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Suggestions for Backyard Mixes

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by AmieD, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. AmieD

    AmieD Chirping

    Jul 19, 2016
    Hi, I want to hatch a few eggs and I have quite a few different breeds. I actually bought 3 Olive Eggers (Marans/Ameraucana mixes). One turned out to be male, one died, and one just laid a beautiful olive egg. I have 3 Cream Legbar pullets. I was wondering if I cross my Olive Egger cockerel with my Cream Legbars if it would make more Olive Eggers. I am open to any suggestions for cool mixes. I have a Salmon Faverolles cockerel and pullets, RIR cockerels, and the following pullets: NH Reds, Easter Eggers, GLW, Australorps, Dominiques, Welsummer, Cukoo Marans, and White Leghorns. I also have some very young Barred Rocks, Buff Orpington, sex links, and a silkie. Not all of my girls are laying yet, but we are planning ahead. I am most interested in creating some chicks that can lay colored eggs or have some funky feathers. Thanks for suggestions!

  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    I do not suggest rhode island red roosters,New Hampshire reds seem to be doing me good.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Descriptions like cool mixes and funky feathers probably doesn’t mean the same to me as it does to you. I do like hatching mixes because you can never be sure what you will get. But you did talk about colored eggs so let’s start there.

    A true Ameraucana will have two copies of the blue egg shell gene and will pass one of those down to their offspring. So both your OE male and female have one copy of the blue egg shell gene. Since it’s dominant about half that cockerel’s pullets should have the colored shell gene and lay blue or green eggs. If you cross him with a hen that also has at least one copy of that blue shell gene (lays a colored egg) your odds of getting pullets that lay colored eggs go up. So if you want colored eggs you need to use your OE male.

    Just because a pullet is called an EE does not mean that she will lay a colored egg. An EE is just a mix that might lay a colored egg. So if you cross your OE male with an EE that lays a colored egg your odds of getting a pullet that lays a colored egg go way up. If your EE pullet does not lay blue or green eggs your odds drop back to 50-50 just like all the others.

    So far it’s been easy but now it gets hard. Not all Marans lay a really dark egg to start with. I know they “should” but not all really do. Real life doesn’t always go as it should. The brown egg shell genetics are pretty complicated. The green is really brown on top of the base blue egg. There are a lot of different genes that affect brown shell color. Some are dominant and recessive genes. Some only act if other certain genes are present. There is even one that can “bleach” the brown out. Some (probably not most) Ameraucanas have that bleach gene to get a bluer egg. So do some but not most that lay white eggs. So his Ameraucana parent contribute genes that don’t contribute to the brown. Your OE cockerel (and pullet) have a real mix of genes that affect the brown. Those genes get passed down randomly so any of their offspring can lay a really wide range of shell colors and shades. If that original Marans parent had the really dark genetics you should get some pretty dark eggs from that cockerel, but you can also get some pretty light eggs. That’s what happens when you mix genetics.

    Your Olive Egger rooster is a mixed breed but I have no idea what his genetic make-up is as far as color and pattern. Best I can recall there are 8 different recognized color/patterns for Ameraucana and 9 different Marans according to the Marans USA club’s site. That’s 72 different potential genetic mixes, and that’s assuming you are talking about a recognized color/pattern. Not all colors are officially recognized so the possible combinations are pretty wild. If your cockerel is a cross between a Black Marans and a Black Ameraucana his offspring will mostly be pretty tame colored with most hens, but if it happens to be a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana crossed with a Black Copper Marans the possibilities get pretty wild pretty fast.

    In general if you put a mixed color/pattern cockerel over reddish hens you can get a pretty good mix of offspring. If the hens happen to be crosses also even better. You can sometimes get some real surprises with black or white hens but those tend to be less varied.

    Since you want colored eggs I suggest you put your OE cockerel over a mix of those hens if not all and just randomly hatch the eggs. Allow yourself to be surprised, you will probably be happy with some of the results. Putting him over hens that lay colored eggs greatly increase your odds of getting colored eggs. Using the Legbar hens guarantees colored eggs but I can’t tell you how dark they will be. If any of those hens are laying dark brown eggs your chances of getting dark green eggs go up.

    Your RIR for sure and I believe your Salmon Faverolles males over a barred hen should give you black sex links. I did not see any on your list that gives you red sex links.

    As I said I really like crossing crosses. To me it gets really boring for all the chicks to look the same when they hatch and when they feather out. I like an egg basket with blue and green eggs of varying shades. I still get some brown eggs too. I’m trying to eliminate the brown but since the blue shell gene is dominant it’s really hard to eliminate the recessive gene that gives me white/brown eggs.

    Good luck! Don’t overthink it, just hatch eggs.
  4. chkiror

    chkiror In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2016
    Portland oregon
    If you get a ameraucana rooster and cross with the legbar hens you will get some fun mixes with some fun crests and Barring . You will have blue and green eggs. The olive egger rooster makes predicting the outcome more difficult as previous poster said . Good luck and have fun.

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