This is a 3 mos. old Silver Black (also referred to by breeders as Birchen Marans) Birchen Marans pullet. She is just starting to get her silver hackle color in. I am excited to see what she will look like when fully mature.
Birchen…….aka, "crow wing" in genetic terms and is the pattern in which a secondary color is represented on a bird. Male crow wing patterned birds should only have their secondary colors (the secondary color in this instance is Silver) show on specific areas of the body, the hackle (the neck or collar area), the shoulders and wing bow area (the wing bow is just below the shoulder on the wing) and the saddle area of the bird (the saddle area of the bird is the area just before tail and just as you would think about saddle bags on a motorcycle, the saddle feathers of the males will become longer and narrower and drape down over both sides of the birds flank area). The rest of the bird should be the primary color of black, or blue, if a person is breeding Silver Blue Birchen Marans. My goal is to breed some Blue Birchens from the Silver Black Birchens I have now.
Touching back to the Birchen thing as I tend to get off track….Black Copper Marans, Blue Copper Marans and Splash Copper Marans also are crow wing based birds, except they are copper.
This is a young Silver Black Birchen male that was just starting to get his silver. He was approximately 4 mos old in this photo. He was rehomed as a pet as he was not quite breeding quality.
This is another Silver Black Birchen Male that I got from another breeder with hopes of bringing in some new blood for breeding, but as this young adult reached approximately 8-9 mos. of age he developed a sprig on the blade of his comb and was never used for breeding.
A 6 month old Birchen Marans pullet with great silver coloring coming in on her hackles and she has great eye color.
Here is a 6 month old Birchen cockerel that is just starting to show some gold leakage in his wing coverts. This gold leakage is something that should bred away from in the Birchen Marans.
Birchen Marans pullet.
The same pullet as photo'd above, but one month later with much more comb and wattle development and color at the age of 6 months. I am hoping for eggs very soon.
This is the cockerel that I hope to use to create Blue Birchen Marans. He is also 6 months old.