This is a rare dual purpose bird. Some data and history can be found here:
I have found them to grow out quite well on 15% protein grower/finisher ration. Protein in excess of 20% creates more waste from the birds. They are slow growing, fast feathering birds that will provide ample and tender meat from 4 - 6 months of age. They are excellent foragers in warmer months. I keep their feed in the coop and they will not eat much of it.
They are very docile birds that can be handled by children. Related cockerels raised together as chicks will get along well.
Care should be taken with the roosters' large combs in cold, northern climates. Insulated coop with good ventilation can help. Also, the open-air concept coops can be of value.
Egg laying numbers can vary among hens. I've had some lay better than others. At minimum, a hen will lay 140 large - jumbo eggs per year.
All in all, a great bird(s) to have in a homestead flock.
BlueHenDel likes this.
Recent User Reviews
"Huge bird with a big voice"
Pros - Friendly beautiful
Cons - Loud
I've only had my Maline for a few months. She looked full grown when I got her but she hadn't started laying yet. She is now but not every day. For such a huge bird I was expecting bigger eggs. She talks a lot (Ok, she squawks) but loud and often. I can't have a rooster where I live but she might at well be one. She doesn't mind being held for a little while and will eat treats from my hand. I love watching her walk with those large feathered feet. The males can weigh over 12 pounds.
Pros - excellent meat qualities. Would be great for utility breeding.
Cons - Not many breeders or bloodlines available. Roosters are huge and may struggle mating.
This breed although a slow growing meat bird in reaching its weight potential can be worth the wait. Its downy type feathering helps disperse flavor enhancers throughout the body making the delectable chicken taste its known for. The term "dual purpose fits this breed well as it produces not only excellent meat quality, but also lays a fair amount of extra large eggs yearly. The availability of birds from this breed is limited but has grown in interest. I would not recommend this as a hobby breed but more to a dedicated cause breeder. This breed is worthy of saving and growing in numbers respective to its original use and heritage. Do not confuse this with the Marans cuckoo breed. They are unrelated. The Belgian Malines has several names based on Origin.
"Great pets and laying hens"
Pros - Lay large eggs, are docile and will fly up on your shoulder!
Cons - None
I have a cuckoo maran hen and she is one of my favorites, she always walks up to you and will fly up on my shoulder she is a great layer and a flock alpha female. Cukoo marans are all around good chickens