Off color BCM Rooster and tiny hen-Any explanation?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sgoff, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. sgoff

    sgoff Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 supposedly high quality BCM. A hen from one breeder that is gorgeous, feathered legs, beautiful shiny black feathers with copper necklace. The other two came from another breeder who claims to specialize in BCM. Of the 18 shipped chicks only a handful arrived alive. Only two survived to adulthood. One-a hen is tiny, slightly bigger than a banty. Clean legs. No copper showing up at all, completely black. The other is a Rooster. His black feathers are not the nice shiny blue-black , but kind of dull and there is no copper at all, instead his neck feathers are laced with off-white-almost grey. Clean legs also. He is tall and scraggly, but still a teenager so I am hoping he will grow out of his ugliness. Any explanation for the white feathers on the rooster and the tiny hen? They all get the same feed, with daily 4 or 5 hours out free ranging. I am new to BCM so not sure what the deal is....I was hoping to breed the two lines but not sure I should do that with such an ugly rooster.
     
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    he might be a brichen marans but pictures would help alot [​IMG]
     
  3. Shaffer

    Shaffer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Out of 10 chicks you are lucky to get one stormer. So the odds are not in your favor with only two chicks. The other fellow is correct about being birchen.
     
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    Yes post some pics. If you do indeed have birchen, you could always start a line of those, they are a little more rare to find than the black coppers. You can always get some more black coppers to work with. We can probably help more if you can take a few photos.
     
  5. sgoff

    sgoff Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    Here's my ugly boy. He actually looks nice and shiny. He is about 6 months old. He is developing a few off white feathers in his saddle area.
     
  6. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    without seeing a whole body picture, he looks like a birchen
     
  7. pinkchick

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

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    He is a Birchen Marans. I would not use him to make more Black Coppers. Get more Black Coppers like Flgarden suggested to make more Black Coppers.....or you could always get more Birchen Marans and make more of them. :)
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Ugly is as ugly does. Oh my. It's winter anyway, and the best chicks are hatched by natural cycle in the Spring. Lose the ugly roo. Keep the tiny hen around for company for your other beauty till you can add another female. Then start looking around at the show stats.
    Look for a breeder who has a continuous winning record at large shows for more than 2 years. Try Texas. Contact them and tell them you need a stud rooster for your lovely girl. Do you know the heritage of your girl? If so, try to stay in the same gene pool. You want a roo from a line that is breeding true enough to win at big shows for multiple years.
    Then buy a couple of birds from that breeder so you end up with a trio. ( 2 females and one male). Your male absolutely must be of top quality with at least 2 generations of top quality birds behind him. Do not go to a breeder who has just acquired stock from the winning breeder, as they may not understand how to handle that strain's genetics yet. You want to go to the fountainhead instead. Now close your flock to outside blood and start the rolling mating method of breeding.

    Here's a classic 7 year plan for establishing a strain via rolling mating:

    Year 1. Breed foundation male to foundation females. ( Hold back the best son and best daughter for step #6.)
    Year 2. Breed best daughters back to their father and best females back to their mother.
    Year 3. Breed best females back to original sire (their grandfather) and best females back to original dam (their grandmother).
    Year 4. Breed best females back to original sire (their great-grandfather) and best males back to their original dam ( great-grandmother).
    Year 5. Breed the brothers and sisters together.
    Year 6. Breed the best females back to a son of the original sire. Breed the best males back to a daughter of the original dam.
    ( This brings diversity back into your flock without having to bring in foreign blood from another strain. ).
    Year 7. Line-breed the get from generation #6.
    ( once a generation has had their day in the breeding pens, put the females in your egg flock. Sell or eat the males. Make very sure you tell any purchasers (who plan to breed) about your breeding plan; which generation these birds are from; and how to continue a breeding plan like yours in their poultry yards; what virtues and faults you expected to see and did/did not see in their generation. )
    Best Success,
    Karen in western PA, USA
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Don't use that little black hen for anything. It's a recessive black. Happens sometimes when breeding the darker colors. You're fortunate it wasn't crippled. Had one in a Golden Salmon hatch I had one year. Useless for any breeding. Just keep it for company for your good hen and rehome it via craigslist as a brown egg layer (not a Marans) when you get a better hen. It will make some kid a nice pet.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi,
    Just a thought here. It is not necessary to combine two or more different strains for biodiversity when creating a new flock. Especially in poultry and a breed like Marans which has been so thoroughly homogenized already by inter-breeding strains. In fact, the classic texts by legendary poultry breeders advise against it because of the additional genetic variation it brings to the table when one is trying, instead to fix type in a new strain.
    Poultry can easily withstand inbreeding because of their wide genetic base and plethora of sex-linked genes. I understand many out there in the wilderness are crying out for random matings , open pedigrees, and loose line-breeding to create their beloved biodiversity. However take a look at what these biodiversity folks are breeding as their end product. There's the rub. They are selecting for land-races and culling only for vitality and ability to work. They do not cull for breed type, other than general characteristics common to that breed. They do not cull for color. Now their philosophies have seeped into the purebred animal breeding world. They do not work here. They are a half-truth in our world. Beguiled by the nice sounding words of vitality, production , ability to work,( and a desire to preserve rare breeds) classic animal breeders try their biodiversity breeding techniques and end up with....squat.
    Classic animal breeding is oil and water to biodiversity folk. The two philosophies will never mix and never produce success when tried together in poultry. Because biodiversity folk want general results with biodiversity. Classic animal breeding seeks specific results with biodiversity. In classic animal breeding, we select for particular traits of function, vigor, specific breed type, and color. We selectively cull our breeding stock which maintains biodiversity. As the noted geneticist Prof. Bell states:
    "It is the varied opinion of breeders as to what constitutes the ideal representative of the breed, and their selection of breeding stock that maintains breed diversity."
    Jerold S. Bell, DVM
    Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, N. Grafton, MA


    So do not be sucked into the drain of thought which says you need to combine 2 or more strains to found your flock. If you like your lovely hen, go back to that breeder, (or a breeder with a line closely genetically associated with that breeder's line), and get a stunning roo and another hen. Ask if they have adults from trimming their flock which they might sell to you. That way you can redeem the time lost with the ugly birds and stay on track for a nice breeding season next Spring.
    Best Regards,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

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