Wheaten Marans Roo Covering Red Star (Sex Link) Hens - An Experiment

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Bangarang64, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    I'm not sure if anyone would find this interesting or not, but my family and I do so even if it's only for just our benefit, I thought I'd record the results of the project here. Who knows? - Maybe someone else will find this interesting!

    I originally posted the initial info in the Wheaten Marans thread, but since the subject matter doesn't really 100% apply to topic, I decided to make this thread and continue the observations here.

    Like the title points out, I placed our spare Wheaten Marans Roo with our Red Stars. We had a broody Wheaten hen and thought it might be fun to place some of the red star eggs under her and see what happened. To be honest, I thought it might be neat if I ended up with something like a Blue Bell (sometimes called a Blue Ranger) chicken. A Blue Bell is the result of a Marans and Rhode Island Red cross, and since the Red Stars where supposed to be 1/2 RIR, and my Wheatens were Marans after all, then maybe something like that might happen. It didn't of course, but it will be fun seeing what actually does happen!

    We had three (out of four) that successfully hatched.
    On January 16th (2014) they were one week old:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Keep in mind this Marans hen is only the adoptive mother. She went broody and we just decided, "what the heck."
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  2. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    Okay, here's week two

    The results aren't what I thought they'd be. There really isn't much uniformity at all.

    chick #1:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    It looks a lot like My Red Stars when they were young, but there are some differences. It's showing small traces of brown, and has quite a few white feathers so far.

    Chick #2:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    This one looks a lot like chick #1, but has no brown in her wing feathers. also, her wings are lacking the length of the first chick. They are much shorter.

    chick #3:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Here we see chick #3 has the look of what I'd expect of one of my Wheatens at 2 weeks. It is completely lacking in the black feathers and if this was a full blood Wheatie I would declare it a female without hesitation. However, with the Red Stars it is the darker feathered ones that are male so it's anyone's guess. Since it continues to look so much like a Wheaten I had to band her so I won't get her mixed up with my other true-bloods.
     
  3. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    Week Three:


    Chick #1 is filling out nicely, but not looking anything like a bluebell. My prediction is she will look more like a golden version of a Red Star or Cinnamon Link. She is more yellow than reddish as well as having more yellowish legs compared to my Wheatens,
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    #2, the one with the short wings posted last week, looks like he's going to be a male. Notice his comb compared to the others. He is still mostly white, but is closer to looking like # 1. He also has yellow legs.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    And as before, # 3 is the one looking the most Wheaten-ish. She's still showing female-like color, but if you put her next to a true Wheaten chick you could tell a drastic difference. She is the most shy of all three.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    These pictures make me thirsty for some reason.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    6 weeks

    At six weeks we have a better idea at what the end result might be.

    Chick #1
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    She is looking very much like our Red Stars did at this age, only she is a rich golden color.The color reminds me of a Buff Orpington and she would be a dead ringer for one too if it wasn't for the white feathers.

    Chick #2
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I was certainly right about this one being a cockerel. He certainly can't decide what color he wants to be. He resembles Chick #1 in the pictures a bit, but in reality you can distinguish the two very easily. He hasn't gotten around to to growing a tail yet. He is much too busy bullying the other chicks in the pen.

    Chick #3
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Number 3 has finally given up on trying to look like a Wheaten chick and has set her mind on looking like something else altogether. She is a pretty light brown color with black highlights. If you look close you can see the leg band placed because we didn't want to get he confused with the Wheatens. We shouldn't have worried about that.

    For comparison and reference:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This is what a pure bred Wheaten Marans looks like at about the same age (actually 5 weeks - one week younger than the birds above)

    Hopefully, I will post a 7 Week update next week. Thanks for looking and let me know what you think!
     
  5. Thank you for the great documentation of this cross. I have my backup BCM and blue copper cock in with my layer flock. I've just hatched out some BCM X BR (black sexlink) pullets and they were sold at 2 days. I do have some of the Marans X Golden Buff sexlinks in the incubator but it could be a puzzle since both the Marans backups are in with that flock that includes the BR, Golden Buff, Speckled Sussex and a lone splash BLRW. Oh, and a white crested blue Polish, but I don't plan on hatching any of those eggs. The MarsBars (that's what I call the Marans X BR) would have been very difficult to tell from a straight BCM, but I hatch in compartments to keep everyone separated so I can toe punch/band the chicks.
     
  6. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    I wish you would have kept some of the BCM X BR girls. That would have been an interesting comparison to what I'm doing here!
    I wonder if anyone has tried a BCM or WM (Wheaten Marans) X Buff Orp cross ?
     
  7. I have heard that the Marans X BR are fantastic meat birds, and I've heard that about the Marans X Orps also. LOTS of breast, very wide. More hatching next week...
     
  8. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    8 Weeks
    The chicks are doing great after two months!

    Chick #1 is looking more adult-like and is the largest of the three. Also, after 8 weeks she is still the most friendly and doesn't mind being held as much as the others. If she was red instead of gold, she would look exactly like my Red Stars at this age.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Chick #2 is showing a bit more brown color and many different shades. He's a bit of a bully with my other chicks and doesn't mind bossing them around. He simply refuses to grow a tail despite my most adamant requests.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Chick #3
    This one is still the most brown. She is also the one most afraid of human contact. She seems to be going through an ugly stage right now, but I think she might prove to be a very good looking and intersting chicken.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    She shows absolutely no interest in playing the piano.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bangarang64

    Bangarang64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    48
    131
    Apr 2, 2012
    Lake Okeechobee
    10 Weeks

    Chick #1
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Our little golden bird is coming right along. Not much change from the 8 week photos. She's growing and looking more and more like a gold sex link.

    Chick #2
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    This little guy just hasn't decided what color he is gonna be. More brown or rust than anything else, but with mixes of gold and white. Still not much of a tail. Very skiddish and does not like to be handled.

    Chick #3
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Our #3 is really looking interesting. If I was going to pursue a Wheaten Marans/Red Star project, this is the color I would try to get. A very pretty brown with black wing and tail tips.

    I was wrong about their legs coming out yellow. As you can see, it seems white legs will be the leg color for this mix. At 10 weeks, they are starting to look more like chickens now instead of chicks.
     
  10. Lisa Harmon

    Lisa Harmon Out Of The Brooder

    62
    2
    38
    Jun 4, 2013
    Ozark, MO
    So glad to have stumbled on this thread! I just posted a thread about crossing welsumers and orps for a meat bird but trying to keep the dark egg for a more dual purpose bird. I had wondered about wheaten or cuckoo marans and orpingtons too!
    Can you tell me, when they get that age, if the f1 pullet eggs are darker at all than the original red hen's or the barred rock eggs? Kinda hoping they will be!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by