Thanks Gayle. I am sure Joe will have a good go at making some with Orp type next season. I still may let him have my one Dun Birchen hen. I looked at her today and she is nice and healthy. I have so many different non standard Orp options. I may not get around to using her.
Last Edit: Dec 17, 2013 21:52:15 GMT -5 by lildinkem
My suggestion was going to be to outcross to Marans, too. They have the correct skin color, ear lobe color, and comb. Yes you would be breeding against feathered shanks, but there are worse things in the world. Type too would take several generations to fix, but if you're really adamant about the color...
I've considered using Marans myself to create Wheaten Orps.
The presence of the trait of feathered legs is crucial in the Marans. It constitutes one of the essential marks of the breed.
This characteristic was introduced into the Marans through crossings with Asian breeds of the Langshan type. It is also present in many breeds, but it is, expressed in different ways according to the type and the combination of modifying genes present in the genotype considered.
The symbol of the presence of “feathered shanks” is expressed by (Pti), an autosomal dominant gene, however, it can comprise three different types according to its importance in the feathering of the various parts on the legs of certain breeds.
In regards to Marans, only the lateral sides of the shanks as well as the two toes on the lateral portion of the feet are feathered, and that always in a reasonable proportion. Indeed, from the point of view of its extent, sparse feathering is of course desired and when it is a little too invasive especially in the presence of “cuffs”, this in particular betrays a return of traits from the original crossings with the Brahma, Langshan.
In any event, this trait of feathered shanks and lateral toes in the Marans constitute a rather easily selected characteristic.
When the subjects show a clear absence of any feathering on the shanks, they must be eliminated from a breeding programme because they can engender a loss of the obligatory dominant (Pti) gene.
The showing of such individuals as English standard Marans does not rule out the problem.The true Marans is none other than the original Marans comprising all the integrality of its genes, “feathered shanks” included.
as is expressed (Pti) is an autosomal dominant gene. on your first cross to recessive non feather leg orps. you will have feather leg birds who will be carrying one copy of the recessive non feather leg trait. so they should be heterozygous for non feather legs. on you second breeding to clean leg birds (recessives). you should statistically get 50% clean legs. But you know how statistics work, but you should start getting some clean leg birds.
But it is possible also that there are marans out there which are carrying the recessive clean leg trait. not all marans in the US are feather legged birds.
Test mating is usually the first step. The Objective is to maintain the Lacing and also maintain the Black/ melanizers. You talk to different breeders and they all have different breeding techniques. some breeders will tell you to breed extremes. That is put one perfectly marked bird in the pen and then put a bird in the pen that needs a little more white/lacing. As always with black birds you have to work on maintaining the black melanizers. Test mating is your best bet. Also there are breeders who claim to put perfectly marked birds together. If you have a bird that has to much white, most likely you will need to mate her with a bird that carries more melanizers. And talk to different breeders who have successfully raised well marked birchens. Birchen Orpingtons are not common in the United States. So if any of you decide to breed Birchens, keep documentations, it will be your knowledge which you have obtained, which will be a breakthrough in helping people raise Birchens. Unfortunately a lot of people will get started with these varieties and then quite because they get frustrated. Remember it is a Challenge not a Burden. Document every thing, good points and bad points.
Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I will check out the thread. The way I see it, the first step is to try and correct the sussex. The hens have practically no color at all. I'm also gonna put in one of my black orp hens. while the Sussex are black, I have no idea what is behind them. It is possible they are as messed up underneath the black as the roosters. They do come from different breeders but I have no way of knowing what if any inprovements were made in either strain of the original line green fire imported and subsequently added the lights to.
If I can produce some decent Sussex I'll be more than thrilled. I'll take the ORP x chicks and breed the best back to each other and see if that will produce a decent marked birds
what I see in the very few birds that people are trying to create a "silver birchen" is the lack of the chest lacing. Birchen in the UK appears to be different then birchen in the US. Which I guess is why its called silver birchen? I'm looking to create this so it conforms to the APA definition of birchen.