How to breed? Chickens, that is... Mixing maran rooster with various breeds of hens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by T-Amy, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. T-Amy

    T-Amy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, seriously (I know this is a loaded question)....
    But, what kind of chicks will hatch if I put my cuckoo maran rooster named 'Stew' with the following hens:
    Aeraucana
    Cuckoo maran
    Delaware
    etc

    Will the chicks be marans or look weird? I got the marans from Murray last spring- what are the odds the rooster is siblings with the marans? I have a broody Maran & Delaware so plan to sequester them with Stew, along with my favorite Araucana's and see if we can make some babies.

    Any advice? Am I going about it the right way?
    Thanks! Amy
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Only the Cuckoo Marans bred to the Cuckoo Marans will be Marans and look like Marans. Yes, the other breedings will look wierd compared to the Marans. Also, the egg color will suffer if you breed Marans to any of these other breeds. Tho the Marans may come from the same huge flock at the hatchery, you probably won't run into any problems if you breed them together. That breeding is the only one which will produce true Marans eggs. If your Ameraucana is laying blue eggs and you breed it to the Marans boy, the female daughters will lay green eggs. The depth of green of their eggs is dependant on how dark are the brown and blue eggs of their parents.
    If you breed the Marans together, you can show the eggs in Marans egg shows. That's a lot of fun. It doesn't cost much, you mail the eggs to the show...if you win, the show mails you the ribbons and the trophies. Eggs from Marans/crosses will be so light, it is useless to show them against purebred Marans eggs.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  3. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Amy, what 3riverschick said is all true--I didn't know about the egg show, very cool!

    I wanted to add a few things:

    If you got your 'Aeraucanas' from a breeder then they are called Araucanas (they will mostly be tail-less and have tufts on the sides of their faces). If you got them from a hatchery, they are really what most people call Easter Eggers (EE). These are chickens that are bred for their ability to produce green, blue or other colored eggs and they do not meet the breed standard for Ameraucanas (beard, muff, specific colors and patterns) or Araucanas. Just thought I'd throw that in for you. In fact, folks use Marans to make dark green eggs and they often refer to the hens as Olive eggers (OE). The colors will be very random based on what genetics the hens have. You could search for OE on BYC ans see if you can find photos of hens that match yours covered by a Cuckoo Marans (it always has an 's' at the end of the name in spight of what the hatchery sold them as).

    A little tidbit on chicken genetics: the girls have ZW genes and the boys have ZZ genes (sort of the same but opposite of people with the XX and XY genes). Your Cuckoo Marans boy will have 2 copies of the barring gene (your hen only has one) so all of his chicks will have the cuckoo pattern. If he were a solid color like a Wheaten, and her were crossed with your Cuckoo hen, he would make Sexlink babies where the girls would be solid and the boys would be barred.

    If you want to play with genetic colors like a game, you can try the chicken calculator. It is imperfect as the babies will not look exactly like the results in the drawings, but they will be in the ballpark. For instance, boys from most mixes pretty much will always have some degree of red feathers on their wings that is not stated in the chicken calculator. http://kippenjungle.nl/kruising.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The hens that are already broody won't be wanting to mate and they won't be laying eggs, if they're well and truely broody, they've moved past laying. So you'll need eggs from another hen for them to incubate.

    As said, your marans/marans matings will be pure. The others will just be mixed breed birds.They'll all have some cuckoo patterning, from just a little bit to full-on.
     
  5. T-Amy

    T-Amy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both so much for this info... it's a little overwhelming so please bear with my ignorance. FYI, i got this batch from Murray but I have some isa browns & araucana's from a previous batch. They're fantastic layers although they're getting older. I'd love to have the green eggs since ours are just light blues from the araucanas.

    My white araucana (with tufts) that my 4 yr old (innocently) named 'Pecker' & we really want to breed her but wondering if we should just wait to get an araucana or what would happen if we bread her with Stew (the maran rooster). Not sure what the offspring would result with eggs & the chicken- sounds like they'd look like a maran but not have the dark brown eggs like the pure marans?

    We are not looking to sell the chickens, just use them to make our egg basket more colorful (we sell the eggs) and possibly for meat but I didn't want to have unhealthy eggs but it sounds like I can breed them any which way as long as I recognize it'll compromise the pure genetic (maran) strain.?

    So, I'll play with that calculator to see what would happen if I bread Stew with the White araucana, brown araucana, delaware, or wyandottes.
     
  6. T-Amy

    T-Amy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good info- I have 5 maran hens, only 1 is broody, plus the 1 broody Delaware. We've taken the eggs from them both a week or 2 ago since it's cold here in upstate NY (and not easy to keep the brooder warm) & not sure if they've started laying again or not. Hard to keep track unless I isolate them for a couple of days & that's not practical right now. I don't want to STOP the broodiness, per say, & just want the brooding to have more of a fighting chance since it's been in the teens & 20's here.
    Keep the advice coming- this is new to me- we've never hatched in the years we've raised chickens so I'm excited... but want to do it right. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
     
  7. T-Amy

    T-Amy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dretd-
    I tried that calculator... i didn't find maran roosters & find it difficult to understand not having a lot of experience with genetics. Any other suggestions on knowing what to expect from breeding specific types of birds?
     
  8. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    Chicken calculators use color patterns not breeds
     
  9. DirtLaneFarm

    DirtLaneFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would be nice if there was one for breeds.
     
  10. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you go to the chicken calculator and click on the 'show examples' button, it will bring up thumbnails of the different color types. Hover your mouse over each picture and it will come up with a name of the color pattern or in some cases the breed of chicken. It has Lakenvelder for instance, and in some it will have the name of the color ie-- double laced-- with a parenthetical breed (Barnevelder)--next to it. Just remember that this is a European site and so the breed color genetics and terminology may be slightly off from US color names and such.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013

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