Marans Thread - breed discussion & pictures are welcome!

Runawaylobster

Songster
7 Years
May 2, 2012
1,296
40
153
Redland/Homestead Fl
I am now officially on the hunt for a new black tailed buff rooster. After some checking around and some generous offline assistance with assessing my BTB pullets i've decided i need to bringing in a roo from a new line.

SO.. if anyone has a boy who would fit the bill i'm interested. My boys are about 4 months right now but anything between 4 months and a year is ideal.

If i can't find the right boy i'd be willing to take hatching eggs and just put my pullets in with the laying hens for a few months while i wait, but this is the less preferable option.

After nursing Harold back to health from his eye peck he is quite one of the friendliest roosters i have, and yesterday he came over to the wire to visit with me while all the other boys are too busy squabbling in the back... then out of the blue i got a note from a lady looking for a family friendly rooster for her mixed back yard flock... hopefully they like him and Harold will get a new home..
 
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gilavina

Songster
8 Years
Jan 25, 2011
6,393
91
241
Southeast Nebraska
Thanks. I just thought you put photo's up to ask if they were going to start a good line or if they had any problems like clean legs, comb deformities etc.
If you have plans to breed, even if it is down the road, there are still basic things you will want to stay on top of now to keep them from becoming road blocks to your future plans. For example, birds with any sprigs, if left to do their thing will end up spreading like crazy and will overtake a small flock in no time flat and any ideas of breeding more seriously will have to be rethought, because once its in a flock, it ain't goin nowhere. Same for other issues such as split wings and etc.
 

jajeanpierre

Songster
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
1,926
222
156
the easiest way is to post some photos of stock with a front, side and top shot of each if possible and ask for some advice on them if you are wanting some honest answers. Its hard to give advice without seeing what you have to work with.
At what age should these pictures be posted? I'm completely new to chickens.

Thanks, Janet
 

gilavina

Songster
8 Years
Jan 25, 2011
6,393
91
241
Southeast Nebraska
At what age should these pictures be posted? I'm completely new to chickens.

Thanks, Janet
Are you starting out with new young started stock, showing young anywhere from 8 weeks on would be alright when it comes to being able to make assessments on what is showing promise. Although, its not uncommon to see postings of birds younger than that. The part about Marans that can be deceiving in some ways is that they can continue to grow and develop until around 2 years of age, so dramatic changes can happen, and is why it is so important to learn the growth, development, the good and the bad tendencies of stock one has. Particularly when first starting out in poultry it is very important to train the eye and hands for what to watch for as there are issues inherent with all poultry that are disqualifications and faults, and then there is also ones specific to the breed, and then another set for certain varieties, so the more you can give yourself a jump on the learning process by getting second sets of eyes on what you have in front of you, the more you are able to build a framework to grow into, if that makes sense.
 

jajeanpierre

Songster
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
1,926
222
156
Are you starting out with new young started stock, showing young anywhere from 8 weeks on would be alright when it comes to being able to make assessments on what is showing promise.............so the more you can give yourself a jump on the learning process by getting second sets of eyes on what you have in front of you, the more you are able to build a framework to grow into, if that makes sense.
I'm starting with a few day-old chicks ordered off the internet from Chicken Scratch Poultry that should arrive June or July. My chicken adventure started with my just wanting different colored eggs to thinking maybe I would have fun breeding for exhibition (as well as pretty eggs). The roosters will end up in the pot, but if I'm planning on breeding, I certainly don't want to eat something that is worth breeding from. I also have 11 Ameraucana chicks that came from someone who is very active exhibiting. I am not sure if my breed will be Marans, but they are the breed I am studying the most.

Thanks for all your help. Janet
 

gilavina

Songster
8 Years
Jan 25, 2011
6,393
91
241
Southeast Nebraska
I'm starting with a few day-old chicks ordered off the internet from Chicken Scratch Poultry that should arrive June or July. My chicken adventure started with my just wanting different colored eggs to thinking maybe I would have fun breeding for exhibition (as well as pretty eggs). The roosters will end up in the pot, but if I'm planning on breeding, I certainly don't want to eat something that is worth breeding from. I also have 11 Ameraucana chicks that came from someone who is very active exhibiting. I am not sure if my breed will be Marans, but they are the breed I am studying the most.

Thanks for all your help. Janet
No problem, the same is true for all breeds of poultry when thinking of breeding for exhibition poultry. Its a challenge to be sure, but honestly why I love it. I've been breeding and showing poultry for the majority of my life, started when I was very young and it gets in the blood!
 

kowgurl62

Songster
10 Years
Feb 21, 2009
183
5
111
knoxville, al
Just a little food for thought. It is really weird buying eggs from six people that are supposed to be winning at the shows and getting mostly cull chicks hatch out. I firmly believe the only way to stay with the BC Marans is buy a few eggs, chicks or adults if you can observe them before buying and start your own line of Marans by culling and breeding more and culling again and keeping only the best and keeping a record of everything you plan on keeping. If you do not know the parentage of the breeding prospect do not use going forward. Once we get the initial Marans close the flock and do not bring any new Marans into the future breedings. This will mean you will start with just a very few Marans at the beginning and should produce a few more each year after. Do not worry about the small numbers as we only need a male and a female to get started. Do not breed brother-sister for any reason.

