Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    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 Size:
    Large Fowl

    The Marans, or French, Poule de Marans, is a French breed of chicken from the port town of Marans, in the département of Charente-Maitime, in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. It was created with the local feral chickens descended from fighting game chickens carried from Indonesia and India. Those original Marandaise fowl were "improved" for the table through crossing with imported Croad Langshans. A favourite at poultry shows, it became a dual purpose breed known both for its extremely dark brown eggs and fine meat qualities.

    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 are historically a dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well. 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 birds, while the Marans Club of America only recognises feather-legged birds.

    Marans egg

    Marans chick

    Marans juvenile

    Marans hen

    Marans rooster

    For more about the Marans breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
  • 95d135d7_marans-4158-696808.jpeg 8370d705_marans-4158-146553.jpeg ff18ae15_marans-4158-402003.jpeg 39988813_marans-4158-908647.jpeg b4f9dbad_marans-4158-922635.jpeg 51c62cc1_THFEggs.jpeg e16b2809_2012-2FBCMroos01fromTricia.jpeg 5b1765c7_2012-2FBCMroos02fromTricia.jpeg 3ddfd519_2012-2FBCMroos03fromTricia.jpeg 0b68092e_2012-2FBCMpulletsfromTricia.jpeg 49901dca_BCM_baby1.jpeg 730ec959_chickensonmay8014.jpeg c77b8f2e_IMG_4259.jpeg ea6226fd_IMG_5003.jpeg 31472312_chickensonmay8008.jpeg 18f7434e_photo8.jpeg 00ad171c_005.jpeg 298fc17a_Oct9.jpeg a9f34e54_image.jpeg 595de076_bluecoppermaran.jpeg 5dca3251_GCMcloseup.jpeg 700.jpg hen.jpg 1000.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Single
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: Cold

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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!







Recent User Reviews

  1. happybooker1
    "Great Hen!"
    Pros - Docile, healthy, good flock member. Faithfully & reliably lays 1 large brown egg per day.
    Cons - None at all.
    Just a great little addition to any flock. Gets along with other flock. Hasn’t missed a day since she started laying to present me with a darkish brown egg. That’s at least 6months now. I love Betty!
    Nats Chickens likes this.
  2. alexa009
    "I Enjoy Most Aspects Of The Breed."
    Pros - Dark brown eggs, a potential show breed, doesn't destroy grass, better egg layers than I expected.
    Cons - The hens are bullies to smaller chickens, embryo development during incubation is difficult to detect.
    Black Copper Marans are one of the nicest breeds I have owned so far. They lay extra large dark brown eggs but gradually get lighter as the hen's age increases. I also get 5 double yolks from 3 hens each month by my best evaluation. The hens and rooster are easy to catch and don't mind being touched. They are far more docile than my easter eggers. I have also kept the rooster with only 2 hens and he doesn't overbreed at all. He always feeds the hens and chicks and takes well care of them and has been acting like this since he was only 6 months. They are so non destructive for some odd reason, they don't eat the grass. I actually had taken such enthusiasm in this breed that I commenced a breeding program.

    DSC01800 (2).JPG


    Rooster. (Molting Pic)
    DSCN1466.JPG DSCN0210 (3).JPG

    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    October, 2017
    chickengr likes this.
  3. Budda's Birds
    "My favorite breed"
    Pros - Egg color and shape. Temperament.
    Cons - Eggs can be difficult to hatch. Not most productive hens.
    My venture into Marans started in 2009 after stumbling across some egg photos on the internet. Quickly I convinced my parents i need this breed. They surprised me with 25 cuckoo Marans pullets for Christmas.

    My research quickly made me realize that these pullets had a very slim chance of giving me the egg color I desired. Before these pullets had even reached point of lay I found a guy who bred Blue and Black Copper Marans. I purchased 6 chicks from him and they quickly grew and were producing beautiful eggs I desired.But still that hadn’t been enough. While I was picking up my chicks he had shown me his flock, he had happened to have 1 Wheaten Marans hen. I was obsessed she was so beautiful, and the photos of the black and orange roosters next to the lovely wheaten colored hens made me realize I needed and wanted to breed Wheaten Marans.

    I now have a gorgeous flock of Wheaten Marans. They are productive enough for my needs 3-5 eggs a week and while not as dark as some strains of the BCM they still produce gorgeous eggs. I also love the shape of the egg which is not always mentioned, both ends of the eggs are rounded making it difficult to determine the bottom from the top. This egg shape makes it hard to determine where the air sac is, which can make it difficult for incubation. The extra layer of pigment can also affect incubating successfully.

