Marans Genetics in BCM Hens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Savannah Poultry, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

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    What gene would it be that covers up the red hackle color in a lot of Black copper marans hens? Just messing around with the genetics calculator adding the melanotic locus made it extended black. Would that be accurate?
     
  2. pinkchick

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

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    Quote:Yes, too many melanizers will cover the copper in the female BCM hackle.....however, though the bird may look solid black, it is not a solid black bird. The melanizers will only cover they will not remove the copper gene from the bird, so it is still a Black Copper Marans, but a BCM that can show very little to no copper. This can also happen in the male BCM, but does not normally cover all copper colors on the male. Too many melanizers in male bird can often just cover the copper in the wing bow and the saddle area and/or make it very dark or kinda restricts the amount of copper that shows to very little and usually any copper that does show on very dark birds, however they dark male birds with too many melanizers will show some copper hackles that are normally a very dark copper color. Hope this helps and if I made a mistake explaining it...I know some fabulous BYC'er will come by and correct me or elaborate more for you. [​IMG]
     
  3. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

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    Quote:Yes, too many melanizers will cover the copper in the female BCM hackle.....however, though the bird may look solid black, it is not a solid black bird. The melanizers will only cover they will not remove the copper gene from the bird, so it is still a Black Copper Marans, but a BCM that can show very little to no copper. This can also happen in the male BCM, but does not normally cover all copper colors on the male. Too many melanizers in male bird can often just cover the copper in the wing bow and the saddle area and/or make it very dark or kinda restricts the amount of copper that shows to very little and usually any copper that does show on very dark birds, however they dark male birds with too many melanizers will show some copper hackles that are normally a very dark copper color. Hope this helps and if I made a mistake explaining it...I know some fabulous BYC'er will come by and correct me or elaborate more for you. [​IMG]

    Cool! So theoretically in just a couple generations that could breed out. Correct? Thanks for answering! [​IMG]
     
  4. Sparklee

    Sparklee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No, it's likely not accurate. Changing the melanizers in the chicken genetics calculator isn't going to get it to suddenly change the E locus. If a bird is ER/ER (Birchen) and is mated to same, the progeny will also be ER/ER.

    However, there has been some conjecture that there is a possibility that E (Extended Black) could be floating around in some of the Black Copper Marans. If so, besides the melanizers (all of which have not been identified by geneticists), the E (Extended Black) could be adding to the over melanized Black Copper Marans.

    But, yes, if you hatch out twenty to forty birds from your rooster and a few hens (even if they are pure ER/ER), you may be surprised at the differences in the hackle colors. Take some of the lighter (more gold) from the hatchling and breed them with some of the darker (or back to father or aunt, hopefully not sibling) and you will often get the proper copper coming through on a few of those chicks once they're adults. It just takes a little bit of time and feed to grow them up to maturity. I was shocked that my lighter rooster* could put out such lovely properly colored birds when mated with a dark hen. It was very encouraging.

    NOTE: My lighter rooster was test mated to be sure he didn't carry Wheaten or Dark Brown, but I don't know if he had E (Extended black in him). Same for the hens I used in the mating. Then hens from him, though, were still very dark like their mothers except one. So, I was pleased overall with the ones I hatched out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  5. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:No, it's likely not accurate. Changing the melanizers in the chicken genetics calculator isn't going to get it to suddenly change the E locus. If a bird is ER/ER (Birchen) and is mated to same, the progeny will also be ER/ER.

    However, there has been some conjecture that there is a possibility that E (Extended Black) could be floating around in some of the Black Copper Marans. If so, besides the melanizers (all of which have not been identified by geneticists), the E (Extended Black) could be adding to the over melanized Black Copper Marans.

    But, yes, if you hatch out twenty to forty birds from your rooster and a few hens (even if they are pure ER/ER), you may be surprised at the differences in the hackle colors. Take some of the lighter (more gold) from the hatchling and breed them with some of the darker (or back to father or aunt, hopefully not sibling) and you will often get the proper copper coming through on a few of those chicks once they're adults. It just takes a little bit of time and feed to grow them up to maturity. I was shocked that my lighter rooster* could put out such lovely properly colored birds when mated with a dark hen. It was very encouraging.

    NOTE: My lighter rooster was test mated to be sure he didn't carry Wheaten or Dark Brown, but I don't know if he had E (Extended black in him). Same for the hens I used in the mating. Then hens from him, though, were still very dark like their mothers except one. So, I was pleased overall with the ones I hatched out.

    Sparklee, It doesn't make any difference what you breed to the dark female if they are from BC bred fowl. I have around 125 of my earliest pullets that are from mostlyblack, black copper hens and four males that are almost Black and they are 90 % Copper Hackle. These black hens were picked for type and no major faults. When it comes to breeding the BC Marans you can throw the Genetic formulas in the toilet and breed them the way they have always been bred. There is no way to know what is in the pedigree of the Marans as they have been crossed with most everything that will lay a dark egg. The only way to breed good type and color in the Marans is single mated and buy a sharp AXE. They need to be culled very deep and eliminate some of the Major Faults and DQs .
     
