Question about genetics/crosses


6 Years
Mar 29, 2013
I have an Olive Egger pullet, not yet laying. She is 23 weeks old, and I hatched her from an olive colored egg. I was told that she was the result of an F1 OE hen (original cross was wheaten ameracauna hen/ BCM roo) covered by a BCM rooster. Her "brother" that I hatched at the same time looked like you would expect. Coloring like a BCM, feathered legs, muff, and a big straight comb. She has been a bit of a mystery. She is a beetle black color with a white head and some white lacing fading onto her body, her legs are dark slate with very scant feathering, she has a pea comb, but it has been black since she was born. Now that she is coming close to lay, it looks like red cracking through black. Her earlobes are irridescent blue/green. I know when you start mixing birds, you can get all kinds of things popping up, but her comb and ears are unexpected. Does anyone else have a similar looking bird? I think she is beautiful, and hopefully will lay olive eggs, but was just curious as to what you guys thought!

The comb is not that much of a surprise to me. The Pea Comb gene is incomplete dominant or partially dominant, I can’t remember which is which but when you have one split for the pea comb, one pea and one not-pea, you usually get funky looking combs. Then there are some comb modifiers out there that can really give you some strange things. Her comb looks more ”pea” than some of the ones I have that are split. The color change probably means she is getting ready to lay.

I’m not up on all the genetics involved in ear lobes. The red ones come from them being real thin and clear so you can see the blood underneath. White ones come from them not being clear but having pigment in them. I’m not sure what would cause the color you are seeing, probably a combination of the blood underneath and some pigments filtering out some of the color spectrum. Interesting photos.

I’m more intrigued by her white color. The black comes from Birchen. That’s easy. But her father was a Copper Marans. He has to be pure for gold or he would be a Silver Marans. Since gold/silver is a sex linked gene that hen has to have gold, not silver. I just can’t see where that white is coming from.

Maybe an expert will see this and help us out.
I should note that the parents aren't mine, I purchased hatching eggs from a local breeder. So although I was told the dad was a BCM, I can't be 100%, although she did seem to know what she was talking about and all other eggs hatched out as expected. The other OE had the black and gold BCM type feathering that you would have expected, and a straight comb instead of pea. Her comb shape isn't strange to me, b/c modified peas are common with crosses, but the black color is interesting. I though black combs were mostly in silkies and sumatras? Although it is getting more red now that she is approaching point of lay, as a chick it was pretty much black. And I know silkies can also have blue earlobes, so maybe some silkie somewhere in her background? But her feathers don't show that if she does, very smooth, no head pouf. She doesn't have wattles either, which is normal for a ameracuana cross, but doesn't have the beard or muffs either. Her "brother" had muffs, a small beard, and huge wattles. He was a pretty funny looking chicken,but we had to rehome him when he started crowing at nine weeks.
This is her before her face started getting redder.

This was the cockeral from the same parents that we hatched out, last pic I took so I don't have him all feathered out.
Thanks for any input! It doesn't really matter, I am just curious. I find the genetics so interesting, but haven't learned enough yet to be able to decipher things. I can't wait to see what her eggs look like! Hopefully she is carrying the blue gene, since she has the pea comb.
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From that cross, assuming the parents are what they are supposed to be, you should have a 97% chance of the blue egg gene and the pea comb being linked. That comes from the distance between the pea and blue egg genes on the chromosome. I’ll take those odds, though I had a straight-combed hen lay green eggs with those odds. As you said earlier, about anything can happen.

That black on the legs and comb can come from Extended Black, which you don’t have. I have not heard of it coming from Birchen which you do have but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. In any case I really suspect her father was not a Black Copper Marans. It sounds like he was something else.

As long as you like the hen it doesn’t matter that much, at least to me, but if you cross her with something else you may get some real surprises if you hatch her eggs.
I actually got a similar silver sort of laced bird out of an F2 generation as well. I have a Blue Copper Marans roo and a group of Ameraucanas and EE hens that he was covering , and then used a different BCM/EE cross fellow over the F1 hens from the first cross. The result are nice big hens that lay beautiful dark rich green/olive eggs but have had some interesting physical characteristics. They have a mix of single and pea/split pea combs, and while a good few are black or mostly black, there are a couple with the same type of lacing that yours has. While I wasn't tracking which chick hatched from which particular hen, and only selecting for the richest green egg color I wanted, I must assume that this is leaking through from the couple of true silver Ameraucanas from the first generation as I didn't see it in the F1 group. Personally, I absolutely love the variety of feathers you get from EE and OE birds even generations later. Yours is a truly beautiful hen!
Thanks! We think she is beautiful,so it doesn't really matter. I just though she had feathered out differently than I expected. The breeder did say she crossed the F1s back to a BCM to darken the eggs, but maybe the roo was a cross too? Not sure, but she is a nice bird. We call her our bald eagle.
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Brooke laid her first egg today! It is olive, although pretty light. Hoping it darkens up a little after she gets in her groove, glad it was green! She was very laid back about it, no song, slipped in the nest box and slipped back out.

Her's in the front middle
Brooke laid her first egg today! It is olive, although pretty light. Hoping it darkens up a little after she gets in her groove, glad it was green! She was very laid back about it, no song, slipped in the nest box and slipped back out.

Her's in the front middle
Thats great!

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