    Personality is great I don’t raise them as pets so I don’t need birds that want to sit on my lap, but I would say they are far from flighty. They are calm birds who will come up to me looking for treats when I go out to the pen, but quickly lose interest and leave when I do not have any. They are descent foragers who are happy to free range or be confined. The hens have never shown aggression to each other beyond establishing the pecking order. I’ve only had one or two hens go broody. Only one hen successfully hatched a clutch (they were duck eggs and she was a great mom). All the other times a bird went broody moving her to a private pen to sit on her clutch always broke her brooding. Roosters have never shown aggression towards me or any other human, but like all roosters they have shown aggression towards other roosters. They are also great with the hens I’ve never had them over breed any one of their hens.

    Overall I’ve had a great experience with this breed and will always have them in my flock. My one piece of advice for anyone looking into this breed would be, do your research and aim for getting birds from a good breeder if you want the best chance for a dark egg layer. Also take the time to talk to the breeder about the tempermant of the birds and the quality of their stalk to make sure they are what you want.

    chickengr and Mishaspenoel like this.

User Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Dougtheiceman
    Two weeks ago I got a rooster a hen and 16 hatching eggs in the incubator.
  2. Helloworld
    Love, love, love!
  3. 3-Bearss
      HEAVY P MISSISSIPPI likes this.
  4. Conniebun70
    I have one beautiful rooster am trying to rehome
  5. bunsmac
    My BCM roosters are mating but they still don't crow,Maybe I will get lucky "A rooster that doesn't crow"
      24Chickens and chickenalia like this.
  6. cattledogcrazy
    I have one, sadly her hatch mate did not make it so I am not sure if that is why she is odd. She is very loud, a complainer and none of my other girls, even the rooster does not like her. She is flighty and not my fav, but with the rooster and other girls putting the run on her she is getting friendlier with me. I had decided to give the breed another shot so i have 2 black copper marans and a silver salmon maran in my young hatch. Hoping these new girls are better.
  7. ChickenzRCul
    great chicken extremely nice to chickens it was raised with, can be a bully to other non familiar chickens. Definitely takes the queen position of the coop.
  8. Freisian
    My experience whilst new is so far marred.
    The cockerel was psychoticLy super violent to any humans and completely over mated and shredded the six hens. He has been rehomed with a breeder.
    The three marans hens, whilst good big (75-80 gym) dark egg layers, three hens lay two a day currently, have a major feather pecker amongst the three despite free ranging over a large area.
    Not sure the nice eggs overcome the negative behavioural traits for me and won’t be getting any more.
    I am considering replacing with more friesians due to the less neurotic sweeter nature and higher egg production ( though small) of the latter, and just hope the marans have a broody potential amongst them.
    The cock would have been great for house protection if the ranging was not near the house though.
    He was a handsome lad though
    1. SheppardRanch
      Sorry you had that experience with your Marans. I know your currently not sold on the breed but if you ever do decide to try again I can tell you we have dozens running in our large "run of the farm" flock and I have 3 little kids, the youngest being 4. If any showed a shadow of what you describe it would be in a pot. Ours have been very docile.
      SheppardRanch, May 1, 2018
    2. Freisian
      Ok, I may have been hasty, since the psycho sex mad cock went, the feather pecking stopped , one hen went broody and was an excellent mother and back in lay whilst still brooding at four weeks post hatch, the other two have not stopped laying even whilst moulting, lay approx four eggs a week each so not bad, and those eggs are HUGE and DARK. Personality wise they have calmed incredibly since mad lad went and are now accompanied by a gentleman legbar cross marans cock who they seem to adore:)
      Freisian, Aug 22, 2018
      NYCAChick and Teva like this.
  9. SheppardRanch
    One of our all time favorites! Been breeding and selling them for around 5 years and they are an all around wonderful bird with one of the most impressive eggs in the chicken world. Not the most productive layers but not terrible either.
  10. bonsaiherb
    "Axl, my French Black Copper Maran rooster is as close to perfect as one could hope for. If any of my ladies make any sounds of alarm or distress, he is there in a flash. If it's me or my family picking up one of the girls, he will follow us step-for-step until we put her down safely, but he never displays any aggression towards us. He is first in line if I'm handing out treats, but he shares them with his favorites."
    Lovely testimonial - just as I was reconsidering this breed. Have three ladies and 3 Speckled Sussex which will be about the same size.
    Rooster to be will be a Cookoo patterned Easter Egger who I hope lives up to half your description of Axl.
      NYCAChick and Freisian like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: