Marans Genetic Questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by smith2, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Question 1: Is feathering on the legs correlated in anyway to the darkness of the egg? Can you have clean legged Marans that lay an 8-9 egg?
    Question 2: Are missing/loose feathers on Marans related to nutrition, genetics, or breed vigor in anyway? (assuming there is no roo jumping them all the time)
    Question 3: Does anyone have eggs on the scale from 8-9 or is that just the ideal of something to work toward?

    Thanks for any and all posts!
  2. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    I am no expert but the feathering on the legs is to the French standard. I think it is the genetic make-up of the hen that gives her the pigment to lay a dark egg.
    Google the French Maran Association and all the info is on there, in detail. It is more complicated than we think.

    Two breeders near me have FBCM eggs that are a 8 on the scale. One of them has a clean legged Cuckoo Maran that is a 7 on the scale.
    Another breeder imported from France and their eggs are maybe a five/six?
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  3. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    OK, some help. I want to develop a clean-legged strain that lays really dark eggs. While I have nothing against purists, I just like to try something new, and I live in a very moist, damp area of TN where rain and mud are prevalent. I love the dark eggs, but like to keep my pens, houses, etc. clean and the mud on the feather legs is just awful. Some Marans people won't even talk to me because I use bad words: "clean-legged." [​IMG]
  4. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Songster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I think clean legged marans will be an easy trait to breed for. Just start with clean legged birds and cull out any feathers that pop out. Of all the marans I have hatched, I get both clean and feathers. The clean legs I cull, just because I prefer the feathered legs, but they lay the same color egg as the feathers in my small flock. The cuckoo's seem to be more of a clean legged variety. Good luck, HenZ

    ETA: the English breed for clean legs the the same reason you are thinking, it's wet and muddy there a lot.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I have clean legged and feather legged in several different varieties of Marans. The feathering has not been a factor in egg color. I get a #8 on clean legged as well as feather legged.
    I prefer the feather legged but that is not set in stone. I have some fabulous clean legged girls and boys I love just the same. I am not a Marans snob. I breed for what I like. I could care less what a judge tells me so I don't show. If no one else likes my birds that is just tough tomatoes. I eat what I don't sell.

    I do love the dark eggs and breed for the darkest color but also a great size on the eggs, too.

    I don't know what you mean by missing or loose feathers. Could be molting? Fussing amongst each other or a rowdy roo. I would have to see photos to know what you mean.
    I am treating a Birchen Marans roo right now with a strange skin/feather problem. I refuse to put a lot of money into it for blood work but so far we have ruled out a lot of things so are treating for more obvious problems. Certainly isn't contagious, that much we know.
  6. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

    May 30, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:Nor am I an expert but I do not believe that the leg feathering has anything to do with the egg color as Nadine stated. Though I have read that the reticulate scale color on the legs may be or is believed by some to be an indicator of egg color. It was mentioned in thread that was posted by a gentleman here on BYC and user name is Resolution. If you do a search of is a wonderful read and very informative in my opinion.

    A person can have a clean legged Marans that lays that dark of an egg. Until three weeks ago I had a clean legged blue copper hen that consistently gave me a 7 or better. Before going into a molt the color of her egg would lightened considerably and then upon resuming lay her eggs were once again dark. I recently sold her as I have reduced my flock sizes and I have many of her babies that I have bred the leg feathering back in to that I will keep for future breeding depending on how they feather out in regards to color variety proposed standards and also depending on egg color they will produce.

    In regards to the loose and or missing old is the bird in question? Could she be going into a molt? Is another bird pecking at her? Also loose and missing feathers can result from nutrition issues. Usually I only experience loose and or missing feathers if the birds are molting.


    ETA: Roos and hens both contribute genetically pertaining to egg color.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  7. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Wow, you guys are a big help. The feathers are missing on her back. She has had several other breeds in with her and a very aggressive roo. I think the feathers are both over zealous roo and feather picking. None of my birds have mites/lice, etc., so I know it is not mites, etc. She is in a pen by herself right now and they are growing back fairly quickly. She lays about a 5 on the scale just about every day. While not a really a dark egg, it is a nice big egg, and she is a really sweet doll. Do any of you guys have clean legged dark BlCM layers you want to get rid of? Lexington is not that far, and I am going to see my mom and dad way over in East TN in the next month so SC is not out of the question, either. Are you by any chance close to Anderson, SC? My ancestors were from there many years ago. Sorry, Washington is a little far for me although I've never been and would really like to go.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010

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