Egg color cross breeding question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by k2chickens, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Last year I bought 30 aussie pullet chicks for our produce business so we could start selling eggs. Well it went over really well and I want to double our flock size to meet customer demands, so I thought I could isolate a few hens and buy a rooster for them and start hatching. Now australorp's do good in the winter and lay a decently brown egg and since I live in indiana they seemed like the ideal breed for our produce business. Now if I could I would love to see if I could get a slighly darker egg out of my future babies I plan to hatch with the hens I will set aside. My question is, if I were to get a dark egg layer breed rooster, like say a maran rooster or a welsummer rooster, would a aussie crossed with one of thoes result in a darker egg being layed? Or would I really not see a differance untill I breed the cross chicks back to the same rooster, basicly a v2 or v3 version? Thanks for any information you can help me out with.
     
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    If you bred a good Marans rooster, yes, they'll be a little darker. I've got some Black Copper x New Hampshires, and the eggs are a solid pumpkin paste sort of color. You know, when you open a can of pumpkin to make pies? The New Hampshire already had a decent brown, not a light brown egg though, so that's a variable that can affect your egg color.

    But, yes, using a Marans will help. It will also help to get BIG eggs too. Black Coppers lay some very big eggs.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Seems like if you were to use marans hens you could select them for their egg colour, and use an austrlorp rooster to breed in the cold hardiness that you are wanting. By using a dark egg rooster, you cannot really tell how dark the egg colour genes he carries are, whereas by using girls, you could.

    Or maybe get both, and cross the marans rooster to your hens and an australorp rooster to marans hens, then cross their offspring together.
     
  4. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    thanks guy's. I'm somewhat short on space at the moment inside the barn so buying some maran hen's with a maran rooster is proably out of the question, but i can buy a rooster or two and separate them off in a corner somewhere and focus on hatching their cross off spring. Question is, do i go with a welsummer, cucko, or BCM roo?? As far as looks go the welsummer and cucko would probably make interesting looking babies, and i would like to be able to tell my adult BA's from my new adult cross versions, but if im after a darker egg, i believe the BCM rooster would help with the darkeing of my cross's future egg's. Or would a cucko maran or welsummer be just as dark? What do you guy's think?
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Golden coppers are supposed to lay the darkest, but I really have no experience with dark eggs.
     
  6. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Black Copper Marans lay the darkest eggs. Get the roo from a breeder, and ask to see the color of shell he came out of. Many breeders keep the shell or at least a pic of the eggs their birds hatched from. As for cold hardy, the Marans here are doing well in our sub-zero temps, I'm getting several eggs a day with only 4 laying pullets.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Agree on getting the rooster from stock that is bred to lay dark eggs. Hatchery stock could really disappoint you in this. Hatchery stock is not bred to lay darker eggs.

    Other than the barred patterns, I would expect most roosters over Black Australrop hens to give solid black hens in the first generation. Sonoran can address that better than I can, but I would not expect much leakage in the final plumage of the hens. Now, the roosters can have some nice leakage, but my first generation hens end up solid black. If you breed the mixed offspring, you can get some really interesting colors and patterns in the second generation but not usually in the first.

    For example, here is a rooster from a Speckled Sussex roo over a BA hen. Interesting leakage. But the hens from this cross were solid black. If the rooster were barred, then the barring would show up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Quote:Thanks for all the help guys, guess I'm off to find a BCM roo near where I live now. Hope he won't be too expensive lol.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Black Copper Marans lay the darkest eggs. Get the roo from a breeder, and ask to see the color of shell he came out of. Many breeders keep the shell or at least a pic of the eggs their birds hatched from. As for cold hardy, the Marans here are doing well in our sub-zero temps, I'm getting several eggs a day with only 4 laying pullets.

    oops--BLACK copper is what i meant to say, lol
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Just for fun I went to Henk's calculator and ran a Black Copper rooster over a Black hen. I got solid black chicks, male and female, so I expect the offspring between a BCM rooster and BA hens to be much like my photo for the rooster's coloring and the hens to be solid black.

    Should be nice chickens.
     

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