In the fall I will make some matings with the Mossy and the brown breasted Marans to set the results down in writing and not have to depend on what someone else says will happen. Will also mate some of the clean shank Marans and see what shows up. Will breed several Marans that I would cull at any other time. I will post the results of these test hatchings on my profile page. Will start posting chick pictures in a few days, I have all the chicks numbered and marked that are hatched.
Hi Don,
I will definitely be interested to see the results on your mossy birds. I have two pullets that I pretty much know came from very mossy hens, covered by a birchen rooster, who supposedly came out of a dark egg. Neither pullet is mossy. One lays a light egg, and the other lays a very dark egg. So it will be interesting to see if maybe you cross a very nice rooster onto your mossy hens, whether that mossiness actually carries through, and whether it shows up in the next generation also. I'm not sure we can just rely on a one generation comparison. Come to think of it, of the chicks I hatched last year, none were mossy, out of any of the birds I have, only things I culled for were combs, and really yellow hackles, and a few bad tails. I don't have enough hens yet to be culling for body type. I think that will come this year. The next thing I want to find out, is do those mossy hens put more color into the hackle on the hens. Unfortunately I didn't mark chicks last year, but quite a few I can tell which came from the mossy ones because of the ugly combs(to me anyway).


The people winning, are probably doing like the rest of us, hatching a lot and culling a lot to get a decent bird. But, one thing I have noticed is, sometimes that bird that makes it to champion row, may not be the ideal bird, just the judges opinion of it on that day.
 

snowbird

Crowing
9 Years
May 28, 2010
4,325
279
291
Wolverine Country
Hi Don,
I will definitely be interested to see the results on your mossy birds. I have two pullets that I pretty much know came from very mossy hens, covered by a birchen rooster, who supposedly came out of a dark egg. Neither pullet is mossy. One lays a light egg, and the other lays a very dark egg. So it will be interesting to see if maybe you cross a very nice rooster onto your mossy hens, whether that mossiness actually carries through, and whether it shows up in the next generation also. I'm not sure we can just rely on a one generation comparison. Come to think of it, of the chicks I hatched last year, none were mossy, out of any of the birds I have, only things I culled for were combs, and really yellow hackles, and a few bad tails. I don't have enough hens yet to be culling for body type. I think that will come this year. The next thing I want to find out, is do those mossy hens put more color into the hackle on the hens. Unfortunately I didn't mark chicks last year, but quite a few I can tell which came from the mossy ones because of the ugly combs(to me anyway).


The people winning, are probably doing like the rest of us, hatching a lot and culling a lot to get a decent bird. But, one thing I have noticed is, sometimes that bird that makes it to champion row, may not be the ideal bird, just the judges opinion of it on that day.
I believe you are right about the mossy female producing young that are not Mossy. It would need to be an on going test and record keeping and marking of chicks. We will find that the mossy female will as a rule lay a darker colored egg. It is surprising with the people that have made lots of Money with the Marans that no one has even attempted to do an actual study showing what will produce what. The main thing I still believe is to attempt to set a line of Marans to work with and not do all the outside of the breed that is going on unless records are kept and passed on to anyone that receives some of the cross fowl.
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
166
421
Michigan
Hi Don,
I will definitely be interested to see the results on your mossy birds. I have two pullets that I pretty much know came from very mossy hens, covered by a birchen rooster, who supposedly came out of a dark egg. Neither pullet is mossy. One lays a light egg, and the other lays a very dark egg. So it will be interesting to see if maybe you cross a very nice rooster onto your mossy hens, whether that mossiness actually carries through, and whether it shows up in the next generation also. I'm not sure we can just rely on a one generation comparison. Come to think of it, of the chicks I hatched last year, none were mossy, out of any of the birds I have, only things I culled for were combs, and really yellow hackles, and a few bad tails. I don't have enough hens yet to be culling for body type. I think that will come this year. The next thing I want to find out, is do those mossy hens put more color into the hackle on the hens. Unfortunately I didn't mark chicks last year, but quite a few I can tell which came from the mossy ones because of the ugly combs(to me anyway).


The people winning, are probably doing like the rest of us, hatching a lot and culling a lot to get a decent bird. But, one thing I have noticed is, sometimes that bird that makes it to champion row, may not be the ideal bird, just the judges opinion of it on that day.
Of course, culling hard is the best way to go for any breed. Well said last paragraph, KG!

I myself keep less than 10% of what I hatch in Marans. I have also hatched out eggs from many folks who show and do well, and more times than not, I don't keep any for the breeding pen. It's frustrating to be sure, but most of the folks that I come across with really good stock are unwilling to sell a grown bird. Thus, hatching eggs are usually the easiest way to go, at least for me.

Last fall, I got hatching eggs from someone who was tearing it up at the shows - I was SO excited about the birds, but unfortunately, I am unable to use any of the birds in my breeding program. Their egg isn't even up to par with where my line is, so they are in my layer pen. Sigh. These things happen, though, and I'm sure not sorry that I took the chance.
 
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