The blue colored varieties have existed in the Marans breed since its origins, i.e. Blue was introduced at the first crossing with it’s English Game ancestors. At this time I can find no country that has accepted a Blue or Splash as a separate variety, but the process is under way in several. The Blue gene is a dominant gene with variable penetration that dilutes black pigment, when present in either the homozygous Bl/Bl, or the heterozygous Bl/bl+ states. In the heterozygous state, Bl/bl+ dilutes black to a bluish/gray color, this blue color produces a variety of shades in the plumage, ranging from ‘pigeon egg blue’ to a dark ‘navy blue’, often with some blackish feathers scattered here and there, but has no effect on gold/red pigments. Homozygous Blue Bl/Bl creates an even greater dilution effect, producing a Splashed White (Splash) bird. This plumage is white with the odd blue feather; it is known in Europe as “dirty White” This is very different from both the Dominant White and the Recessive White, both of which have the effect of converting black to white.
It is important to understand that:
Blue does not breed true but gives the following results,
A Blue to Blue, Bl/bl+ X Bl/bl+ mating will give 25% Splash, Bl/Bl; 50% Blue, Bl/bl+ and 25% Black bl+/bl+
A Splash to Black, Bl/Bl X bl+/bl+ mating gives 100% Blue, Bl/bl+
A Blue to Black mating, bl+/bl+ X Bl/bl+, gives 50% each Blue, Bl/bl+ and Black bl+/bl+.
Blue should not be confused with recessive Lavender, which dilutes both black and red, and is true breeding. Lavender dilutes black to a "pearl gray color" producing a very uniform plumage colour. The "pearl-gray color" is not found in Marans.
The genome of the heterozygous Blue Marans cock is E/E S/S Ml/Ml Bl/bl+ Id/Id W/W Pti-1/Pti-1 and that of the hen is E/E S/- Ml/Ml Bl/bl+ Id/- W/W Pti-1/Pti-1.
The varieties based on the Extended Black allele may mask all other allele in the series.
Folks are working on the Blues every day. Trying to get a something as close to a standard as possible.
The French hope to have it into the Standard within two years.
I have a little information but to be truthful, it's been told to be one of the hardest colors to work with. I do know there
will be no out crossing to another breed. You can start off with breeding a Black Cooper to a Splash or Blue. But remember Blue crossed to Blue will not always give you Blue.
It is not solid true color. And will not breed true. You can expect chicks in black, blue or off-white, which
the French call a Splash.
Mating a Blue to a Blue will give you 50% blues, 25% Black or 25% Splash (dirty-White)
The Blue Hen
The Genetic Equation
This blue color is under the influence of a dilution factor, bleached from the color black.
Truly a beautiful bird that I can only hope some day to have in my own back yard.
The color comes in different varieties but the egg color is the most important to the French.
So the French will appreciate us breeding them only if we can get the egg color with out any out crossing.
A Splash X Splash gives 100% Splash.
A Blue X Black gives 50% Black & 50 % Blue.
A Splash X Black gives 100% Blue.
A Splash X Blue tends to give a lighter Blue.
A Black X Blue tends to give a darker Blue.
Here is a summary of descriptions of classic blue (not blue Andalusian) about several French and foreign breeds. These standards are from the textbook standards of SCAF.
Beautiful deep blue without lines note: the real issues without lines are rare.
Gray light blue uniform. Cock slightly darker than the hen.
All regular blue plumage without lines. Slight black spots are not a serious fault. Sou blue-gray plumage and not predominantly white.
Blue with or without lines.
Uniformly grayish blue, no rust and no trace of black. Sub-stems greyish-blue plumage and paler. Border = plumage mottled or undesirable.
Light blue to darker blue, with or without lines. Cock a little darker than the hen. Sub-blue plumage.
Slate blue without lines. A little white indispensable in under-plumage.
Light slate blue, each feather edged with black.
Pure blue without lines also allowed. Sub-slate blue plumage.
Slight edging admitted.
Coq: Whole colors blue pigeon with or without lines.
Hen, pigeon blue to slate-blue with or without lines.
Major faults: Light blue, blue gray.
Homogeneous medium blue, with or without lines.
Faults: blue stained, smoky or too light, tail lighter.
Blue Columbine, with or without lines.
Faults: grayish, brownish, mottled, white ds wings and tail.
Blue Columbine without lines from head to tail.
Sub-white plumage slightly in the cock required.
Faults: plumage smoked or flaky, rusty in chickens.
Defined by Brandt and Wilhems blue varieties:
Plumage uniformly blue-gray, with no stains, no rust and no splashing black.
Sub-blue plumage of a paler gray.
Faults: white feathers, black or colored plumage mottled or edged.