Marans - SOP discussion thread

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Wynette, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Folks, this thread is only for discussion of the recently approved Standard of Perfection (SOP). No arguing, flaming, or off-topic discussion. Any such posts will be removed.

    The intention here is for all of us to learn & discuss as much about the SOP as possible so that we may move forward and make good decisions in our breeding programs. I have requested member edgarmongold, an ABA judge, to weigh in weekly (he may or may not log on & answer questions more often). After all, who but a poultry judge is the best individual to address our questions to?

    This thread is not to suggest rewrites/updates to the currently approved SOP. It is not for stating your opinion about the SOP, either. It is merely for clarification questions regarding the SOP. Lastly, I am, by no means, an expert in breeding/raising Marans - I have never made that claim, nor will I. I simply thought a thread dedicated only to SOP questions would be helpful, and a good place to refer to.

    Here is the approved (LF) SOP:

    Standard of the Marans

    General Description

    The Marans breed originated in France, in marshy areas close to the Atlantic coast. The breed is named after the historic port town of Marans. Evolution of the Marans type bird is said to have begun as early as the 13th century, with crosses between the local marsh hens and various gamecocks brought in to the port on ships. Gradual development of the breed then continued through the centuries, including the introduction of Brahma and Langshan blood during the late 1800s. Marans in their modern form first began appearing in French poultry shows in 1914. The Marans Club of France was organized in 1929, and that club established the first standard for Marans in 1931.

    Marans have been imported to the USA in small numbers for many years now, probably beginning around the time that soldiers returned to the States after World War II. Over the years, birds and eggs have been brought in not only from France but also from countries such as England, Canada, Australia, and possibly Belgium and Switzerland. Importations of "English type" clean-legged Marans have led to the establishment of many clean-legged flocks in this country, especially in the cuckoo variety; nonetheless, the American standard adheres to the French standard calling for lightly feathered shanks and toes.

    Marans are best known for their large, russet brown eggs. This is a defining characteristic of the Marans breed, so selection for egg color and size should never be neglected. Physically the Marans is a medium-sized bird with the character of a rustic farm hen, giving an impression of solidity and strength without being coarse. The legs are lightly feathered, but leg feathering should never be excessively heavy. Eye color is bright and clear in all varieties, never darkening into brown nor paling into yellow or pearl.

    Economic Qualities

    The Marans is a general purpose fowl for duction of both meat and eggs. The breed is most famous for its large, dark chocolate-russet eggs, but it is also known for the fine flavor of its meat. Color of skin, white; color of egg shells, very dark reddish brown.

    Disqualifications

    Yellow on shanks or toes. White ear lobes. Pearl or black eyes. Absence of feathers on shanks. (See General Disqualifications and Cutting for Defects.)

    Standard Weights

    Cock….…..8 lbs Hen……6 1/2 lbs
    Cockerel….7lbs Pullet…..5 1/2 lbs

    Shape—Male

    COMB: Single, moderately large, straight, upright, evenly serrated with five points; the blade not touching the neck.
    BEAK: Long, stout and well curved.
    FACE: Smooth, skin fine and soft in texture.
    EYES: Large and prominent.
    WATTLES: Medium in size, oval, skin fine in texture.
    EAR-LOBES: Average in size, long.
    HEAD: Moderate in size, slightly flattened on top, and long.
    NECK: Moderately long and full, arched. Hackle abundant, flowing well over the shoulders.
    BACK: Wide at the shoulders, long, flat, slightly tilted to the rear. Slightly more inclined than that of the female.
    Saddle feathers -- abundant, saddle large and slightly raised.
    TAIL: Full, rather short, carried at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal.
    Main tail feathers -- broad and overlapping, shorter than average.
    Sickles -- shorter than average.
    WINGS: Short, held close to the body, carriage nearly horizontal.
    Primaries and secondaries -- broad and overlapping in natural order when wing is folded.
    BREAST: Strong, broad, and full. Well rounded when viewed from both the front and side.
    BODY AND FLUFF: Body -- deep, long and broad, especially through the shoulders which are carried high. Overall, rectangular in shape.
    Fluff -- medium in length.
    LEGS and TOES: Legs set well apart and straight when viewed from the front.
    Lower thighs -- strong and well feathered.
    Shanks -- medium length, stout, and straight; lightly feathered down the outer sides.
    Toes -- four long and well-separated toes on each foot. Outer toes lightly feathered, middle toes free from feathers.
    PLUMAGE: Moderately tight and smooth textured.

