Marans Chicken: April Breed of the Month

Black Marans Chickens and Other Varieties Provide Beautiful Russet Brown Eggs

Breed: Marans chicken

Origin: In Marans, France, about 240 miles southwest from Paris, and 100 miles from wine country, and according to the American Poultry Association, evolution of the Marans chicken is said to have begun as early as the 13th century. We do know a strain close to the modern breed left the country in the 1930s and was common aboard maritime trade routes, which delivered them around the world. Quickly, Marans grew famous for their colored eggs, which to this day remains the primary reason for their backyard popularity. When pronouncing “Marans,” make sure to keep the “s” silent, according to French rules. And if you can, roll the “r.”

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Varieties: Cuckoo (most common): Silver Cuckoo, Gold Cuckoo, Black Copper (Brown Red), Blue Copper, Splash Copper, Wheaten, Black-Tailed Buff, White, Black, Blue, Splash, Birchen (Silver Black) and Columbian.

Temperament: Docile, tidy

Egg Color: Russet brown

Egg Size: Large

Laying Habits: 150-200 eggs would make a good year

Skin Color: White

Weight: Rooster, 8 pounds; hen, 6.5 pounds; Cockerel, 7 pounds; Pullet, 5.5 pounds

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Standard Description: Marans chickens are best known for their large, russet brown eggs. This is a defining characteristic of the Marans chicken breed, so selection for egg color and size should never be neglected. The Marans chicken is a medium-sized bird with the character of a rustic farm hen, giving an impression of solidity and strength without being coarse. The legs are lightly feathered, but leg feathering should never be excessively heavy. Eye color is bright and clear in all varieties, never darkening into brown, nor paling into yellow or pearl. The Marans chicken is a general purpose fowl for production of both meat and eggs. The breed is most famous for its large, dark, chocolate-russet eggs, but it is also known for the fine flavor of its meat.

Comb: Male: Single, moderately large, straight, upright, evenly serrated with five points; the blade not touching the neck; Female: Single, smaller than a male’s; straight and upright, evenly serrated with five points and fine in texture. No female in or near production with the rear portion of the comb lopped should be discriminated against.

Popular Use: Eggs and meat

black-birchen-marans-chicken

Black birchen marans – photo from greenfirefarms.com

It really isn’t a Marans chicken if it is: One of these varieties, Blue Copper, Splash Copper, Blue and Splash, which are not part of the official French standard. Also, any hens who lay light-colored eggs.

James Bond: “It was a very fresh, speckled brown egg from French Marans hens owned by some friend of May in the country. (Bond disliked white eggs and, faddish as he was in many small things, it amused him to maintain that there was such a thing as the perfect boiled egg.)”— Ian Fleming, From Russia with Love

Owner quote:  “One of my Blue Copper Marans roosters is so friendly, he’ll hop on your lap and ask for potato chips! My Blue Copper Marans are the show stoppers of my backyard flock with gorgeous plumage that has shades of grey, red, and gold. Their dark brown eggs are certainly the most striking in my egg basket, and they’re consistent layers with wonderful temperaments. Although each chicken has its own temperament, they’re friendly members of the flock that are good foragers and easy to get a long with. They’re less heat-tolerant than other breeds, but if offered cool treats, they still lay well during the long days of our Southern summers.” – From Maat Van Uitert of TheFrugalChicken.com

Learn about other chicken breeds from Backyard Poultry, including Orpington chickens, Wyandotte chickens and Brahma chickens.

Presented by: Greenfire Farms

marans-chicken
See the Full List of Breed of the Month Features: 

POULTRY BREED SPONSOR LINK
Ayam Cemani Greenfire Farms http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/ayam-cemani-chicken-breed-of-the-month-gff/
Silkie Stromberg’s http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/silkie-chickens-breed-of-the-month-strm/
Blue Andalusian Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/blue-andalusian-chicken-bom-fp/
Australorp Mt. Healthy Hatcheries http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/australorp-chickens-december-breed-of-the-month-mthh/
Rhode Island Red Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/rhode-island-red-chicken-november-breed-of-the-month-fp/
Sussex Seabuck 7 http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/sussex-chicken-october-breed-of-the-month-sb/
Leghorn Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/leghorn-chicken-september-breed-of-the-month-fp/
Bantams Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/bantam-chickens-vs-standard-chicken-breeds/
Ameraucana Fowl Stuff http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/ameraucana-chicken-breed-of-the-month/
Brahma SeaBuck 7 http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/brahma-chicken-july-breed-of-the-month-sb/
Orpington Purely Poultry http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/breed-of-the-month-orpington-chicken/
Olive Eggers Seabuck 7 http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/may-breed-of-the-month-olive-egger-chicken/
Marans Greenfire Farms http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/breed-of-the-month-marans-chicken/
Wyandotte Greenfire Farms http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/wyandotte-chicken-june-breed-of-the-month/
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Comments
  • I love the video. I also saw the baby chick hatching. Adorable! I love the chickens, too. The colors of the egg is so beautiful! Love these animals.

    Reply
  • What is the difference between Cukoo Maran and Barred Rock chicks? They both look the same to me

    Reply
  • I have a Maran hen who sat on her first eggs. Hatched some in December.Has not layed an egg since. Two weeks ago she started laying again and has gone broody with eleven eggs.One of her offspring pulleys is helping her with setting.Looks like this pullet is going to be a step mom and has not layed the first egg.Looks like mother like daughter.

    Reply
  • I would like a little info what are all of the heavy meat breeds are there

    Reply
  • Thinking about getting a few of them but iv’e heard they are quite expensive??? Does anyone know the price??

    Reply
  • I purchased my black copper marans fertilized eggs from an ad on backyardchickens.com. They are currently under my BCM hen and expected to hatch in about 8 days. They cost $20.00 for a dozen plus a few extra and the added shipping. These are my favorite hens and lay consistently through the winter, beautiful dark brown eggs. The chicks sell very well as everyone wants the eggs. I sold one beautiful rooster last year for $30. Excellent breed.

    Reply

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