Pros: Deep, Rich, Chocolate-Colored Eggs, Sweet, Beautiful

Cons: Roosters Can Be Aggressive, Some Variants Don't Lay Very Chocolate-Colored Eggs

The Marans is a breed of chicken that originated in France. It is a medium sized breed, well known across the U.S.A, and other countries, for it's beautiful, dark brown eggs, and fine meat. The Marans is also a popular breed for showing, and fancied by poultry breeders all over the world. 


The Marans originated in France and were imported into the United Kingdom in the 1930's. 


The Marans are a fine breed, being useful for meat, eggs, and showing. They can make good pets for children, and are highly prized for their dark eggs. 


There are the 9 varieties of the Marans, recognized by the French Standard: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaton, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian.


If you want Marans that lay genuine dark eggs, a hatchery is not a good place to get your Marans, because they do not breed their Marans the way a reputable breeder would. A good place to get true Marans would be a reputable breeder. There are plenty of good breeders right here on BYC. 


I hope this review has helped someone out there! yippiechickie.gif


Pros: Dark Eggs

Cons: Broody, poor winter layer, eggs hard to hatch

I am not a huge Marans fan.  I tried them  because I was entranced by the egg color but am not impressed.  Yes, the eggs are super dark and gorgeous by my birds are often broody and I have not seen an egg since end of Oct and its now the middle of Jan.  I  will not be getting any more.   When I compare them to my Welsummers, 


Pros: My Roosters are sweethearts, never aggressive, my eggs are dark in color, my hens lay very well now that they are mature.

Cons: NO CONS...

I have 3 pens of Marans, they are excellent quality, lay a dark egg, and winning at the shows this year in Florida...celebrate.gif


Pros: pretty eggs

Cons: inconsistant layers, mean roosters!

I have 5 hens and 1 roo. These are pretty hens, personalities are not overly friendly, despite being hand reared. It took a LONG time to find a roo that wasn't aggressive as all get out. This one is generally OK but will still rush you every so often. I also don't like that they are consistent layers... they seem to lay every other or every third day... They go broody often, but aren't great moms. My eggs are also not as dark or a large as they say they should be, despite spending the money on good quality stock.


Pros: beatiful eggs

Cons: my roo was mean

The hens lay beautiful eggs. Never owned a cuckoo hen, but I'm sure that they are a whole lot nicer than my roo.


Pros: Good layers, large birds, good feed conversion, friendly, sane

Cons: Can't think of any cons!

I have 1 Splash, 1 Blue, and 1 Wheaten Marans from 2 sources. All 3 are great layers, calm and a friendly birds. They do ok in heat and excellent in cold. My goal is to have one hen in every available color since they're just great all-around birds.


You don't have to be very hands on in taming them, they're just naturally calm birds.


Pros: Beautiful Dark Eggs, calm and sweet birds

Cons: Not heavy layers, but the eggs are worth the wait

Just started with some from a local breeder and hatched a few from a BYC seller. They are the sweetest I have raised. Even the two Roos I have are incredibly docile. I have tried several breeds, this is one I'll be sticking with!big_smile.png


Pros: The eggs really are all they claim to be! Best I have ever eaten! I just love this breed not only for their special eggs but for their personalities!

Cons: Even in GA the combs are so large they can get frostbite easily and need care to protect them if it dips below freezing.

There is a lot of hype about the special eggs. All fresh, free range eggs are wonderful. These are on a whole other level. To eat one of these French Black Copper Marans eggs, freshly laid, should be on everyone's bucket list. Wow! My favorite chicken (I have had a number of breeds) is a FBCM hen named Button. She is as friendly and curious as a kitten. It is true they go broody a good bit. Some individuals are more broody than others, still they make excellent mothers so I feel this makes the trait worth it. I never want to be without them in my flock. I must add I am baffled by the statement that the roosters can be aggressive. The two I have had are not aggressive with anyone or anything (except each other). The one I have now even accepts my chicken friendly cat in his run area.


Pros: Beautiful, large eggs, forage well, rarely broody, large

Cons: Health issues...

We got our marans as hatching eggs sent from a hatchery - won't disclose any names here, it might just have been a fluke or a problem during shipping/incubating, really - and had 36 eggs. 16 of them were maran eggs, the other 20 were random 'extras'. 6 maran eggs hatched, and 3 were roosters. 3 were hens. We had 2 other hens that seemed to be some kind of maran cross that are doing fine.


Anyway, they were all beautiful birds. The roosters are/were beautiful, the hens are/were gorgeous and we had some very nice colourings. They laid large brown eggs, some dark brown, and some medium brown with spots of dark brown. Ours never got broody since we don't want to hatch more eggs from our current stock right now (except  very specific chickens), and they don't 'guard' their eggs or peck when we try to get them. They are docile and calm, and don't screech and flap around like crazy when you approach them. (Except one of them...)



