Topic Options
#38803 - 08/17/02 06:30 PM Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
EAS Offline
Feather

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 20
Loc: South Carolina
We just purchased some "pullets" (4 months) that are an Araucana/Buff Orpington cross. I believe the rooster (sire) was the Araucana, but I'm not certain. Upon closer inspection, two of the bunch are a little different - they have small muffs, black in their tail feathers, are slightly larger, fuller looking in the neck, and have the beginning of a spur (we think). One of these has greenish legs, but the other does not. Are these cockerels? The lady who sold them to us didn't know for sure, but is willing to take these 2 back. What is the best way to determine their sex? Would there be a sex-linkage with this cross? Thanks for any help. I do not want roosters!

Top
#38804 - 08/17/02 06:59 PM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
Anonymous
Unregistered


Araucanas often have those traits.
I have sexed chickens for years and I do it on sight.
Since they are 4 month, pick each bird up, hand under neath and then pet the back- shoulder to tail. Pullets will tolerate this more than males, who will fidget. The pullets have a higher trill /cheep too and the males have a squeaker,(teenage boy - voice changing)squawk.
If all the birds were genetically similar then the longer legged, taller birds are male.

Top
#38805 - 08/18/02 10:21 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
EAS Offline
Feather

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 20
Loc: South Carolina
Thank you for your suggestion. We did the shoulder to tail thing with the most cock-looking chicken, and he seemed to really enjoy it! I'm still going to return "him", because he and the other "boy" look so much bigger in the neck than the others. Maybe I should have posted this in a more general section, but I was hoping that there was some sex-link way to differentiate with this cross. I'm quite inexperienced.

Top
#38806 - 08/19/02 05:56 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
At 4 months of age the male dimorphic feathers should be coming in. Male hackle feathers are longer, thiner and pointier than hen hackle feathers (it takes a while to grow to their full length). The two long sickle feathers of the tail should be starting to grow out and they are also pointed instead of rounded like hen tail feathers. Male saddle feathers look like hackle feathers. In some breeds these dimorphic feathers do not come in until after 18 weeks, but Leghorns can have these feathers before 12 weeks of age.

Top
#38807 - 08/19/02 06:08 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
There could be sex-linkage in this cross, but you have to confirm the parentage of the birds. Ameraucanas have dermal melanin in their shanks. This pigment is in the dermis (layer under the skin) and not the epidermis (outer skin and scales). Dermal melanin is sex-linked. The trait would transfer from the sire to his daughters, so if the bird with dark shanks has dermal melanin and her sire was an Ameraucana it should be a she. Epidermal melanin is not sex-linked. It may be difficult to tell if your birds have dermal melanin because wheaten (from the buffs) dilutes dermal melanin.

Muffs and beards are a breed trait for Ameraucanas. It is not always expressed but is usually dominant. This trait has nothing to do with sex. The birds look like they have puffy faces and fat necks.

The trait that I'd be most interested in is pea comb. If the females have pea comb there is a good chance that they will lay blue or green shelled eggs like Ameraucanas. Pea combs have three rows of papillae instead of the single blade of a single comb. Expression can vary depending on the cross.

Top
#38808 - 08/20/02 05:20 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
EAS Offline
Feather

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 20
Loc: South Carolina
Rokimoto - I found out that a Buff Orp. rooster and 3 hens were in with an Ameraucana rooster and 2 hens. The Ameraucana rooster seemed to be doing more mating, but who knows. Most all of the birds look overall buff.
We are going back at the end of the week to trade in and pick up more pullets. We are looking for the hackle, saddle, and tail feathers, plus big feet and legs,(on the birds we have) and it seems like they change a little every day! Or we are just getting better at observing. Now we think we have 4 cockerels!
I am interested in getting the blue/green egg layers and will look for pea combs with 3 rows - but first must look up what a pea comb is! And will also look for darker shanks. Will the eggs come out sort of Khaki or olive, since the Buff egg is brown? And if they have ear tufts or muffs, then they definitely have Ameraucana in them, even though they look Buff? Anything else I should look for to get blue/green egg layers? Thanks.

Top
#38809 - 08/20/02 05:40 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
In purebred lines the pea comb is a small fat oval comb with three rows of small bumps on it running the length of the comb. In crosses it can be very large with irratic three rows of bumps at the top of the comb, and it can look like a single comb with two lateral side rows of bumps at the base of the comb with the single blade in the middle.

Pea comb combined with rose comb it is called walnut or button comb. It is a squarish comb with some bumps on it, but some walnut combs are smooth.

Egg shell color of blue egg layers depends on how much brown is on the outer shell. If the Orpingtons have tinted shells you will get bluer looking eggs. If the Orps have brown shells you will get greener eggs as the brown combines with the blue shell to look green. It also depends on what brown shell color genes the male has.

Check the Ameraucana rooster (I doubt that he is Araucana) for his comb type.

Top
#38810 - 08/20/02 05:52 AM Re: Araucana/Buff Orpington cross
Anonymous
Unregistered


The single-looking combs from crosses involving pea comb are often pea heterozygotes (Pp rr). I don't mean this to be offensive - most back-yard breeders don't really know what they have in their gene pools and a cockerel or pullet that has what looks like a decent pea comb (partcularly males) can actually be a heterozygote that gives (Pp rr) progeny.

I'm with Rokimoto on the doubt about the Araucana. True Araucana are not common and what you get from hatcheries, feedstores and other hobby people are almost never true Araucana.

Top


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Henk69