Sexing Cockoo Marans

Los Gatos, CA

I hatched three Marans chicks. They were supposed to be all cockoo, but the breeder said that there were some cooper blue hens in the hen house when she went to pick out my eggs. I told her to send them along anyway!

I think I got two cockoo hens and a Cooper blue roo.

What do you think?
Pictures to come next......

Los Gatos, CA

Here is one pic.

Thumbnail by Imagesoart
Los Gatos, CA

Roo to the right, I think.
He is really friendly, and has feathered legs, and is the cooper blue. The other two, (cockoos) do not.

Thumbnail by Imagesoart
Los Gatos, CA

One more thing. Does this breed eat a lot? Because they sure do go through the food. They also grew faster then my other hens. They were twice the size then the others at the same age. I have four others, two Brahmas, an Americauna, and a brown Leghorn. I love the color of the eggs. So now I have, green, white, brown, and soon dark brown.

Are there any other colors?

I hope that I can breed my Americauna and the Cooper Blue Marans, and get a olive egg!

Let me know what you think!

Lodi, United States

You can definitely get an olive egg. ZZ won some on eBay that were created by crossing Marans with EEs. The gene for blue eggs is dominant and over brown eggs it results in eggs that are anything from aquamarine to olive, depending on how dark the brown pigment is.

The pictures aren't appearing on my computer...but female Cuckoo Marans chicks are darker than the males and have darker legs and feet as well.

My experience with Cuckoo Marans is that they are pretty chunky and the roos are especially sturdy--like tanks. I don't know that I noticed that they ate more though.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

So sure that is a roo.. I mean.. wow! He is pretty too!! The two others look like pullets to me for sure. Catsy knows cuckoo marans better than I do.. but according to what she's told me.. they look like pullets..

I thought the olive eggs were gonna be awesome, but I ended up not liking the color at all... *just me*

Good luck!

Lodi, United States

The pictures just came up! And I agree completely.

One thing about Marans...the roos are muy macho.

Richmond, TX

I'm not surprised that they eat a lot. You don't mature early or get to be a tank by eating "like a bird". Perhaps they will be more economical once they are full grown.

Ferndale, WA

Well I raise cuckoo's, black/coppers, blue coppers. Honestly I definitely see two pullets and a roo, however I see no signs in the pic that indicate the roo is a blue/copper. A blue copper should be predominately copper with blue tail, and saddle. Maybe it's just not a clear pic but I can't see it. The feathered feet would indicate the french standard, while non feathered would indicate american standard. Catsy is right the roos are very tankish, and either very friendly or very aggressive. That is the cuckoo roos I was speaking of. Not black or blue/Copper. Hay

Los Gatos, CA

Hmmm...... He is all black. That is not what Cockoo Roos look like is it? The only reason I thought that, was that the breeder told me she thought she had some black cooper hens in the Cockoo hen house......Hmmmm... What is he?

Lodi, United States

There are black Marans. Cuckoo Marans roos look very similar to Barred Plymouth Rocks--just a little smudgier. They are noticeably lighter, more silvery, than the pullets. You can tell as soon as they are fluffed up after hatching.

Ferndale, WA

Your absolutely right Catsy about the cuckoo's and the roo's are much lighter than the hens. Look at the head area of the Rooster and it has some white in it similiar to the cuckoo's but I don't see that pattern in the body and that would lead me to believe it is either a cross or possibly a black, but certainly not a blue/copper. What is interesting is there was mention of blue coppers being in the hen house when the eggs were laid but there was no mention of any blacks? Catsy look carefully at the head area around the back of the comb, it appears to me that it has some very faint white spots. How old is the roo? This is interesting and I would like to see more pic's of this bird. Howie.

Lodi, United States

It is hard to tell from the picture, Hay. But I wonder what colour would result from a Cuckoo/Blue Copper cross. I think you would lose the dilution for blue..

Maybe as in other Blue coloured varieties, you would have the potential for Black, Blue and Splash. Then throw in the Cuckoo....maybe Black?

I just hatched five Blue Cochin chicks....two are black, one looks like it will be dark blue, one light and one possibly splash. The genes involved with this segregation are often referred to as "Andalusian Blue genes", after the Blue Andalusian breed--but it applies to all birds carrying the genes.

This is a very simple description of it:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3562103

Ferndale, WA

Again, your right, and I also agree that with a blue/copper, and cuckoo cross you'd definitely loose the blue and end up with a black, but only black in color, it would not qualify as a black copper breed. I think we are in agreement here that this roo is definitely a cross...none the less a wonderful bird and I would not be surprised if it laid a little darker egg than the cuckoo's either. Good luck with your birds imagesoart. Hay

Richmond, TX

I would be quite surprised if that rooster laid a darker egg, or any egg!

Lodi, United States

Ya gotta BELIEVE, porkpal!

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

But what about the rusty color on that roo's neck? Do cuckoos get that rust? I see white, yes, but not mention of that rusty area...

Ferndale, WA

OH My Gosh: PorkPal I can't believe I said that...You sure got me...LOL

ZZ's thanks for pointing that rust out, as I can't see it due to my eyesight. However that would lend itself to that bird being a black/copper marans of the french standard. But Imagesoart was told blue copper. possibly rather than cuckoo. One thing is for sure that copper or as you said rust color will increase mightly within the next month and down into the saddle area if it is indeed a black/copper. Maybe it was just a mistake communicating the color. Beautiful bird nonethe less. Hay.

Los Gatos, CA

Thanks all! The chicks are 7 weeks old. I will try to get more pictures of the group! I will also try to find the e-mails describing the "problem" when collecting the eggs.

Los Gatos, CA

For a minute there I thought, " Wow, Haystack said that my black chicken could lay a dark egg!" There is still hope that he is a she........ !! :)

I like the idea of having many egg colors. I have an Americauna that lays teal eggs. (They call it blue, but really it is teal) Two Brahmas that lay nice brown eggs. One Brown Danish Leghorn, that lays the whitest white eggs. Does the leghorn mature late? She seems to lay on egg once or twice a week. I have only had my chickens for a year, so only one season. They are on a winter break, and I hope they will start laying soon. AND, my Marans, with the extra dark eggs. I hatched them myself so I could be sure of the egg color!

The question is are there any other colors of chicken eggs? I have heard about Salmon Blue Faverolles, which are supposed to lay a Pinkish egg. Is that true? Any other colors?

Richmond, TX

Leghorns normally mature early and are heavy layers. The only egg colors I know are white, various shades of brown, and the blue/ green eggs of the Ameraucana types. I think the "pink" eggs are really a pale rose- brown. A bonus is speckled eggs from some hens, but I don't think they are breed-specific.

Ferndale, WA

There is a yellow egg, though I have never gotten one and don't remember who lay's them. They are not normally yellow but from time to time some people get one. Google it and you'll see...LOL...I'm not joking. Hay.

Richmond, TX

I'll bet Catscan will tell us.

Lodi, United States

Naughty porkpal....of course I will.

As far as I know the colour range of chicken eggs is primarily a result of the presence of porphyrins (brownish) or oocyanin (blue) or both (green) or neither (white).

It is more complex, of course, because there are dose effects and modifiers...but I don't know of a specific gene for yellow eggs. Individual birds will produce speckled eggs--and some breeds, like Welsummers, are more likely to produce speckled eggs.

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/Chicken_a/egg_shell_color/egg_shell_color.php

Los Gatos, CA

OK, silly question. What age are roos able to mate? AND we get fertile eggs?

BTW, My roo is getting more copper on his neck. The gal that sold me the eggs, says he is a black copper. Haystack was right!

Lodi, United States

Roos can vary quite a bit--some are very slow to mature. But I think by six months most are able to. Some earlier, some later...pretty much as soon as they are trying, the are succeeding.

Look what I found while trying to find a way to sex my Cochins! It is another way to sex chicks by holding them upside down by their legs....not the old chicken flippen...this is different and even has an imaginative "anatomical" explanation.

"Dana Baker said...

A wives tale I heard about also is to hold the chick upside down by the legs if it pulls up to peck at your hand it is a cockerel if not a pullet. This is because cockerels have more developed breast muscles then pullets. This method worked for me and can be done at any time."

Lodi, United States

So I tried the "chick dangling" method and it works...sort of...I think....

I have a large group of two week old chicks, various breeds. Some, like the RIR and BR, I think I can sex by colouring. When I tested those, some of the ones I thought were males did indeed lift themselves up and peer at me over their feet. None of the ones I thought were pullets did that. They just sort of hung there.

However, one caveat...some chicks that I am pretty sure are males, just hung there too. They didn't seem upset enough to try to pull themselves up.

