Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs  (Read 25443 times)

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« on: September 20, 2013, 09:02:27 am »
Hi all - I know you seem to be a bit short of quality stock up there, but you are really no different from anywhere else in the country and there is a dearth of Marans which have been specifically bred to produce good eggs so when it comes to breeding on your stock you will have problems.  If you are interested in overcoming these obstacles there is a large unfulfilled demand for quality stock laying dark brown eggs.


If anyone already has female Marans which are laying tinted rather than dark eggs and they get one of the spare males from the batch of chicks I sent up he should help darken the egg colour.




There at least 13 genes involved in creating dark shelled eggs, and these have not been properly researched so it is hit and miss.  The best advice is to breed dark egg laying females to males hatched from even darker eggs, but this is easier said than done.  My line is already closely bred which is not ideal but was the only way I could do it with the lack of suitable outcrosses


To use a completely unrelated outcross is a very scattergun approach if you already have reasonable egg colour.   I would not like to work out the potential combinations between two lots of 13 genes, but it is certainly going to reduce your chances compared with a part outcross


For the moment I would suggest you try buying hatching eggs from Kevin Bowkett at Barrels Farm Poultry, he is interested in the egg colour and we have swapped stock at various times so there should be some link between the birds.  Now I have given up he is going to try posting out more eggs, but do bear in mind that the postal journey to Scotland will do them no favours.


One of the best ways to start a good flock is to buy in a couple of Marans hens which are still laying well coloured eggs in the late summer.  This proves that the egg colour is maintained rather than just a few dark eggs in spring, and also proves that they are reasonable egg producers.  If you then breed these to a male you have hatched yourself from a very dark egg at least the genetics are then, then it is just luck as to how the genes mesh


If you do find a pair which "clicks" then keep repeating the mating and hatch as many eggs as you are able.  You will only know this if you can identify which birds produced the dark egg laying pullets (not an easy task) Then breed these dark egg laying pullets back to their father to strengthen the genes, and if all goes well the grandaughters back to the original male. 


Don't breed brother to sister and dont continue this line breeding for more than a couple of generations
And definitely don't ever breed anything which shows any signs of weakness, illness or deformity, but presumably I don't need to tell you that.  There is nothing wrong with nursing back to health some sickly chicken, but do make 100 percent sure that this NEVER gets into yours or anyone else's breeding stock as you will only be storing up problems for yourself and others in the future.
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 06:45:09 pm »
We are going purely rare breed in 2014, I do have a maran or 2 but which strain of maran produce dark eggs ?

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 07:06:27 pm »
Well my strain did,   :eyelashes:   and some spare males are around in Scotland I think - contact Bloomer for their whereabouts.   Its a real problem not only here in the UK but apparently in many other countries as well, but all it needs is someone who is prepared to put the effort in to careful breeding  :thumbsup:
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 07:36:53 am »
right come on bloomer get yourself on here :(
Dark brown eggs, thanks for that but do you have any idea what they actually were as I have brown marans, cuckoo marans & rennes marans, I do get a few slightly darker eggs but nothing like yours.
To be honest if it needs someone who is a little anal about keeping records not cross breeding I'm your man  :roflanim:

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 09:37:04 am »
Whereabouts is Bloomer located roughly?
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners
http://theroundhouseforum.co.uk/

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 12:21:33 pm »
I kept my English Cuckoo Marans since the early 80's when I moved back to Herefordshire.  They didnt lay such dark eggs when I got them but by careful breeding the egg colour can be improved.


I tried about 5 times with various French types and wasnt happy with any of them.  The eggs were dark at the beginning of the laying cycle, but even then the colour tailed off throughout the clutch, and really their clutch number was appalling 3 or 4 at most and often the birds would then take several days off before commencing another clutch  :o


But I was very lucky in tracking down some eggs from a recently imported Belgium strain and kept the best trio from  those.  I also used them for crossing onto my Dark Cuckoos with the intention of re-creating the Black Marans (a lot of the ones which went north are from that first crossing and will lay good coloured eggs and also should be very good layers) 


But they are not yet "Black Marans" and it was a project which I anticipated would have taken about 6 years to complete to get them breeding true


I have tried to re-locate my pure bred breeding stock with those who I hope will take it forward and all being well intend to add contact details to the www.darkbrowneggs.info site once they are in a position to supply eggs/birds, so watch that space.