    Shape—Female

    COMB: Single, smaller than that of the male; straight and upright, evenly serrated with five points, and fine in texture. No female in or near production with the rear portion of the comb lopped should be discriminated against.
    BEAK: Long, stout and well curved.
    FACE: Smooth, skin fine and soft in texture.
    EYES: Large and prominent.
    WATTLES: Medium in size, oval.
    EAR-LOBES: Average in size, long.
    HEAD: Moderate in size, slightly flattened on top, and long.
    BACK: Wide at the shoulders, long, flat, and slightly tilted to the rear. Slightly less inclined that that of the male.
    NECK: Moderately long and full, arched.
    TAIL: Full, rather short, carried at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal.
    Main tail feathers -- broad and overlapping, shorter than average.
    WINGS: Short, held close to the body, carriage nearly horizontal.
    Primaries and secondaries -- broad and overlapping in natural order when wing is folded.
    BREAST: Strong, broad, and full. Well rounded when viewed from both the front and side.
    BODY AND FLUFF: Body -- deep, long and broad, especially through the shoulders which are carried high. Should be more rounded than the male.
    Fluff -- medium in length.
    LEGS AND TOES: Legs set well apart, straight when viewed from the front.
    Lower Thighs -- strong and well feathered.
    Shanks -- medium length, stout, and straight; lightly feathered down the outer sides.
    Toes -- four long and well-separated toes on each foot. Outer toes lightly feathered, middle toes free from feathers..
    PLUMAGE: Moderately tight and smooth textured.

    Here is the Black Copper standard, the only "color" standard that has been approved thus far:

    COLOR -- MALE

    DISQUALIFICATION: Brown wing bay. (See General Disqualifications and Cutting for Defects.)
    COMB, FACE, WATTLES AND EAR-LOBES: Bright red.
    BEAK: Horn, black shading permitted.
    EYES: Reddish bay.
    HEAD: Lustrous deep copper, neither yellow nor mahogany.

    NECK:
    Hackle -- Lustrous deep copper, neither yellow nor mahogany. Some feathers, especially in the lower hackle, may include a narrow dark stripe through the middle of each feather, terminating in a point near its lower extremity.
    Front of neck -- Black with markings of deep copper.

    BACK: Lustrous deep copper.
    Saddle -- Same as hackle.

    TAIL:
    Main Tail -- Black with slight luster.
    Sickles and Coverts -- Lustrous black.

    WINGS:
    Shoulders -- Black.
    Fronts -- Black.
    Bows -- Deep russet red.
    Coverts -- Lustrous black.
    Primaries -- Black.
    Secondaries -- Black, exposed portion forming black wing bay.

    BREAST: Solid black or with a few copper spots. Not laced.

    BODY AND STERN: Black.

    LEGS AND TOES:
    Lower Thighs -- Black.
    Shanks and Toes -- Shanks and toes light to mid-slate, showing pink between the scales. Bottoms of feet pinkish white.
    Shank and Toe Feathers -- Black.

    COLOR -- FEMALE

    DISQUALIFICATIONS: Brown spotting on the body.

    COMB, FACE, WATTLES AND EAR-LOBES: Bright red.

    BEAK: Dark horn.

    EYES: Reddish bay.

    HEAD: Lustrous copper.

    NECK:
    Hackle -- Copper, with a narrow dark stripe through the middle of each feather, terminating to a point near its lower extremity.
    Front of Neck – Black with markings of copper.

    BACK: Black.

    TAIL: Black.

    WINGS: Black.

    BREAST: Solid black, or with a few copper spots. Not laced.

    BODY AND STERN: Black.

    LEGS AND TOES:
    Lower Thighs -- Black.
    Shanks and Toes -- Dark slate, bottoms of feet pinkish white.
    Shank and Toe Feathers -- Black.

    ADDED 12/6/11:

    DISQUALIFICATIONS ON HEAD:

    Comb foreign to breed
    Carnation comb
    Comb sprig
    Split comb
    FULLY lopped comb
    Beak crossed
    Irregular pupil indicating leucosis
    White ear Lobe
    Pearl or black eyes
    BLIND both EYES

    FAULTS OF THE HEAD:

    Twisted comb
    Thumbprint comb
    Irregular serrations
    Wrinkled wattles
    Loose fitting ear Lobe
    Rear part of comb turning sideways
    Wrong amount of points (5)
    Comb laying on neck
    Ear tufts wrong color
    Eye color other than reddish Bay (but not Pearl or black eyes which are DQs)
    Crow head
    Eyes not matching in color
    Blind one eye

    DISQUALIFICATIONS - other parts of the body:

    Roach back
    Web feet
    Duck feet
    Squirrel tail
    Fused toes
    Vulture hocks
    Split tail
    Stubs
    Twisted wing feather
    Bow leg
    Knock knee
    White wing and/or tail feather
    Split wing
    Slipped wing
    Shanks not feathered down outer sides
    Specimens lacking in breed characteristics
    Shank and toe foreign color to that described
    Wry tail
    Brown wing bay on Black Copper male

    FAULTS - other parts of the body:

    White in shank & toe feathering
    Pinched tail
    Crooked keel-Breast
    Crooked toe
    Spur on female
    Missing toenail
    Missing part of a toe
    White under Color
    Feathered middle toe
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  2. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    WOW thanks Wynette: What a great idea!!!

    Question
    : Is there a preference to the tail being in "V" position or "U" position and if not, which is a preferred presentation?

    I also wonder if the "U" presentation would create too much cushion on the topline and take away from the overall shape of the bird?

    Another Question: that I saw this week was regarding the white on the feathers of the shanks. Is this something that is overlooked or what kind of markdown can one expect in the showring?

    Another Question: About the line of feathering down the shank is there a specific way they should line up on the outside of the toe or does it matter where on the outside toe the feathers go...What is IDEAL?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  3. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Wynette, From the way I read your first post this is to be for anyone to ask and comment on anything to do with breeding the Marans to be acceptable to the SOP. This would include suggestions on how to improve certain areas on the Marans type in general. Anyone looking for info on improving their Marans to be acceptable might do well to start here. All of the recognized and not recognized should be welcome here. Just talk on the Marans period. Soon as I get pictures showing defect and DQs will post in this section.
     
  4. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Black and Blue Copper, Has anyone noticed a correlation between the width of the black stripe on Hackle and Saddle to the amount of color in the offspring. I am sure there is something going on between the use of the wide or narrow black stripe just wondering if anyone had documented this in their breedings.
     
  5. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    How are the other Marans breeders dealing with the high tail set when trying to raise a marans that is SOP acceptable.
     
  6. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Anyone have any suggestions on breeding the Marans with the proper amount of shank and toe feathering. Do you use stock with extra feathers , or stock with lighter feather in your breeding pens.
     
  7. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Anyone have any suggestions on how to breed for the five point comb that is wanted by the SOP ?
     
  8. snowbird

    snowbird Overrun With Chickens

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    Any suggestions on how to get back to the Spherical eggs from the Marans as there are very few in the USA that lay the Spherical eggs ?
     
  9. maransgal

    maransgal New Egg

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    The hackle striping I have found interesting, as well. Keeping an eye on the differences produced by, for instance, two boys with similar body color and undercolor, but very dissimilar amounts of lower hackle striping. (One less striping, and ample back color; and one less ample back color, and wider black striping, for instance. Both of these males have about the same amount of minimal breast color, and similar color tones.) One would assume that less striping might give better color in female offspring, but I haven't personally seen this born out, yet. Conversely, my most strongly colored hen tends to throw males with strong black striping in their hackles. Go figure. So, my verdict is still out.
    It does seem that many black copper males who are carrying wheaten, often tend to lack the amount of striping you will find in those who don't. Black coppers carrying brown tend to have black striping, but often show the straw color.
    (I haven't gotten into test breeding any females yet; but a common problem is the too-dark females. Is the general consensus that this may often be a sign of E (as opposed to ER)? On known wheaten carrying females, what is the usual result in hackle coloring? Has anyone experienced overly dark-hackled females, in particular, in possible wheaten carrying females? Brown carrying females often show "nice" hackle coloring, but you can often catch some straw and mossiness. Butt fluff will often also look "sun-bleached".)
    For tail-sets, I am lucky enough to have a range, so, when I have a high tail, I try to pair it with a lowish tail. My preference is for a nice tight tail.
    Haven't had a huge problem with the combs points, yet. Usually range from five to six. But, trying to breed away from combs that are what I would consider oversized/too floppy.
    I tend to dislike birds showing heavy foot feathering. My strong personal preference is for light foot feathering.
    Egg shape.... I have had sperical eggs before, but didn't go out of my way to breed for them. I do try to keep egg color good. I don't know how else we'd get it back, without selecting for it? Maybe will try for it, once there is a better handle on all the other myriad faults floating around in our beloved breed? [​IMG]
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    maransgal - thanks for this post. I'm still digesting it!

    I would love to see close-up pics of the whole hackle striping thing. I'll try to get some pics of my boy's hackles close up and perhaps we can critique it next week.

    Also, sorry for this question...what is meant by "tight" tail?
     

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