Health Trouble!!

Our problem was that our marans ended up with health issues and several dying before they were even a year old. I will also note not a single one of our maran roosters had a normal crow. Their crows sounded off or abnormal but nothing that worried me.


The first bird we lost was a black copper maran hen. She repeatedly had problems with impacted crop, and while we continued to massage it and fix one, a few weeks later, she'd get it again. This started when she was around 6 months, and with full access to grit and added oil to the water, it continued. Inevitably she got sour crop after one extremely stubborn impacted crop, and despite our best efforts she got worse and worse until we culled her to end her suffering. Perhaps we should have done so sooner. She behaved differently from the others. Very flighty and wild. But she did lay nice big eggs when she was alive.


The second bird we lost was a beautiful grey splash maran hen. We had no problems with her at all until she died. She didn't have any health problems that we knew of. But one day, in spring on the first 'hot' day of the year... she died from dehydration. We found her before she died standing not 5 feet from a full waterer, with more waterers distributed around the yard. I don't know what caused her to not drink any water, but by the time we found out what the problem was, she died just as we were getting the syringe of sugar-water to her.


The third bird we didn't 'lose', but we did cull. He was our black copper maran rooster, and grew up with a respiratory disorder that reminded me of asthma. He wheezed constantly from the time he was 3 months old to the time we culled him. No other birds wheezed. We could hear him out back from our front door. When he rested he was fine, when he was physically active, he wheezed. It was quite strange.




Our other three marans are doing fine. We gave away a rooster to a woman on another farm so we wouldn't have to cull him (since we had too many). He was a really nice rooster and is flourishing on her farm, and she enjoys him. She should've kept him instead of the other one we kept... he was much nicer and gentler on the girls, even though he was absolutely massive! He weighed a massive 16 pounds when we  gave him away. Big, gentle, loving rooster.


The rooster we kept, a blue maran, is people-friendly but recently has become hen aggressive. He will be culled next month with our meat birds.


Our only surviving maran hen is doing great. She is a huge girl, almost 9 pounds. Far above average. Lays dark brown eggs with even darker chocolate-brown spots. She seems healthy and is still laying, 2 years strong.



My advice to people is to be careful where you order them, how you order them, and when you order them. I can't blame the hatchery. We had a big cold spell during the shipping time of the eggs, and believe that is the reason for the huge amount of failed hatches (out of 36 eggs, only 14 hatched, with 2 dead chicks) and could possibly be attributed to the health problems of our maran hen and the maran rooster.


I want to give this breed another chance. Any recommendation on a place to get them will be great! Wish we had more surviving hens. The two maran crosses are also great. We aren't sure what they are crossed with, but they seem to have no health problems.


Pros: very sweet, calm, and are great roosters!

Cons: mine started to crow at 3 months of age, other then that , i cant think of any.

i have a dark cuckoo maran rooster, he is almost 4  months old, at 3 months he started to crow which is not that bad but i live in town so if we get a complaint, he is out of here, he is so sweet and tame, he is so gentle and friendly to my hens, and very protective (but not mean protective, he does not attack people) and he is always on the look out for predators, my rooster's name is Thorin of of the Hobbit, and he was my free chick from murray mcmurray, at 1st i thought he was a barred rock, but comparing him from my other barred rock he looks different, I almost wish i had a female for their dark eggs. 


Marans have been recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA). Marans (there is always an "s" on the end - even if you are speaking of an individual bird) were developed in France and are known for their famous chocolate brown egg. The shanks are feathered in the French variety and clean in the English variety. Marans are known for their beautiful egg color, and are not considered a true Marans unless they can lay a #4 or better at some point of the laying cycle according to the Marans Egg Colour scale ( Egg color typically will be the darkest at the beginning of the laying cycle, and will then lighten up through the cycle. It is thought that dark egg color is passed down by the rooster; thus, having hens that will typically lay a #4 on the Marans Egg Colour Scale with a rooster that was hatched from a much darker egg will result in the offspring laying somewhere between the color of egg produced by the hens and the egg the rooster hatched from. Don’t buy Marans without verification that the flock can produce #4 eggs. This does not mean that every egg produced will be #4, but that the flock has demonstrated that they can produce #4 eggs. Reputable breeders will have many pictures of their eggs, and most will send an egg shell sample upon request.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceCold
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorDark Brown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesSilver Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, White, Copper Black, Black, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, and Ermine. MANY colors in development!
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Average
Climate Tolerance: Cold

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Dark Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Silver Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, White, Copper Black, Black, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, and Ermine. MANY colors in development!

Breed Details:

I have found Marans to truly be a pleasure to raise. They are quite regal in appearance, and are "easy keepers." And, you just can't beat those gorgeous, dark, reddish-brown eggs!