Cuckoo Maran? I'm not so sure!!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by tjhix01, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. tjhix01

    tjhix01 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2015
    We bought these girls as our first go at chickens. They were supposed to be cuckoo marans, however, I'm not 100% sold that they are in face cuckoo maran. I know barred rocks, and dominiques are similar so is there a way that I can truly tell the difference to see which breed we have? Also,why does one have a bigger and more red comb than the other?

    Thanks yall for any help[​IMG]
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The single comb indicates that they are not Dominiques, leg color indicates probably not barred rocks - they may very well be Cuckoo Marans. The one has a larger comb because she is maturing more rapidly and may be about to lay. Egg color should answer your question as to breed.
  3. tjhix01

    tjhix01 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2015
    Thank you very much for you input. Will they be dark brown from the very beginning?? Or is the color something that comes in time? They are 7 months old. Should they start laying soon?
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    I agree they could very well be Cuckoo Marans....they have the Marans body shape (heavier, more bowl shape) and light grey-ish legs with messier looking black/white pattern rather than crisp barring (cuckoo vs. barred), and a single comb.

    vs....Barred Rock would have crisp barring, not messy disorganized pattern, with yellow legs, often black wash down front of leg, single comb
    vs....Dominique would have crisp barring, yellow legs, rose comb

    As to Marans egg color, there is no guarantee as to how dark as each hen's genetics will determine the color she lays, and that can vary within the breed especially between lines...

    As to whether they will stay dark, it helps to understand the process. In a brown egg, a brown wash is laid over white egg shell...literally painting the color onto the egg as it goes down the egg duct The longer it takes for the egg to go through, and some other genetics involved, the darker the egg. Thus dark brown layers lay dark eggs but usually a lot less prolific.Their darkest eggs are at the beginning of the season when the "wash" pigment is plentiful, but over the season the color can lighten considerably as the bird's reserves are more depleted.

    Cuckoo Marans are not typically on the darker Marans scale...the Black Copper lays the darkest on the Marans scale. Carefully bred birds from breeders lay darker on the Marans scale. Hatchery stock often do not produce the really dark colors...just a deeper brown than the average brown layer.

    So how dark your particular birds may lay depend a lot in their genetic background. Since you are not sure of their breed, I suspicion you got them from a feed store or other back yard source...Marans breeders know their lines and will show you their eggs as compared to the Marans scale...usually proudly displayed on their website. (I have a 5 scale Marans and just purchased a pullet whose parents were on the 7 scale).

    Marans overall do not mature really early, so the actual age at 6 to 7 months is about right to begin lay. However, during this time of year,the shortening days are working against you. Maturing pullets need at least 12 hours of continuous daylight to stimulate the pituitary gland to stimulate the ovary to produce eggs. To lay consistently, 14 to 16 continuous daylight hours are needed. In our shortening fall hours, your birds may not get enough light to bring about laying until January, or so, depending upon where you are by way of also depends on how bright your general area is (dark coop in shady area of yard) and the genetics of the birds. Commercial birds tend to lay earlier, having been genetically selected for early maturing....also commercial industry uses artificial lighting. You could add lights to the early daylight hours to lengthen the day to hasten laying, but it may take a few weeks to make a difference.

    Or be may be surprised to find an egg sometime soon...or not until early Spring when daylight is naturally longer.


    FYI: Edited to Add the Marans egg scale chart (and some clarity in breed id to answer OP's question of "how do I know")
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Cuckoo Marans
  6. tjhix01

    tjhix01 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2015
    WHOA, that is a lot of information and it greatly appreciated. You're very correct. We purchased them from a pet food store. They are my favorite two chickens out of our variety of 15. I don't know why they are my favorite but I just love these two girls. Really, i honestly don't care if they don't ever lay because they are the prettiest girls I have. As long as the others continue to lay I will give these two as much time as they need.
    Thanks again for all you input. I really hope they are cuckoo marans.
  7. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 10, 2013
    My Coop
    Yup, probably a cuckoo Marans.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Cuckoo Marans

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