Incubator Humidity for French Black Copper Marans Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by valleyhoneybee, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. valleyhoneybee

    valleyhoneybee Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the information. I will check out "Maran Central" and I am aware of the other groups you mentioned. I also joined the Marans of America club prior to "acquiring" Marans (I used to be an archaeologist and am a researcher at heart). I am obviously new to Marans and set out to acquire eggs/birds from at least 3 different sources. I have 1 hen that successfully hatched from the first group (group A) and the 9 referenced in this thread are from a second breeder (group b). The breeder for group b recently went to France and imported some new "stock" (I understand there is a concern regarding genetic diversity and thus long term sustainability in America). This particular breeder has an interest in having a separate breeding flock of only white marines in addition to the black marines. I was told there would be a likely hood of a splash. (there is also 1 chick with no "penguin" or white). This group I will keep separate from the other 2 for that reason and will decide if I am interested in white marines as the chick gets older (I understand that they are not recognized). The third group (group c) is currently in my incubator and that breeder properties they are "show quality" and hasn't had splash hatched in this line.

    I would be interested in how to test for split genes.

    Thank you again for the information and for taking the time to share your knowledge with me.
    Melissa
     
  2. valleyhoneybee

    valleyhoneybee Out Of The Brooder

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    One Chick Two, I should also add I this is an interest of mine not a "profession", but since I have 45 acres I have the liberty of keeping roosters and have both the time and room to hatch eggs out while giving the birds a healthy life (no cages and LOTS of room to roam along with 2 Great Pyrenees dogs trained as chicken flock protectors.
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds good Melissa.
    Definitely carefully watch the line with the White Marans, and the line with the black chick- as you are. You should definitely assume there is the possibility of Wheaten mixed in these flocks, and test mate for sure later. As an archaeologist and researcher, I know you realize the importance of keeping a breed strain as pure as possible if you plan to do any propagating.

    Just so you know, pure Black Copper Marans will NEVER throw a splash... unless, they come from a blue/ black/ splash mating. Black Coppers should ONLY hatch Black Coppers. Breeders often use Black Coppers to darken blues, however, a black from a blue mating is not a true BC. Young from those matings that look like pure Black Coppers should never be used in pure Black Copper matings- they are off in coloring and should only be used in blues breedings.

    [​IMG]


    Very serious breeders try to be diligent about not crossing in split birds into their flock. Split genes creates future generations of genetically mixed birds, with lots of future color problems in feathers and shanks, and inconsistent chicks. Breed untested split birds in, and in no time a flock can have some really serious issues that become locked in.

    In a split flock, some young are split with Wheaten Marans (Wheaten Marans is from a different gene base) but, some young will come out pure (1 in 4 will be split for Wheaten, according to odds.). Later, when the birds are mature, if you plan on breeding, you will need to sort out split young with the pure young. After this is done, then, breed only a pure strain to pure strain.

    Do not trust the word of breeders- just because accidents can happen. Test all new breeding birds to be used in your breeding program, yourself. Culls can be put in a separate layers-only flock, or, sold as, "brown egg layers" (just make sure to explain specifics to new owners.)

    It takes two eWh genes total present to express in chicks. One eWh gene each in split parents. How do you know if an egg laying pullet or breeding cockerel is split for Wheaten?

    Usually, there are obvious signs... Black chicks, Mossy/ reddish chicks... Mossy feathers on pullets/ hens, or, white shanks in the males with straw halos. Overcolored copper chest leakage, etc. But, any young known from a split hatch should be "test mated." Some birds that look 100% correct can still carry split genes if they are present. It's the only way to truly weed out the pure Marans from the split Marans.

    When of breeding age, put suspected bird with a lighter colored, Wheaten gene based mate, like RIR. Twenty chicks are hatched (Takes about 2-3 months mating time, so I do this to any new birds during any pullets first tiny eggs to get testing over with.) I put males with 2-5 RIR to quicken their testing time.

    If any resulting chicks show any coloration (other than black (no white on faces)). They should have white on lower bellies, and with yellow/ black shanks. Here are two correctly correct test-mate chicks. They are part Wheaten (from RIR hens and a Marans male) notice the black faces and yellow/ black shanks.
    [​IMG]

    If even one single chick is different blonde/ copper, etc, then that tested bird is split. Split birds should not be used in a breeding program. This was a failed test result off the first male we purchased. He is now happy as flockmaster in an olive egger flock.

    [​IMG]

    Wheaten males look similar to BCM males (although the hens are light). And testing takes time, effort and perseverance to clean up genetic issues before selling birds...so, then there are new generations with more genetic problems and the pure birds become harder and harder to find- doesn't better the breed. This is why many lines of BCM have Wheaten.

    Please take imy 2 cents worth...never assume just because a breeder may be well known, or, winning at shows, etc., that a flock is pure. 5 of 7 lines we tested last year were eWh split. One line of those lines even came from a master breeder, and another was an officer from a club. Another top line threw yellow shanks, with missing toes! (Yellow shanks means something other than Marans was bred in.) 6 of the lines threw comb sprigs or with coronation comb too! Not everyone tests their flocks, but... if every flock tested, BCM would be Wheaten free!

    Hopefully I've explained this well enough. Feel free to ask me anytime if you have more in depth questions.
     
  4. rainbowhatchery

    rainbowhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its the same as other birds, marans are no different in incubation.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. valleyhoneybee

    valleyhoneybee Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the advice. I am aware (through working with other animals) the detriments of bad or careless genetic breeding for profit (or whatever reason). It is often most disastrous to the animals! The individual I got the eggs that hatched a white chick and an all black chick was perfectly honest about it. But, I also agree that sadly there are a lot of dishonest people out there! I will continue to keep my "groups" separate and I don't sell the eggs (I actually send them into the inner city of a large city near us and give them to people with children that can't afford farm fresh organic eggs).

    I am intrigued with the BCM and am curious to see how the group currently in the incubator turns out!
     
  6. rainbowhatchery

    rainbowhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BCM people can be very picky about breed standard but I am as well, it helps keep the breed true if there are some obsessed people out there.
     
  7. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not breeding for show quality, but I do want correct birds. I bought my first batch of straight run marans this year, and didn't realize how badly I got burned until I posted pictures on BYC. True BCM breeders are very picky about their birds, and if you ask for an honest critique, they will give it to you. My customers want the dark eggs, and don't care about SQ, but I don't want to sell something that is obviously wrong. The Black Copper Marans Discussion Thread has some very knowledgeable people, and you can learn a lot on that thread, but you need to have a thick skin if you post there. If you ask for an opinion, don't get your feelings hurt if they are brutally honest.
     
  8. kissnpeeps

    kissnpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is the picture of my babies "playpen "[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. kissnpeeps

    kissnpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2015
    Luv it so much I made it my avatar first before I figured how to post it to be thread lol[​IMG]
     
  10. kissnpeeps

    kissnpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    I have many babies going to hatch in a few days and I am eggcited about my blue red laced Wyandotte eggs that will hatch in 19 days
     

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