Greetings!! I have a young Maran question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by herechikiechik, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    I have 4 - two week-old Maran that I hatched myself using an incubator. I am very jazzed, as these were my first fertilized eggs acquired from a local small farm, first incubator -- coupled with the fact that I am very new with backyard chickens in the first place. NOTHING ELSE went on in my household while these eggs were hatching!! Amazing....

    Just yesterday, I was removing the chicks from their brooding pen to clean it, and the first-hatched (remains the largest, one day older than the rest) pecked at me!! Not complaining in the least. I could barely feel it. It did this repeatedly, decidedly having a "go" at me. I have witnessed the chicken sexing technique of blowing on the backside, and when I tried my hand at this with these new baby chicks (curiosity -- I know it's not 100%, least of all when it's being done by me), this particular largest one is the only one of the four that does that "rooster thing" -- textbook, as I perceive it. BTW, the orifice of the other 3 chicks is keeping secrets. Theirs does pretty much nothing. Potential hens?? Comments very welcome on this.

    I believe as of today, I will start to refer to the largest chick I mentioned initially as a "he", based on current behavior. HE is being very aggressive toward the others!! I am hearing the others cry out, so much so that I am almost tempted to separate him from the others, which seem so sweet and affectionate toward one another.

    So the crux of my questions are: how soon after hatching might you see displays of aggression? Short of separating, is it advisable to let it pass? It has become hotter than Hades here, and I just recently set them in natural light. The lamp was cooking the brooding pen, and the chicks seem very much relieved. How telling is this behavior into whether this little "guy" is a "roo"?

    I have a small flock of adolescents of different varieties (one each): Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Porcelain D'uccle, Black Australorp, Houdan, and Ameraucana. I got these little girls when they were days old, and NONE OF THEM have ever pecked at me. True -- they hate being picked up, but once held, seem to enjoy it. Strong instinct, no doubt, as being picked up typically signifies THE END. But no real aggressive behavior. The D'uccle does chest butt some of the others, and I am watching for other signs of aggression. I understand I could have a "roo" on my hands there, as well.

    Thanks in advance for replies, and forgive my novice questions. I don't know much, and admit it.....here to benefit from your experience!! Humbly yours,

    Lisa in Colorado
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,558
    5,135
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Congrats on the hatch! Marans are great chickens (and it's always marans, by the way, the breed name has the 's' on the end since they are named after the town they were developed in, Marans, so even when referring to one bird it is a marans chick, not a maran chick :) ).

    The sexing thing you tried is an old wives' tale and doesn't really work, so there's no way to know by that if you have pullets or cockerels. The aggressive behavior could be indicative of him being a little cockerel, or it could just be the pecking order being determined. If he gets really aggressive with the others to the point that he may cause injury you may want to separate him, but do it in such a fashion that he can see the others and just not get to them or else he will be very lonely and will likely be crying loudly all the time. But unless the aggression gets to the point of injury I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  3. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    Thanks so much, Hatchaholic!!! I had my doubts about the sexing technique, although you must admit, it is entertaining to watch. Maybe the first several times, anyway. What you say sheds some doubt on the rest of my wee flock. I HAVE read that the sex isn't really certain until they begin to crow, or not crow. My adolescents are too young for that, although it won't be long. I believed them all to be female (based on the "blow hole" method, done by someone allegedly experienced). Time, only, will tell. So when you order day-old chicks from a hatchery that are PROBABLY male or female, is there another method used.... or the wive's tale? I live in a ruralesque-suburban location, and roosters are not allowed. But there are numerous chicken swaps in the area and metroplex, so a "rooster plan" is in place. Short of that, I have some other contacts... if needed.

    Your advice is GOLDEN, and I will take heed regarding any separation. I watched the little "guy" to make sure he wasn't picking at the others flesh. They are all getting wing feathers, and he is giving those a little tug. I am in this for the eggs, and having so much blasted fun learning something new and unique.

    And I do recall reading about Marans, France and how the chicken name is the same, be it singular or pleural -- I just had it completely backwards in my memory. Thanks for the reminder, and this time I will remember accurately. And here I thought I was being so savvy.

    I was only *just now* online reading for the very first time about Ayam Cemanis, then your reply came across and I saw your thumbnail and that you breed them. How fascinating they sound. I read that they are not the most prolific egg layers, or that they lay 20-30, then take a sabbatical. What are your experiences? I would love to hear your perspective on the breed, if you have the time!!

    Thanks so very much for your insight!!

    Lisa
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,558
    5,135
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Glad to have helped! Hatcheries sex using a method known as vent sexing, in which they actually very gently open the chicks' vents and look inside for anatomical differences. It takes a lot of skill to do accurately and not hurt the chicks, and because the differences are so slight, most hatcheries guarantee only 90% accuracy, not 100%.

    You can tell the difference in genders before they crow, there are other signs. Males' combs and wattles turn red and develop much earlier on than their female counterparts. They also get in different feathers - long, shiny pointy feathers on the neck called hackle feathers and the same right above the tail which are called saddle feathers. They also get the classic rooster sickle feathers in the tail, which are long and curve over. Most of these signs come in before they crow :) Actually if you post pictures of your older birds we can likely tell you their gender.

    And yes, I do breed ayam cemanis! They are not the most prolific layers, although I find that my hens lay in the area of 60 to 100 eggs a year, sometimes more. They do go broody after they have a clutch and raise chicks - I have three broodies right now. Personally I really like them. They are beautiful, of course, and they have nice personalities. They aren't aggressive (haven't had an aggressive rooster yet) but they can be skittish if not handled a lot as chicks. Just all in all nice birds :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  5. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    Great to know all of this! I will attempt to post pics of the older birds. They are difficult to photograph. Won't strike a pose for anything!!

    Now I would like to get an ayam cemanis hen!! Do you sell hatching eggs or chicks?
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,558
    5,135
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop

    I do sell eggs :)
     
  7. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    Good morning, Hatchaholic!!! By a twist of fate, I woke up early today and wandered out to check on my older birds. While standing there, I heard a very unpracticed "crow" (if you could call it that) from my Australorp. While the wee D'uccle sat there innocent as you please. The Australorp is enormous!!! Towers over the others. I thought it was just a big @$$ female!!!! Best get on my rooster plan now. So much for the wive's tale method of sexing chicks. I get your point now. I will try to post pics of some of the others.

    I am so intrigued at the idea of acquiring some of your ayam cemanis eggs. Is this the venue to discuss that? Or do we resort to email or phone at this point?
     
  8. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,558
    5,135
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop

    Yep, sounds like a cockerel!

    Actually you can go ahead and send me a pm right on here if you'd like - I check this site much more frequently than my email :)
     
  9. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    [​IMG]

    Cockerel? He was quiet this AM. I was stalking him, or so he let me believe.
     
  10. herechikiechik

    herechikiechik Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 5, 2016
    [​IMG]

    Cockerel?? I am guessing "yes". No crowing....yet.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by