Dark egg layer crosses--what breeds have you crossed

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Kansaseq, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    What breeds did you cross, how well do they lay, how dark are the eggs, and what do the offspring look like?
    Example; Someone on here was breeding her welsummer to a sex-link (I think) and the offspring layed nearly as dark as the welsummers,but more often. **Pictures of birds and eggs would be welcome and awesome!!!**
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    [​IMG] Anyone?
     
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Forks, WA
    Most people with true dark layers like their birds as they are, not for high egg production. [​IMG]

    I've crossed a New Hampshire and Black Copper Marans, but the youngins have yet to mature and lay eggs. Otherwise, as history goes in Europe, Cuckoo Marans have been used a lot as production hens, but of course, it ALWAYS ruins the dark egg color, and becomes pointless.

    Honestly I'm happy with a dark egg layer, no matter how little or much it lays, 'long as those eggs rate on the scale a 7 or better.
     
  4. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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  5. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Illia wrote 'I've crossed a New Hampshire and Black Copper Marans,'

    This is what I'm talking about. I realize it will degrade the color of the dark eggs. I'm not looking for a perfect 7 on the marans egg scale. Just people's experiences with crossing the dark egg layers with other breeds, and the results. I'd like to add a few darker layers to my flock, but would like them to lay fairly well. Not trying to create a new breed or ruin an old one, just something for my own use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Forks, WA
    Quote:I do a few crosses now and then to see if I can get good speckled eggs like a Quail. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Usually the best results come from crossing one dark layer to a completely other breed of dark layer, often a welsummer because of their naturally more pale egg.
     
  7. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

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    I have crossed Marans with Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons, I used a blue copper roo and a splash copper roo. The egg color does darken in the offsping produced. I would say I get probably about a 4.5-5 on the color chart. The barred offspring from that cross came out solid blue and they have the body of a BR, short and sqwuatty, but got the fluffiness of the Marans. The Buff cross offspring are large like buffs and were better layers than the BR crosses. The BR crosses were terrible layers and the eggs were so big and round that I think they had issues laying, I have one of these birds left from those test crosses and she is a BR cross Splash Marans.....she might lay 6-10 eggs per month. When she does lay it is a beautiful egg, no gloss and very big with stress cracks all the way around the equatorial band. The nice thing about the BR cross is that they came out sex-linked, so I could cull the roosters sooner rather than later, their butts were so fluffy, I had to and have to keep the remaining gals rears clipped down to almost no feathers, messy messy messy. Due to the difficulty of laying and the inconsistant laying pattern with the BR cross, I will not cross these 2 particular breeds again. The Buff crosses were good layers and nice big birds that also laid an egg between a 4.5-5 on the color chart, very mellow birds from this cross. A lady who came to pick up some pure Wellies and Marans from me decided that she wanted the Buff cross Marans birds (that weren't for sale) as she liked them better than the pure birds. Needless to say, she liked them sooooo much, she went home with them.
     
  8. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Pinkchick, I'm suprised the BR crosses weren't better layers, though if they had issues, I guess that would explain it. I would not have thought to cross a BO with a Marans, but it sounds like it was a good combo. Do you have pics of them by chance? Thanks for sharing!
     

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