Orpington Project! Crest & White Ear Lobes vs. Feathered Shanks

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jeremy, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    I've always dreamed of creating Wheaten Orpingtons, they exist in the UK (in small numbers, so importing would be "next to impossible"... a.k.a it would cost a small fortune), but I think I could easily recreate the color here with a few different breeds.

    A Wheaten Orp-


    I would start with Blue Orpingtons, as I already have them and I would also like to have the Blue gene in the line. My initial thoughts for outcross would be to use Wheaten Marans. However, they have feathered shanks. Would it take more than a few generations to clean up the legs of my birds?

    My next option would be the newly imported Sulmtalers, they're a bit more pricey than the Marans would be but they don't have feathered legs. However they do have a reasonably sized crest AND white earlobes. Would it be easier to breed these traits out of my potential Wheaten Orpington line or more difficult?

    I'm leaning towards using Marans simply because it seems like they have one less issue to deal with than the Sulmtalers do. But the Sulmtalers seem a bit more "Orpington-ish" in type compared to Marans so maybe it would be easier to get the round Orpington shape that I'm after by using them? I've also considered creating two different bloodlines using both above mentioned breeds so I could have an outcross for both lines once established.

    I don't know... thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
  2. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    The leg feathering trait is dominant so it would definitely take a few gens or more to clean it up but you would just keep breeding back to clean legs. If you used blue Orps x Wheaten you will end up with some of them being blue wheaten which are gorgeous in the Marans especially the roos.
    On my experiments with egg color, I have found that crossing a Marans and Orps you end up with a lot darker eggs that what the Orps normally lay with the female offspring too but they are still excellent layers and the hens go broody a lot lol. One good thing about wheaten Marans is they usually run larger than the BCMs and are very gentle giants. At least my males are. Wheaten Marans also have pale shanks.

    Here is my dream color in orps and maybe Marans as well. I wonder if the blue wheaten Orp hens might be similarly colored to these blue salmon hens. If so, that would be AWESOME!!! The blue wheaten Marans hens usually are lighter on the body than these from what I've seen but some of the wheaten Marans hens lines seem to run a little darker on their bodies than others so maybe using a darker bodied hen might help to achieve this look or using the lighter bodied more appropriate colored hens would be better for the true wheaten look. Hopefully someone can give you some better advice..I think this is a cool project.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  3. OSUman


    Apr 17, 2009
    Central Illinois
    Jeremy, Wheaten Ameraucanas, it would be easier to get rid of the beard and the pea comb than it would to get rid of the feathered legs, unless you can find a line of English Wheaten Marans (Clean Legged), and a heck of a lot easier than getting rid of the white earlobes. Also I would recommend that you use Buffs, since they are typically a wheaten based bird. This sounds like a really cool project!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. ElitePoultry

    ElitePoultry Caviar of Chickens

    Oct 11, 2012
    Northern California
    Very cool project Jeremy!! Blue Wheaten Orps sound amazing!!
  5. JHorn91180

    JHorn91180 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2011
    Northeast KY
    I would suggest salmon favorolles. This breed already has the loose feather gene, closer in type have the correct comb type for the most part. The pea comb is very dominant a lil difficult to breed out so by using this breed u wouldn't have to worry about egg color either. The muff gene is IME is semi-dominant so u should hatch some non bearded birds the first generation. Also it is completely possible to breed out the feathered legs in a few generations as I have crossed heavily feathered feet birds b4 to slick legged breeds and have had a few offspring in the first generation with out a single leg or foot feather. Don't expect that tho but it happens. Take the offspring with no muffs and the least feathered legs and breed those back together and keep the chicks that r correct in color that have the least to no feathers or their feet and cull any re-pops that is, any that throw back the muffs or heavy leg feathering from this cross. Now breed those back over the typiest blue engish Orps u have and repeat culling and breed back those chicks to each other again and keep the wheaton color ones and repeat back to EO. If u need anymore info or need to know where to go from there then u know how to reach me Jeremy. I would consider this project intermediate level and completely doable. I forgot to mention u r going to cull out the gene that gives the loose feathered poofy necks as well but thats one I wouldn't worry too much about as it one that depends on dosage and will eventually breed out on its own like the leg feathering if u cull correctly. I have a few projects as well in the works we can speak about privately with the Orps in new colors.
  6. alibra

    alibra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2013
    Sacramento, CA
    I'd suggest wheaten Ameraucanas

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