what egg color will i get - new to chickens

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

  1. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
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    Hi,
    I have decided to keep a rooster for the purpose of making my flock bigger (and so my kids can see cutie babies).

    I have 2 black copper marans, and a easter egger (BCM hen crossed with ameraucana roo). I will also be introducing 2 blue marans (no copper) hens

    The Rooster I keep will be a BCM.

    I think the egg color is determined by the male (please correct me if I'm wrong), so is it correct that the easter egger will lay olive eggs, but her daughters will lay brown eggs?

    Please help, I have a master plan for our farmette, and Marans are an integral part of it. (it's a themed farm, so fancy-pants products only [​IMG] sadly, I'm only half joking)
    Oh, and the blues are about 1.5, the rest are only 10 weeks old.

    Thanks,
    Heather
     
  2. berkeleysprings

    berkeleysprings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:olive color
     
  3. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks. I haven't seen an olive egg in real life, but maybe it's worth trying it anyway. The beard on our mix is so neat.

    My husband and I get out to Berkley Springs every now and then, it's beautiful land up there. If it were close enough to DC, we would have bought there in a second [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Heather
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    With EE's crossed with other chickens it is not clearcut. The simple answer is there is no way to know until you see the eggs.

    The basic shell color is going to be either blue or white. The brown or green is caused by the hen depositing a brown layer over that basic color. The shade of brown or green is detemined by how much brown she puts on top of the base color. If you break an egg open and look at the inside of the shell, you can see the base color.

    There is a pair of genes that detemines the base color. I'm going to get a bit technical, but I don't know of any other way to explain it. The blue egg gene is represented by upper case "O". The white egg gene is lower case"o". The blue is dominant over the white, so if one blue gene is present, the egg is basic blue. The hen (or rooster) will have a pair of these genes, OO, Oo, or oo. Your basic Marans have oo, so they will lay an egg that is base white, but should have a lot of brown on top. If your cross produces a green egg laying pullet, the eggs should be pretty dark green.

    If your EE rooster is OO, then all the offspring from him and your Marans will be Oo and will lay a green (base blue) egg. (I'm talking pullets only. Roosters obviously don't lay eggs, but they have the same genes for egg color).

    But you don't know the genetic makeup from your rooster. If he is Oo crossed with your oo Marans, then half the offspring will be Oo and lay green eggs, but half will be oo and lay brown eggs.

    The real problem comes in that you don't know if the rooster has the blue egg geen at all. If both his parents were Oo or if one was Oo and the other was oo, then he might not have any blue egg genes. If you cross him with your Marans and all your pullets lay green eggs, he is probably OO. If half of them lay green eggs, he is Oo. If all of those eggs are brown, then he is oo.

    To further complicate it, you have to hatch several eggs for those averages to mean anything. If you get some brown and some green and he is definitely the daddy, then he is Oo. But if you only hatch a few and they are all green or brown, you may just have bad luck with the odds. There is no definite minimum number of pullets to determine for sure, but I'd want at least half a dozen laying pullets from that cross before I did anything dramatic.

    If he does turn out to have the blue egg gene, the best way to set that in your flock is to cross him back with his green egg laying daughters. Don't hatch any brown eggs.
     
  5. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Wow, that is super information.

    I will only have a BCM rooster, so if our EE hen has Oo, then the offspring from that mating will be %75 oo and %25 Oo ?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    No. It would be 50-50. If the hen is Oo, half her children will get an O and half will get an o. They will all get an o from the BCM rooster, so half wil lbe Oo and half oo.
     
  7. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, thanks Ridgerunner! [​IMG] I found that a very simple, concise way to explain/understand basic EE genetic planning.
     
  8. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Ok, that is different from human genetics then. Although it does help with some info i got from the marans website- I had no idea what all the EoOxcvbnXoeoekkdj nonsense meant.
    Now I jst need to figure out if it's worth learning all this stuff to make a cool diverse flock, or if I should just stick to one breed [​IMG]
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You can look up Punnett Squares and using a simple two element square (2 across the top, 2 down the side), put O o on the top and o o down the side, you'll see that it is 50-50.

    I'm trying to come up with an example that explains it but what I come up with is wrong. Maybe it will show the point. Use Oo for the hen but use xy for the male. The O in the hen may pair up with either the x or the y in the male. It cannot pair up with the other o in the hen. So your choices for the chicks would be Ox, Oy, ox, and oy. As you can see, two out of the four possibilities will have the dominant O and 2 of the 4 will have the not dominant o. So it is 50-50.
     

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