Dark egg genetics

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by jarcoo0153, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    124
    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    Can anybody give me a rundown on dark egg genetics. I have searched and haven't found much info. Theoretically if I just keep hatching dark eggs will they just keep getting darker. I have welsummer roosters and cuckoo marans hens and barnevelders. I was going to try to just keep breeding the three different breeds together and select the darkest eggs for hatching but I was told that different genes play different roles in egg color.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,530
    1,034
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    From what I understand from the Marans groups I am in, the best thing to do is hatch from the darkest, and also use a male from the darkest, and then yes, theoretically your eggs will keep getting darker (though it caps off at a certain point I assume, unless you introduce some even darker genes). Hopefully someone else has more info.
     
  3. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    124
    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    That's what makes sense to me. But I wasn't sure based on mix breeding. But this is something I'm going to experiment with and see what I can get. Hopefully over several years I can get some good dark egg layers
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,530
    1,034
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Thats true. I think the egg color genes are similar for all breeds and that's why we can make things like olive eggers, though. I'm speculating, of course.
     
  5. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    124
    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    I'm going to invest some time and try to document it as much as possible. Since there isn't much reliable information out there.
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,530
    1,034
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I just read a conversation in the "Marans of America Club" facebook group that made me think of you. A woman wanted to know a fair selling price for a cockerel that came from a mix of Little Peddler/Bev Davis lines. People said just eat him, because some lines "don't play well together" and the genetics will mess up and result in birds laying off color / lighter eggs. I thought that was interesting! Hopefully since you are working with different breeds altogether that is not how things go but you should definitely post back whenever the offspring begin laying so we can know about the results.
     
  7. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    124
    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    I want to focus on the egg color first then I might play with the color and looks of the birds. I have a few of the dark eggs I put in the incubator some welsummerXmaran so hope fully by fall I will see some results! Next hatch I will set after Easter will hopefully be the welsummerXbarnevelders crosses. And I'm going to try to breed them together and then with the opposite breeds like WxB to the marans and vis versa.
     
  8. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    124
    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    It never hurts to experiment!
     
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,499
    1,537
    401
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Hi,
    Go over to the Marans of America Club website and read their breeding articles.
    The author Dirk de Jong is an internationly recognized expert on dark egg genetics.
    http://www.maransofamericaclub.com/uploads/4/0/1/8/40183925/14e05a14.pdf
    Excellent information. The best way to get really dark eggs is o start with a top strain of a dark egg laying breed. The cock helps determine the darkness of the egg so he must come from a very dark laying dam. Then the female you breed him to must come from very dark egg laying parents. Both should come from the same strain. So you see your birds should be from a strain which had been linebred for dark eggs for a while. 4-5 generations. Crossing dark egg strains or breds will lighten the eggs. Outcrossing or cross breeding to find dark egg is the long way around.
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by