  6. Sparklee

    Sparklee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't want to throw the genetics in the toilet. You breed how you want and I'll breed how I want. Fair enough? I promise I won't sell any of my chicks or eggs to you so yours won't be infected with my genetics. So you have no worries. Okey dokey?

    For me, it's much more effective to test mate a BCM rooster (or hen) with some wheaten based birds and then find out if they throw any yellow chicks. If so, then that rooster (or hen) is ER/???. Once I know that, I can band it as such, and then I can go from there and use that bird carefully or not at all. Feeding and breeding a bunch of overly copper breasted roosters and mossy hens just so I can say that I am breeding BCMs the traditional way, isn't my cup of tea. If it's yours, good on ya'. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    edited to add: (or hen)
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  7. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    I breed no Mossy female and they are culled soon as I see them. I breed no more brown breasted males after this spring. I tried one over some of the dark hens and culled all of them, when about one month old. I breed a large amount of BC and not just talk about what the outcome should be.

    Since you appear to be a Marans expert have you ever seen a BC male without major faults or DQs ? After over 2000 chicks over the past four year I am still waiting for a male that is SOP acceptable. I have no problems with the female side as I have culled most of the hens causing the culls.

    Not to worry I would never be interested in buying any BC Marans from you.
     
  8. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

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    Thanks for the input everyone but There's no need to argue. My question is answered. Thankyou.
     
  9. Sparklee

    Sparklee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That comment seems a little disingenuous and unnecessary. You and I both know I'm not an expert, and I would never claim to be.

    Quote:No, I don't expect to in the near future ... not even in photos on the web. There are so many variables when it comes to Black Copper Marans that I think the possibilities of a rooster meeting/exceeding the SOP anytime soon are exponentially small. You would have a better chance than many. You're paying way better attention to the birds than many others are.* Even a genetically proper bird can have too gold a hackle, so breeding with that bird, which is genetically a BCM and fine to use as a breeder, lessens the chances of a SOP bird coming out of any hatch. I think breeding BCMs is more difficult than breeding some other breeds because of the whole mahogany issue, not to mention melanizers that haven't been identified. Then on top of that all the mixing that has been done in France and on this continent. Nearly boggles the mind. Is nearly overwhelming.

    It's interesting to see how like doesn't always produce like in Black Copper Marans at this point in the history of the breed in North America or at least I haven't found it to be so. The roosters don't recreate themselves when they breed -- at least mine haven't. A large meaty comb can produce a small Langshan style comb and a couple of long backed birds can produce compact birds. Two great looking birds can produce all very slow feathering birds, which is supposed to be bred out of the breed, though it's not mentioned in the standard the last time I read it. A dark hen and a black chested ER/ER rooster can spit out roosters that have just the right amount of lacing at the top of chest, a sight to behold. Two birds with great tail sets will shoot out a few birds that have 80 degree tails (yuck). I think that of those who are working with BCMs that share what they are doing (as we know many don't share what their breeding secrets, setbacks, etc.) a few of them are culling breeder birds before they even know what those birds could produce with a few years of work. So they just keep buying chicks or eggs and growing them out, then culling all of them because they don't meet the SOP and starting over again the next year. The genetics are in there with a few of the birds that don't meet the SOP perfectly and some serious hatching and selection could bring a lot of the proper features out. The breeder birds don't have to be perfect to make some perfect chicks if all of the genetic material lines up properly; the past 130 or so years of chicken breeding history should be enough to convince the naysayers.

    You'd think that if anyone would be close to coming up with an SOP Black Copper Marans rooster anytime soon that it would be you.

    The initial test matings took me two years because I didn't have enough isolation pens, wheaten based birds, nor the inclination to go more quickly. You were still breeding brown breasts this spring after 4 years (or similar). For me, the genetics route was less time and work intensive and, therefore, easier for me. Your method is easier for you, but took longer. Tomato tomato. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    For those listening in: I've said it before and I'll say it again. I will not be selling any BCM chicks or eggs ever. Subtext to other breeders=I'm not your competition. I don't have a pony in this race, just my little closed flock of pretty birds making pretty eggs for our family. Our goal? Being able to sustain this backyard flock (closed) of mild roosters and hens so that we can have the eggs always.
     
  10. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Sparklee, We have a lot of the same beliefs on breeding the BC Marans, With the Marans I am working with at present you can not use the light colored leg male fowl in breeding. I think I have finally bred the white in wing and tail out of my fowl. I have no white in the young fowl out of my birds I am working with at present . I have also found that it is better to cull the Brown tint chicks early as they will have the brown soft feathering instead of the Black we are looking for in the Marans. I try and breed my fowl with heavier shank and toe feathering and cull the fowl with middle toe feathering. I believe the middle toe feathering is related to having heavy shank and toe feathering.

    I believe we can with work someday produce a BC male that is SOP acceptable. I believe we have to work with all three of the color schemes if we are to get a good male. I will not ever use another male with any brown in the breast.

    I will say this and the Marans are the most challenging fowl I have ever tried to raise some to the SOP. I have about 40 young males that might just produce a good one, I have culled these two times and really like some of them.
     

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