MARANS - THE CHOCOLATE EGG LAYER
Marans are a great all rounder, with superb eggs. Marans are still very much a rare breed in Australia.
Current colours I am working on are: black copper, blue copper. We no longer keep french wheaton or gold cuckoo - I will be working on both the genetics of the birds and enriching the colour of the eggs.
*When hatching Marans eggs it is important to understand the genetics of colour breeding and particularly breeding rare breeds in Australia with small gentic pools. There are often throw back colours, and breeding certain colours together will not necessarily give you the same coloured offspring. We have supplied a colour genetic chart on the bottom of our fertile egg page to show these variables. - for example: breeding blue and blue does not always give you blue! it can give you black, blue or splash! - please also be aware that when hatching Marans eggs the darkness of the egg colour is almost another layer for chicks to have to pip from and some Marans can hatch up to day 23-24. They are also a breed that may require assisting hatch. Accurate humidity is a must for hatching Marans eggs.
My ultimate love - the Blue Copper Marans
I am very proud of what i have achieved with my blue coppers. They are nicely shaped with lovely dark eggs.
Black Copper Marans
picture above: some of our blue copper eggs from last season
The Marans originated in Marans, France, and were imported into the United Kingdom in the 1930s.
There are 9 recognized colours in the French Standard: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian. Black Copper (black with copper feathers on the neck) and Cuckoo (barred feathers, giving a black and white speckled appearance) are the most common of these. Other colors not officially recognized (such as Blue Copper, Blue, and Splash) also exist.
Marans should have orange eyes. The shanks are usually slate or pink, the soles of the feet should always be white as Marans have white skin, not yellow. Though the original Marans could also be feather legged birds, British breeders preferred the clean legged version, and thus feathered legged Marans are now mainly found in France. The Australian Poultry Standard recognises both feathered and clean-legged and the Marans Club of America only recognizes feather-legged birds.
Marans are generally quiet and docile; but they are quite active, taking well to free ranging in rough terrain and are also tough and disease-resistant. Their gentle temperaments and quiet demeanor makes them ideal for suburban backyard chicken keepers, as well as any assorted farm flock as they rarely bully smaller breeds.
Marans lay around 150-200 dark brown eggs each year depending on the variety. Marans are historically a dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well. Eggs are considerably lighter in birds available in Australia than the eggs pictured and available in America and Europe.