Paul - I wonder that is why I am having a hard time finding a Marans breeder to work with. So many flaky people out there.
I like the looks of the rusty red chicks - a big difference from the RIR hatchery chicks I have here. I hope to improve this flock in a year or two with actual RIRs. It is a struggle to find a real heritage RIR in my area hence the hatchery birds - I will use those as layers.