will be brown, knowing no more than I do about his ancestry.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by