The Aloha Chicken Project

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by alohachickens, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read there is a white Marans, what would the effect be of introducing a white Marans to get a darker egg color? The down side is feathered legs.
    Joe
     
  2. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Joe -

    I'm still trying to understand all this genetics stuff myself! So keep in mind I'm NOT an expert by any means!

    But, it is my understanding, that White chickens are basically "one big white spot". As in - you can breed a Black chicken to Dominant White chickens (like Leghorns) and as generations progress, you will get either all-white chickens, or all-black chickens. But you will not get gray chickens. Or black-and-white spotted chickens. From what I understand, the Dominant White gene basically "dips" the entire chicken in white paint.

    If you read about another recently created breed called Bragg Mountain Buffs, this person supposedly also used some dominant white chickens in the mix early on, and even though he is breeding all-buffs to all-buffs today, the Dominant White gene still pops up to this day and results in the occasional random white chicken. In other words, because of that gene, his breed does not breed true.

    So, I've been avoiding adding the Dominant White gene for that reason. So far, I have not hatched out any solid white chicks, so I guess it's working!

    Because of this, we have to avoid certain breeds (like red sex-links) because we don't know what is in their background. It may be Dominant White. To be safe I've been working with basic chicken colors like brown, red, and yellow. I have been avoiding a lot of barred or mixed colors so I don't accidentally bring in genes that I don't want.

    I did do a test breeding with a Wheaten EE'er, and looks like Wheaten takes Mottling just fine. So if someone wanted to work with Marans, I would suggest Wheaten Marans as their base stock, as that color proved it could carry the spots well. They would need to breed out the feather legs of course. But that could be done.
     
  3. AllisonD

    AllisonD Out Of The Brooder

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    Or you could just use an American marans, they don't have feathered legs, do they?
     
  4. AllisonD

    AllisonD Out Of The Brooder

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    Just because the french marans carry the dominant feathered leg gene, right? It sounds like it might take a while to get rid of that entirely. An American marans with the leg feathers already bred out would probably be faster.
     
  5. Deerfield Acres

    Deerfield Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And what fun would that be after our pretty ginger girls? I need to take a pic of my Swedish Flowers so you can take a look at their colors and advise me. I also need to get pics of the breeder pens. Tomorrow I'll be gone most of the day picking up the German New Hamps. I'll probably be back around 4 or 5 after leaving at 5 a.m. so I'll be pretty well done by then!


    Oh so interesting to think about the possibilities!
     
  6. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't know the American Marans had clean legs! That's great! I think even feather legs can be bred out after a few generations, though, if it came to that.
     
  7. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't wait to see the German New Hampshires in with the smallest Alohas. I am curious as to whether the German New Hamp's are that much bigger than hatchery NHR's. I've heard they are but haven't ever seen them. Will be fun to see!

    Oh, and speaking of NHR's . . . I set the eggs from the pen of Cheeto's baby roos over colorful small Aloha hens. These two boys are about 20% Buff Rock and about 10% NHR but you can really see the influence of the NHR in their color and body:


    [​IMG]

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    For those of you new to this thread, this is their DADDY, "Cheeto" a huge-bodied 1/2 Buff Rock roo who carried the gene for spots:


    [​IMG]

    I am kind of worried about fertility in this pen, though. I never see the boys mounting any of the hens when I'm out there. I hope they aren't literally "cock-blocking" each other! They don't fight but I don't really see them "doing the deed" either? Luckily a friend will soon be bringing over the other small breeder pen soon (yay, finally!) which would mean I could give each of these boys their own pen and increase the total number of hens covered by them.


    [​IMG]

    These big-bodied roos are being put in with my small but most colorful hens. Both of these roos carry the gene for spots and you can see a stray spotted feather tip here and there. It is hoped that when they are put in with these super-colorful hens, that hopefully some of the babies will be fully spotted from head to toe. The dads would help improve body shape and size, and the boys both have yellow legs, whereas all but one of the hens have either pink or mixed gray legs.

    So these chicks would still be kind of small, because their dads are actually about 2/3rds Aloha and only about 1/3 "big chicken" which means the babies from this mix will be only about 1/6th "big chicken" and the rest little Aloha blood. But they should have better body type, with wider chests, and possibly yellow legs. If they end up improved and super colorful, that's still a step in the right direction!

    Look at how stout the roos are compared to the hens:


    [​IMG]

    The above photo also shows the itty-bitty white spots on the chest of #3. Can you see them? They are faint, but they are there.

    I just set 30 (!!!) eggs from this pen last night. I'm SO hoping the eggs are fertile! But I'm worried since I don't see a lot of "action" happening in that pen.

    If the eggs are not fertile, I'll have to set up the other pen, put one rooster in each pen, wait a week, and start collecting again. But sadly that would mean weeks before I'd have another big batch of eggs ready for the 'bator so I really really really hope these eggs are good . . . . .

    Going to drive me crazy, waiting a week to candle these eggs for fertility! ARRRGH!
     
  8. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    White Marans are actually recessive white. They are a sport of Cuckoo Marans. So I don't know if would maybe get cuckoo color from them (I know very little about genetics). And Marans without feathered legs a are considered British Marans. Here in the US we use the French Standard for the Marans, so they do have feathered legs. I had some White Marans chicks, but I ended up losing them to various problems. Someone a few hours away from me has some really nice ones and I hope to get some eggs to hatch out. I will look into what color you come up with when you breed them to other colors.
     
  9. heritagehabitatfarms

    heritagehabitatfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    clinton ar
    i have dominant white Marans... and yes both dominant and recessive white Marans in the USA mostly carry Cuckoo...
     
  10. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cuckoo can overtake which is unfortunate because the gene kind of "muddies up" the Mottling. The Mottling is still there, but it's really hard to see on top of Cuckoo. Especially black/white Cuckoo. We tried some early on and at first the chicks looked really cool as babies, but as they aged, the Mottling just kind of disappeared! It was very discouraging.

    I see some of the same effect in Basque Hens. Someone had suggested them because they said they contained Mottling. (???)

    I went to a few breeder's web sites, and YES, some did show mottling, but because of the Barring on the feathers it was so faint it was hard to see! I've tried to avoid a whole lot of Barring because of this. A few select Basque hens show it more clearly but for the most part the barring kind of disspates the spots. So I've been trying to be very careful with the Barring gene. It can overtake the entire flock very easily! Which is why ALL the Basques seem to show it to one extent or another.
     

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