So at this point, I am willing to postulate that any chick that can pull itself up, is a rooster. But, if a chick doesn't try to pull itself up...you really can't say.

I think we need more data....it is time for a mass dangle. Dangle and report.

If this works it is earth shaking!

Los Gatos, CA

Funny you should mention this. I read that at two days old, you should pick up a chick by the scruff of the neck (kind of like a kitten) and if it dangles it is a pullet and if it squirm and pulls it's feet up it is a roo.

I also read that if you put them in your hand and sort of hold them so they are on their backs, the pullets will just lay back and the roos will try to push their legs out and pull their heads up.

That did work with these three. So there...... it must be scientific! ;)

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

i did the dangle thing the other night just trying to get the chickens back in the coop after the possum was in there.. one roo, The Little Roo Who Couldn't, hung upside down like a dead chicken.. even cooed at me. a hen, Miss DumDum.. fought like crazy & kept trying to pull herself up, Goldie (another roo) fought me & hated being upside down, another hen, Esme hung upside down like a dead chicken mouthing me all the way to the coop. :) so my chickens aren't very scientific about it..

a lady at the farm store who took care of the baby chicks could sex them by letting them sit in her palm, then putting two fingers on either side of the head & gently pulling up.. a roo would fight & a hen would just sit there. Worked pretty good.. i ended up with all Hens from that batch. Granted it looked a little uncomfortable & I was afraid to try since i felt like I'd pull their little heads off their shoulders.

Lodi, United States

Hi Imagesoart---I hadn't heard about the scruff of the neck dangle. We did do a trial of turning them on their backs and watching their legs last year on the Forum. I think it tends to work for the same reason that, supposedly, if you toss your hat over a group of chicks, the roos will be the ones that stick their heads up to look, while the pullets will hunker down and run. Boys are just bold with a limited sense of self-preservation. I guess that is what makes them heroic.

But sometimes the same chick would stick both legs out one time and pull them both back the next...so it was confusing.

I tested dangling again this morning on some 5 day old chicks--some of which were auto-sexing. Again, some of the chicks did an immediate "sit up", the kind your sadistic high school gym teacher was always trying to force you to do. And, of the ones that did a sit up, all were known to be roos. The pullets do this sort of graceful back bend while acting helpless. But again some that I believe are roosters, just hung there.

I do suspect that only cockerels can do the sit up...if they want to.

Lodi, United States

No! Greykyttyn, don't tell me that. Did your angry hen actually get her head up to her feet?

This message was edited Feb 25, 2010 12:39 PM

Richmond, TX

I'm headed out to dangle some young "pullets" - results later.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

yes she did.. she's a buff orpington. Not very sweet.. not very partial to being upside down either. She's on the list to cull. BUT she had to bat her wings pretty hard to do that. Raven my little black bantam doesn't like being upside down either. She will try to fly back upright. Not sure they are using muscles as much as beating their wings 90 miles per sec to get back upright.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

Catscan... One of the kids will be here this weekend.. We might try it on all the chickens.. get a varied group. I've got several roos (8) that I can try... I do know that all mine that were roos did the leg thing right we tried last year. Never heard of the hat trick.. might have to try that while taking a photo. It would be fun to watch. Do you know how to sex Polish chicks? Going to replace mom's for her birthday & would like to not end up with 5 roos...

Lodi, United States

Hmmmm. Flapping wildly might invalidate the results. Chicks can't, they just sort of hoist themselves up and look at you. Very muscular. No flapping.

Maybe it works best with chicks? Which is okay, those are usually the ones you are trying to sex.

We definitely need more data points.....

Los Gatos, CA

Shoot, I don't have anymore chicks to dangle....... I have been thinking of getting some more....... Just for the science of it all.... of course.....!

Lodi, United States

That would be very noble and self-sacrificing of you, Imagesoart.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

ya.. its pretty easy to tell who my roos are.. even The Little Roo Who Couldn't... he's very rooish looking.. even if he's not very good at it. :)

Richmond, TX

My "dangling" experiment: like Greykyttn's, my pullets had no trouble flapping their way up above their feet - could chin themselves on my hand. It felt as if they were also using their leg muscles to flex their hocks or ankles or whatever that joint is called on chickens. So as Catscan suggested, I think this method of sexing only works on chicks that have no significant wings. My main conclusion: chickens don't like being picked up by the feet!

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

lol depends.. i could carry a couple of my roos around all day by their feet.. they just go limp & don't care.

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