Marans and toe length

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by graciel57, May 31, 2010.

  1. graciel57

    graciel57 Chirping

    Apr 11, 2010
    I purchased and hatched some Black Copper Marans eggs from someone. The eggs were beautifully dark and I was excited to get five of the eggs to hatch out of the 6 sent, but when it came time to toe punch them I marked them all as culls: Reason, the outer toes on all of the chicks are visibly short. I consider this a serious fault, but I've read of other people on these forums that also had eggs from the same place, and there's no talk at all about short toes.

    This was in no way an incubator problem, as only these chicks out of the couple of hundred I've hatched this year had this problem. From what I've been told, the short toes are linked to one of the feather legged genes, and that it's recessive and hard to get rid of.

    So do people simply not care about a problem like this? I'm a bit upset, because I paid a lot for the eggs, and there's no way I want to bring a problem like this into my flock.


  2. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I have several BCMs, and honestly, I have never considered the length of the toes.
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    People new to chickens tend to be overly concerned about such things; it is not a reason for culling. Judges look at the number of toes and that is about it as far as toes go. I don't think brachydactyly is even addressed in the standard. It is very common in feather footed birds, so I will guess that yours are featherfooted (French-type) versus clean legged (Brittish-type).
  4. blackdotte

    blackdotte Songster

    Nov 18, 2008
    Have a look at this article
    Go to Archives (on left) & open Feb 2010 & scroll down.
    The fault maybe accepted in the USA but it would be a disqualification just about anywhere else, and a reason to cull.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  5. graciel57

    graciel57 Chirping

    Apr 11, 2010
    Quote:I'm not new to chickens.

    Yes, to my mind it's a good reason to cull. I've been a livestock farmer my entire life and you don't build good herds by allowing defective genes to flourish in the population.

    What's really odd to me about it is the Marans in the US have been touted as a breed to promote, and quite seriously by the breeders or so I was led to believe. To get this hatch with these birds really surprised me. I thought these were being treated more seriously than this.

    Anyway, I guess it's clear from the non-comments about this person's eggs I had that most people are chasing egg colour and aren't too concerned about anything else about the birds. It's really too bad. People should realize that there's more to any breed than this. Ignoring a problem like this in any breed and you are reducing them to pet quality level. I'd be interested in knowing how common this is in Marans.

    blackdotte, thank you for that link. It was an excellent article.
    1 person likes this.
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I got one this weekend hatched from my own eggs. In all the hundreds of chicks I have hatched, only have ever gotten two like that, and one with fused toes, the two outer ones. I will eat it or give it away for eating if it is a roo, and place it in a "laying hen only" home, which are plentiful around here, if it is a pullet. I don't see the need to wring its neck. It has ugly feet, and shouldn't be bred. I have no plan to cull my roo that fathered it either. He has fathered many many many other normal chicks.
  7. CottonGinWaste

    CottonGinWaste Chirping

    Dec 26, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Hey - I realize this is a really old thread, but I recently (May 2013) hatched some FBCMs that are supposed to be very high quality from a nationally recognized line. The pullet is beautiful, and so is one of the two cockerels - - - except for extremely shortened outer toes, on both feet. The fact that its both feet instead of 1 makes it appear genetic. I had hoped to invigorate my Marans flock with new blood but now I don't even want the pullet (for breeding purposes. )

    Anyways, glad to find some info out there - even though its bad news.

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