What is in these chicks? With pics

mountaintopchicken

Songster
12 Years
May 23, 2007
353
8
141
I bought these eggs as Black Copper Marans, and the following chicks hatched out. I am not going to keep them as a Marans flock, but I've been puzzling about what the heck is in these birds. I know the very light ones are wheaten, but as for the rest? Here are the pics

Bird 1 Bird 2


Bird 3 - do you see how brown he is? Bird 4


Bird 5 Bird 6 - more buff colored w/small black spot on head


Bird 6 second picture Bird 7


Bird 8 Bird 9


Bird 10


It's hard to see in the pics but the birds that do look more normal black copper colored often have a more brownish tinge to the fluff than is normal. Then there is that really brown one, bird 3....
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
100
351
Adair Co., KY
The ones with brown on them (1, 2, 4, and 10. maybe 7?) are what is known as mossy. They are still BCM, just not very 'good' ones. I've had a chick hatch like your #3 from my BCM, I believe it is some combination of the wheaten and the black copper. The one I had ended up being very red. Had I kept him, I would think he'd have been good to use over very dark black copper hens.

If they all hatched from the same flock, the parent flock at least carried wheaten. You know that, evidenced by your yellow chicks. True wheatens should be completely yellow at hatch but wheaten out of black copper usually has black spots or stripes on their backs. The differences in their (wheatens) wing colors tells you what sex they are. I believe darker wings = male, with lighter wings = female.

ETA: So to answer your question of 'what is in these chicks', they are black copper marans or black copper 'sports' (wheaten) that most likely carry wheaten.
 
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mountaintopchicken

Songster
12 Years
May 23, 2007
353
8
141
I knew about the wheaten aspect but I was wondering about things like, what, genetically speaking, is making them brown. I do know about mossiness and it's my understanding that mossiness is caused by a gene restricting the black from covering the feather completely, but does it usually cause the fluff to have that mahogany color? And what about the more buff colored chick with the little black spot on its head, and it looks like barring on the wings (chick 6)?

Must learn more chicken genetics.....
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
100
351
Adair Co., KY
I don't believe that is barring, it's just the way wheatens look when they start feathering out. As far as mossiness, I was under the impression it was a result of them being wheaten carriers, so I'm not sure about that. As for the red one, your guess is as good as mine. I've had 1 chick hatch like that out of my BCM and he was very red. The older he got the redder he got. I have no idea what causes that.

The good thing is that mossy birds usually lay the darkest eggs, so if you want really dark eggs you should be good to go
 

Henk69

Songster
11 Years
Nov 29, 2008
1,776
101
221
Groesbeek Netherlands
I had this stippling/mossy effect in crosslings from red pyle dutch * silver spangled hamburgh. They were het birchen (E^R/e+).
Maybe brown = e^b is in play. Wheaten can be hidden in Birchen lines of chickens (eg silver sussex, birchen japanese bantam), but maybe some additional genes, or lack thereof (both examples have columbian), enabled the wheaten to express with the birchen.
 

Debbi

Crowing
9 Years
May 2, 2010
7,290
36
251
Missouri
I would say there may be something else in the mix there as well. See the yellow legs/feet on some of the Wheatens?? Wheatens should have whiteish colored legs. One of them, #5 I believe, also has a yellow comb. Now, I don't raise Wheatens, but Randy (Berkeley Springs) does, and he recently had this problem with the yellow legs in his flock. You may want to post these pics over on the "Wheaten/Blue Wheaten Marans" thread.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=426622&p=156
 
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Henk69

Songster
11 Years
Nov 29, 2008
1,776
101
221
Groesbeek Netherlands
white or yellow legs is independant of wheaten.
Yellow legs has additional w/w, a recessive autosomal gene (W+=white skin).
White and yellow legs also require a sexlinked dominant gene Id (inhibitor of dermal melanin) and a permissive color genotype (eg. e-locus, lack of melanizers, no fibromelanosis like in silky etc...)
 

mountaintopchicken

Songster
12 Years
May 23, 2007
353
8
141
Thanks so much for your replies. I'm going to think about them and play with the chicken calculator tonight.

I hope this isn't too doltish a question, because I'm not a genetics person, I really have to buy a good book and study, but bird #6, doesn't that look like barring? And I thought a spot on the head of the chick indicated barring. Do you see that little tiny black spot on the head of chick #6?

Also, as they grow out, the some of the mossiness is starting to look like a patterned mossiness. I should take more pics now that they're a little grown.
 

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