Welsumers, Marans and Barnevelders - Differences in type and standard

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BCBrian, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. BCBrian

    BCBrian Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm interested in dark-brown egg-layers. So far I've narrowed it down to these three breeds. I didn't add Penesedencas to my list as I've read too many reports about many of them being wild and flighty. I have read that in regards to dark-egg production that the differences within the breed (due to different lines) might well exceed the differences between breeds. I hope to end up with chickens laying large dark-brown eggs in high quantity as well as quality.

    My questions are these.

    Other than colour (Barnevelders) and shank feathering (French Standard Marans) what are the differences in their type, in their the written standards, their personality etc.? How does one, for instance, know whether they are looking at a clean-legged Maran vs a Welsumer?

    I'd like everyone with an opinion on these breeds to weigh in. I'd like to hear as much as possible before I make a breed selection. Which do you think is the better bird? Why?

    Thanks for all of your opinions...

    Brian
     
  2. MNKris

    MNKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marans are generally the heaviest of the dark layers, and therefore the extra roosters make a better dual purpose meat bird. Marans are also known for "generally" being a quieter bird.

    For marans specifically...different lines lay different sized eggs and shades as well. If you are looking for dark and large, in the marans, your best bet hands down is feather shanked black coppers in the Wade Jeane or Teasdale lines. You might lose some standard points from those lines, but the egg size and color seems to be the best from them. You will see bad tail sets and mossiness in those two lines. Bev Davis lines have fairly dark eggs and the overall the best match to the standard. As far as temperament, the teasdale and davis are very friendly. The Jeane hens are a little more spooky, but not bad at all.

    We usually get 2-4 eggs/hen/week at prime laying with an egg color of 4 or darker in our wheaten and blue coppers, 5 or darker in our black coppers. You must have at least a 4 to qualify as a marans egg. If a person tells you they get an egg a day from their hens, they likely aren't very dark or they are exaggerating the number of eggs the hens produce. It takes longer to put a darker overlay on the top of the egg. The longer inside the hen, the darker to color. Many believe the egg color travels through the rooster so make sure your rooster came from a very dark egg (5 or better).

    Marans should not have yellow shanks. Welsummers do. Marans are pinkish white skin and pinkish white to slate shanked (depending on the color variety). The clean legged "marans" are mixed or English standard and again in "general", lay a lighter egg. Do not go to any of the hatcheries for dark eggs. You will be very disappointed.
     
  3. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

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    I have all 3 breeds and breed the Wellies and Marans and as soon as the Barnies start laying I will begin breeding them as well.

    MN hit the nail on the head with the Marans and I don't think I can contibute anything more than was already stated. Nice Job MN!


    Welsummers, my Welsummers are not prolific layers, they lay approx every other day. Generally each hen lays between 3-4 eggs a week. They are friendly very hardy birds and tolerate our very rainy wet climate wonderfully. Unless a Welsummer has been crossed with a Marans or you get the Salmon variety of Marans, Wellies and Marans are completely different looking birds.

    I have just started with Barnevelders not too long ago, my experience with them is that they are SUPER friendly birds especially the roos. As they have not started laying yet I can't comment on egg production but I understand that approx 200 eggs per year is maybe what we can expect from a layer. Egg color is being worked on as it has deteriorated, but a Barnevelder egg should not be as dark as a Marans egg. They are almost IMO identical to a Wellie egg but a different tone.
     
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Well I've got four year old Wellie girls that lays an egg for me every day! I guess it plays in the genetics.

    I've had Black Marans and was not impressed with them and the egg color was rather disappointing. However I got some when they were first starting out with the breed about five years ago. Now I do not have anymore nor do I want to raise any. their personality was so so but they are beautiful.

    I stick with Wellies, they are beautiful, inside and out!

    If you are going to get some in whatever breed you want, all of them are good in their own way....all you can do is to experiment with ALL of them and one or all will win your heart. I did that and the Wellies won my heart, hands down. As for the Penes, forget them LOL!
     
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    And please do NOT buy any from the hatchery...you are setting yourself up for dissapointment.
     
  6. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Quote:Agreed and agreed again! Eggs and chicks may be cheaper from hatchery, but from what I've seen on pics, you get what you pay for. Our Welsummers and Marans are non hatchery... I do like our Black Copper Marans and I'm also just thrilled with the looks of our Wheatan Marans as well and of course like our welsummers!)Thanks and have a blessed day.
     
  7. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

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    And please do NOT buy any from the hatchery...you are setting yourself up for dissapointment.

    Agreed and agreed again! Eggs and chicks may be cheaper from hatchery, but from what I've seen on pics, you get what you pay for.

    I agree! x 3 [​IMG]
     

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