Splash, Birchen, Black Copper, Marans breeding question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by kathyinmo, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    When breeding Marans, are they all bred specifically with their kind? I mean Birchen to Birchen, Black Copper to Black Copper, etc? I thought I read that a Black Copper Marans over a Splash equals a Birchen. How exactly does this work? Does the Cuckoo Marans fit in anywhere with the others?
     
  2. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Quote:First -- no, a black copper crossed with a splash will NOT produce birchen. Well, let me rephrase that a bit. A "splash" bird can actually be hiding a lot of other genes under its "splash" appearance. For instance, I have some splash birchen pullets that could look exactly like a "regular" splash pullet. And a lot of times people don't know where that "splash" bird actually came from. So it depends a bit on what that "splash" parent really is, genetically speaking.

    Second -- no, Marans are not always bred 100% within their variety. In general they should be, but there are some reasons that would justify crossing varieties in a breeding program.

    For instance: I have birchen and blue birchen Marans. I also have some black copper Marans. Now, the only difference genetically between black copper and birchen is the presence or absence of the silver and gold alleles. Black coppers obviously have gold, while birchens have silver. So -- my birchens are mostly clean legged, and they don't lay a dark egg. OTOH my birchen rooster has very nice conformation, and some of the pullets are pretty good too. Further, I have just acquired two really nice black copper cockerels -- the brothers of some black copper pullets that lay spectacularly dark eggs. So, I am playing with the idea of crossing the black copper cockerels into my birchen pullets, then breeding the gold gene back out. Hopefully, this will result in a birchen line with both good conformation and good egg color. We shall see.

    I hope this helps!
     
  3. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that breeding like to like, unless for a specific purpose, is usually the best plan.


    Using copper blacks to improve silver birchen ought to be helpful. Copper black marans also have mahogany. I have some which are silver birchen with mahogany. They look yellowish instead of silver.
     
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Does black marans over splash hens equal blue birchen? I guess I don't understand the birchen thing??? Are birchen "created," from other marans?

    ETA: By the way, is black marans the same thing as black copper marans?

    How many kinds of marans are there; black, black copper, blue, blue birchen, silver birchen, birchen????
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  5. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Kathy, birchen cannot be "made" as such. Copper blacks are mahogany gold birchen, the colour usually called just birchen is actually silver birchen. Black & splash are something else entirely. Ideally black & splash are black or splash all over. Birchen is due to the birchen gene (ER); hens have mostly unicolour black based body but a gold or silver hackle, males having colour hackles & shoulders. Often birchens have some colour or lacing on the breast.
     
  6. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Quote:Dang, I'm constantly forgetting about mahogany. Well, that's just one more thing to worry about.....

    Thanks for mentioning it, though. It certainly helps to explain some of the birchens I've seen that didn't look orange enough to really be carrying gold, yet had that creamy cast on the saddle especially.
     
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

  8. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    It says black over splash = blue birchen

    I shouldn't pay a lot of attention to that.....
    It sounds as if that person was incorrectly describing colours. Amazondoc pointed out that what they were calling blue were, in fact, blue birchen. Perhaps the chap is putting silver birchen over silver splash birchen? A splash silver birchen would look pretty similar to plain splash.

    Thanks for mentioning it, though. It certainly helps to explain some of the birchens I've seen that didn't look orange enough to really be carrying gold, yet had that creamy cast on the saddle especially.

    Autosomal red(s) other than mahogany, could also be a factor. And yes....they plague me too.[​IMG]
     
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Quote:That's not what it actually says -- but the way it's written is quite confusing.

    She says that her BLUE Marans were created by mating blacks with splash. That is, indeed, how you make a blue chicken. The confusion comes up because she had some blue BIRCHEN Marans mislabelled as blue. She may very well have had true blue Marans in addition to the blue birchens -- I dunno.
     
  10. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I guess one of the things that confuses me is .... What is birchen? Is birchen a color? I see silver birchen, gold birchen, blue birchen. I know what cuckoo is. It is a pattern, and I have cuckoo marans. I know what splash is. It is like a mixture of grey and white, and I have a splash silkie. But what is birchen? [​IMG]

    Is black and black copper the same thing? I see "black marans," and, "black copper marans." Are they interchangable, or is it solid black vs black with copper coloring?

    Sorry for such elementary questions. As you may have guessed, as it is so obvious, I know nothing about genetics. Or colors of chickens apparently! Why is a grey chicken called a "blue?" And lavender, now that confuses me even more. I see a picture of a "lavender orpington," and it looks to me like a grey chicken!

    [​IMG]
     

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