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Olive Eggers vs Isbars: Which Breed is Better?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Eelantha, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Eelantha

    Eelantha Chirping

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    On one side we have the ultra-rare breed whose name is the Isbar, known as the only purebred and single comb chicken that lays green eggs on earth.

    On the other side we have Olive Eggers, known to most people as Rooster Marans x Ameraucana hen hybrids (though there are other cross varieties that can give similar results), bred for the aimable purpose of laying green eggs and, hopefully, inherit both parent's best traits.

    I want to make myself a colorful egg basket on top of a flock of chickens that vary in colors. Having never tried Olive Eggers and only having read about Greenfire Farm's infamous Isbar chickens three days ago, I'm unsure which one to try. Should I go for the pricey, ultra-rare breed, or try my hand at a hybrid whose plumage and genetics is completely random?

    The challenge in choosing which breed resides in two things: I live in the mountains, and it rains often during summertime. French Marans have feathered feet, and I've read more than once that feathered feet were a big no-no in humid/wet lands, so I've set my eye on the English/British Marans, who are a version of the French ones that have no feathers on their feet. Having a non-feathered Marans would give me safe access to beautiful chocolate brown eggs on top of equally non-feathered feet Olive Eggers if bred with an Ameraucana rooster. The non-feathered Marans, however, is not recognized by the American Poultry Association, so it is extremely rare in the USA. I only know of Cackle Hatchery that claims to produce Marans with unfeathered legs, and I have no idea if this hatchery can even order them outside USA borders - I live in Quebec, Canada, so my chicks would come a long way if I were to order a few specimens.

    The USA borders pause an equal challenge for my coveted Isbar. The only place I know to have some is in Greenfire Farms... and while I've never ordered chickens by mail before, if they do ship outside USA borders, then I have no doubt that it will be a pricey business. They're quite the unique species.

    Knowing all of this, would it be better to order the Isbar, who is a certified layer of green eggs and devoid of feathered feet, or target the non-feathered English/British Marans, to ensure no feathered feet both in my chocolate egg layer as well as her Olive Egger babies?

    I'm a rookie in chickens, with an enthusiasm to match my curiosity. Normally I would have contended with the local races around me, but as I've come to realize, the Marans I want for my egg basket don't fit my climate, and Plan B isn't exactly standard procedure. No one around my place has non-feathered Marans or Isbars to talk about, so I'm turning to BYC with the hopes of finding an answer. Which breed (Olive Egger or Isbar) do you think is the best choice as green egg-layers for the place I live on, guys?
     
  2. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    So do you have Ameraucanas now if so have you thought about getting Welsummers they are not dark chocolate but are dark and have nice spotting those crossed with your ameraucana will give some neat olive eggs with speckles I like them. I have black Copper Marans, blue Copper Marans and Cuckoo Marans and the only ones that lay the dark eggs are the black Copper Marans the others a just brown so I wonder about the featherless ones you are talking about as far as dark eggs or not.
     
  3. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    I also have Isbar and they have a wide range of green eggs some are kind of a light chartreuse to olive and everything inbetween.
     
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing 5 Years

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    Isbars are a Med. sized chicken which lays a large egg, and they eat less food. I like the roosters.
     
  5. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    When I started out, I said “absolutely not!” to feathered feet. When it rains we end up ankle deep in mud. But wouldn’t you know it, in the first batch of shipped chicks I got, the “free, rare chick” turned out to be a standard Black Conchin (my avatar). Oddly enough, he keeps his feet feathers very clean and is a really handsome lovely bird. I love his so much I crossed him with my Doms to make BSL chicks and now have 18 3 week old blue Cochins in the brooder.
     
  6. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing 5 Years

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    I am always looking to jazz up my coop. My first chickens were australorps, then I got just feed store birds, (rhode Is or barred rock) then I discovered NN, frizzles, BCM, then isbars, (besides having buffs, SS, and GLW,sebrights, anything blue, and LO, SLW..etc) I was always looking for the new chicken fix, I have SFH, AC, Golden spitzenhauben, welsummer, Novogen, IDK what will be next but I am keeping my eye out.
     
  7. Eelantha

    Eelantha Chirping

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    Yes I have Ameraucanas, though as far as standards go only the female fits them - my rooster is without doubts an Easter Egger. I plan on visiting a local hatchery to see if i should change him for a purebred one to insure I have two blue genes in my male, in case I take the Olive Egger route.

    I have thought about getting Welsummers... Barnevelders too, actually. They're my plan C along with the Isbar if nothing else works with my dream Marans, but just like for clean-legged Marans I'll have to order them from far away, because these two brown breeds aren't close to my home either. The best I might get my hands on are Rhode Island Reds, and those chickens have never been mentionned in Olive Egger crosses so unless proven otherwise with visuals, I'll assume they don't make the cut when it comes to making green egg-layer hybrids.

    For the clean-legged Marans, it's the Cuckoo variety here: https://www.cacklehatchery.com/cuckoo-marans.html
     
  8. Eelantha

    Eelantha Chirping

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    If you spot any clean-legged Black or Blue Copper Marans, or even clean-legged Wheaten or Cuckoo ones and where they are being sold in the USA (or even Canada, if by some miracle there are sellers there), please don't hesitate to tell me - each plumage has its own appeal, I don't have a set choice yet, and in my case it'd be very useful to know where I can get the English ones since I can't fit the French ones into my backyard. Any help is appreciated in finding wet-proof Marans! x3
     
  9. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    You won’t be happy with the egg color if you are looking for the dark chocolate the Cuckoo Marans I have lay just brown eggs it’s a darker brown but nothing like black Copper Marans.
     
  10. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing 5 Years

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    I have had those also, and a lemon barred hen.
     

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