cuckoo marans

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rancher hicks, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I bought 2 cm's from Ideal and they've been laying and they can be dark but not "chocolate" dark. I also have 3 hens from a farm and they've started laying and they're eggs aren't what I'd consider dark at all. In fact some aren't any darker than a Delaware egg.
    The hens from Ideal are more dark smokey gray in their black and the 3 hens from the farm are darker black in their black coloring. The roo from the farm is huge and lighter than the females which I understand is normal.

    What gives? The Ideal hens have to date laid the darkest of my hens, Dels, Bo, aus, dom, slw's and glw's.
    Since the farm CM's have just started laying shouldn't I expect their eggs to be dark?
    Anyone got pics of their CM eggs. Oh and one hen is the french version. I had expected to sell chicks in the spring as CM's aren't easy to get here. I guess I could just hatch the darkest eggs. [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You'll fine that the breeders have to keep selecting their breeding flock for dark eggs or the eggs will keep getting lighter. You'll also find that many people, not just the hatcheries, select for which chickens lay the most eggs, not which chickens conform best to standards.

    If you select and hatch the darker eggs you should move your flock in the right direction. You can also talk to the breeders about what you want, but the chicks or hatching eggs will cost more. It is more expensive to select for specific traits other than for the chicken that lays the most eggs. I won't guarantee you will get an honest breeder, but your odds of getting chicks bred to produce really dark eggs are much better than through the hatcheries. Not to specifically condemn the farm you got them from, but how much did you discuss egg color with them?

    As an aside, my hatchery Delawares lay varying shades of eggs. Some are fairly dark but some are very light.

    My hat is off to the breeders. Selecting for one trait may not be all that hard, but trying to get darker eggs along with maintaining color, conformation, and pattern standards is not easy.
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well now I have one hen CM who lays very dark eggs, compared to the rest. So I expect I'll hatch those. I don't expect to get the darkest eggs in the world but when I tell someone they are CM"s I wnat them to get dark eggs and not doubt me. The roo I got with them is huge. Not friendly but big. As I said the hatchery birds are more smokey grey, the farm birds are blacker.
    I have Dels laying speckled/spotted eggs. one who lays enormous eggs. While I'm not shooting for super standard type birds I'd at least like to be able to say they are Dels. Of course they are, just don't want there to be any doubt to those I sell to. I was thinking of just hatching the spotted eggs.
    Expecting eggs from Ga. maybe Jan or Feb. I expect I would always keep some Dels they are great layers but also nice personalities.
     
  4. tomorton

    tomorton Out Of The Brooder

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    I have both cuckoo and black marans. They are all from flocks selected for dark egg color and for the most part they are near the "chocolate" brown. I have found the eggs are a bit darker when the hens are on green pasture. Did you know that the only eggs James Bond ate were marans eggs?
    I do have egg customers who pay more (5 dollars a dozen) for the marans eggs claiming they are "richer" in flavor. [​IMG]
     
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    OMG, I'll have to remember that. $5 wow! Anyhow I've got one who lays copper colored at least. I'm plannning one hatching those. I have no idea about the rooster what his imput is. The hatchery bird is going for sure. I have two but one got attacked by a coon and while she lives she has a bald spot.
    I really just plan on selling chicks from the darkest eggs. The roo I have is very big and I'd bet he dress out nice so maybe his sons would too.
    I plan on a new computer and I'm def. going to learn how to post pics.
     
  6. TheMatador

    TheMatador Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a few maran pullets who lay a grey/brown egg with dark brown speckles. Another chicken owner told me that the eggs will darken as the bird matures. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well I do have one who is laying much darker eggs. Just one tho and today I got some speckledish eggs which I figure is cause the brownish rubbed off. I only have five and I don't collect their eggs til the evening as I don't want to disturb them.
     
  8. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was reading about Marans because I am considering getting some in the spring. My neighbor said the Cuckoo M's lay the darkest eggs but another poster stated that actually the Copper Marans actually lay the darkest eggs.

    Curious. I plan to invest in some quality birds from a breeder I want to know what to ask for to get the dark eggs.

    Caroline
     
  9. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just wish my Marans would lay. I don't even care at this point WHAT color the eggs are. None of mine are laying right now, and haven't for weeks. I had to buy eggs! [​IMG]
    My CM's are about 6 months old now. I have three. They were supposed to be all hens, but one is a rooster. I think they are getting ready to lay as combs are growing (finally) and getting colorful. The boy is just huge! I have one other home grown young hen, and 3 other 18 month olds who have just gone through a molt. But they are all done, and should be laying again by now. Last winter, I got some eggs occasionally, but this winter - nothing-zero-zip.....
     
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Syracuse, NY
    One thing I did in choosing breeds is to look at each breeds laying record. This is important if you want eggs. I also chose a few breeds cuz I liked them. So I have 8 different breeds 2-3 of each and in a seperate part of the coop 6 Cuckoo marans. 5 hens and one rooster. Eric.
    I figured I could have the breeds I liked and keep some of the other more prolific laying breeds for the eggs.
    I have a red light in the coop on 24/7 and a white light on a timer to lengthen the daylight. Of course both are heat lights.
    I expect the only way to really know the age of birds you buy are to buy chicks or hatch chicks. Seems to many are having a hard time buying good older laying birds. Your 6mo. olds should be laying soon. Another thing is feed wize. I realized that my girls weren't getting enough even with free access to feed in the coop. They won't get the nutrition they need on just free range so laying should be expected to be sporadic I would think. They won't go inside to fill up on good feed.
     

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