By the way what are rennes marans?
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 01:46:51 pm »
Whereabouts is Bloomer located roughly?
10 minutes from me in Central Scotland.  We have a local Smallholders Association www.centralscotlandsmallholders.org.uk

My two hen chicks from Sue are going to Roscobie North of Saline/Steelend as I'm not able to cope with more just now.  I'll get progeny back sometime.  Carol also has a cockerel - one of the 5 hatched from eggs very kindly given to me by Sue.  Our Chairman, Stuart has one, and the others are all local too.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 02:01:45 pm »
Rennes marans are a French strain slightly taller and thinner than the others
My brown maran looks similar to a hybrid 103 but taller & thinner then I have these others that are black & grey mottle / speckled
I am going to run my rennes with a legbar cock to see what that produces, should be a good egg count interesting to see the colour though (I reckon off white)
I would definitely be interested in 2 cockerals from dark eggs  :excited:

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 02:28:44 pm »



I have heard of a Cocou de Rennes
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=coucou+de+rennes+chickens&oq=coucou+de+r&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l2j69i60j0.10616j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


and Cocou de Malines
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=torrox+costa&oq=torrox+costa&aqs=chrome..69i57j5j0l2.6027j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=Cucou+de+Malines


Both of which played a part in the background of the Marans -



Other French breeds that played a part in the development of the Marans included the
feather legged Cocou de Malines including the pea combed ‘turkey head’, the clean
legged Cocou de Rennes, & the Gatinese.


There is lots of info about Marans on the Marans Club website  www.themaransclub.co.uk but from what you say you may not even have Marans as such, there are many many birds sold as Marans which are not what they seem


A Marans fowl should always be chunky for its size as they are a dual purpose bird originally bred for its meat qualities, but nowadays the egg colour is paramount so as well it should lay at least  a colour 4 egg on the chart for most of its laying life, and the better ones will lay mostly a 5 or higher.


Gosh - what a Marans bore I am  :innocent:
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 03:56:00 pm »
My cuckoo marans look like the cocou de malines
& my rennes look like the rennes
You maybe right my brown maran may not be a maran but looks identical except for the colour, its the same shape as the rennes
Looking closely at them today I have 2 darkbrown/black with brown flakes as well
Hoping bloomer comes up trumps with a cockeral

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 04:22:18 pm »
If you can post some good photos plus piccies of the eggs they lay that might be helpful  :)
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2013, 06:32:36 pm »
1. I'm pants at uploading anything though I will try
2. I have no idea which eggs are from which hens so I will pick out the darkest
So I can get a cockerel collected from Scotland in about a weeks time if that suits Bloomer

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2013, 09:25:35 pm »
Tesco have Marans eggs don't they? Look pretty dark to me. Mine came from hatching eggs from:

http://www.southyeofarm.co.uk/poultry/our_breeds.html

so they might be worth contacting? Considering you're in the centre of the country, I guess leads in Scotland, Kent and Devon are about the least helpful but mine certainly hatched out of dark eggs!

H

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2013, 09:49:32 pm »
One of my friends might well be interested in a cockerel, I will ask her and PM Bloomer.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Just a few thoughts on breeding Marans to produce dark brown eggs
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2013, 11:03:34 pm »
Tesco have Marans eggs don't they? Look pretty dark to me. Mine came from hatching eggs from:

http://www.southyeofarm.co.uk/poultry/our_breeds.html

so they might be worth contacting? Considering you're in the centre of the country, I guess leads in Scotland, Kent and Devon are about the least helpful but mine certainly hatched out of dark eggs!

H


Interesting about Tescos - I checked that out.  A fair bit of artistic licence there I suspect - Marans are originally from Marans in France and Chestnut is not a Marans type


Tescos have labeled their eggs Chestnut Maran  (note the mis-spelling) which I assume is some sort of hybrid like a Burford Brown where a Copper Black male is used to produce sex linked chicks.  Maran Cuirve is yet another hybrid which folk buy thinking it is a Marans.   I know I don't keep Marans anymore but it does annoy me a bit when the name is purloined to such an extent - it makes it very hard for breeders of genuine Marans, 


I have heard good things about South Yeo's other stock, so if they are selling good coloured Marans hatching eggs then they are certainly worth hatching some, though this time of year may not be the best.



To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

 

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