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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
    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 (http://marans-club.club.fr/echllang.htm). 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.
  • 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

  • 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!






pertyjewely, DaisyLou and Lauren Kim like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. SoCalClucker
    "Pretty eggs!"
    Pros - Eggs stand out in a mixed-color basket, hens are personable in our flock
    Cons - Not quite a "top producer" but still a steady layer
    We have 2 cuckoo marans and it's never hard to tell their eggs apart from the rest! Dark brown with even darker brown speckles, so pretty. The birds aren't aggressive but aren't the most docile either, so they settled in somewhere in the middle of the pecking order. They do seem to be smaller than some of our other breeds (Orpington, Australorp, Easter Egger, etc.) so I don't think they'd be the best dual-purpose bird, but as a layer, they are nice to add a dark brown to the mix.

    We also briefly had a Marans rooster. Incredibly gorgeous bird, he figured out the whole "mating" process just fine and was never aggressive toward us or the girls.
  2. Fanci Feathers Marans
    "A Fun Show Bird"
    Pros - Beautiful both inside and out. The layer of James Bond's favorite egg. An amiable bird.
    Cons - The very process that causes the dark eggshell, slows their production. Worth the wait, though.
    I have had at least five different breeds of chickens, but none of them have impressed me like the Marans.
    Feathered feet, colorful plumage and eggs just have that 'pop' in the carton. It's easy to distinguish a purebred Marans from the others- just wait for them to lay an egg! Even a beginner chicken keeper can spot a sub-par hen with this trick.
    I love the challenge in breeding them for exhibition, too. The delicate balance between copper and black in the feathers, the eye color, and the pursuit of that perfect 40-degree tail.
  3. beerlady
    "Jerk birds"
    Pros - Once they start laying I'll let you know if there's anything nice to say
    Cons - Flighty, unfriendly birds.
    I have 2 Cuckoo Marans since hatching and they still act completely feral despite all attempts to socialize. They're still too young to lay yet so I might have something positive to say about them in a few months, but temperamentally they prefer keeping to themselves and and act like I plan on murdering them every time I see them (they may be onto something).
    dinydeek likes this.

User Comments

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  1. B Redhawk
    we have just started with Marans we have a copper black Rooster, one black hen and two blue hens. I plan on adding more hens in about a month from the breeder we found to get these from. His flock is closed and we like that.
    Can anyone tell me if they've ordered from Cackle Hatchery, especially any Cuckoo Marans...or Rhode Island Reds or Golden Comets, Buff Orpingtons, White Rocks, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, or Easter Eggers? I have and older Cuckoo Maran and love her. She is not a big layer though she has nice eggs. What I love about her is that she talks to me and will squat sometimes if I want to pet her. She is one the neighbor gave me because her hens had plucked out most of her chest feathers. I got a batch of Black Australorps from Chickens from Backyards (which has great service) that are extremely skidish and unfriendly. Also, if I get any new breeds again, I want to try to make sure that are somewhat friendly, fairly docile and/or at least will fit well in a mixed flock without much aggression (allowing for a normal pecking order of course) and be easy to handle.
    1. MontanaChickDoc
      I got some FBCM and "dark brown egg layer surplus" chicks from Cackle in June. I find them to be spooky/flighty. Neither the current group (there are 10 total - 2 French cuckoos, lots of B or BCMs) or the two I hatched myself last year are mean birds, they don't pick on any other birds or show signs of aggression, but they are not "walk up and eat out of your hand" birds, either. I handle all my chicks a LOT and these are just not cuddly jump in your lap birds, in my experience.
      MontanaChickDoc, Jul 17, 2017
  3. FlyWheel
    I included a Cuckoo Marans in my latest batch, Specifically because they got broody, which is not a trait that EE's, Aussies or ProReds are particularly famous for. And if I need to raise more chicks I prefer to let a real mother do it. Mine just started laying, the eggs aren't the dark chocolate brown, but Cuckoo's aren't known for really dark eggs either. It is definitely darker than All my other brown layers though, Very easy to pick out!
  4. arrowti
    We had the misfortune of hatching eggs a few years ago in the hopes of getting marans (we ordered 24 maran eggs and they put in 12 random extra breed eggs as backups). Alas, only 12 eggs hatched, and only 6 of them were marans. Of even worse luck, 3 of them were roosters. We also had 3 mixed maran breeds.

    Although none of the roosters were ever aggressive with us they were very aggressive with the hens. And by that I mean they were vicious - ripping off strips of flesh and feathers from their heads while mating, tearing a large chunk out a hen's side while fighting over their favourite, and beat the two favourites out of 40 hens in the flock black and blue...

    I'm glad you have great roosters because it's no fun getting the aggressive ones!

    I have to agree on the eggs, the ones we got were amazing and huge. And the frostbite. Definitely the frostbite..
  5. mymilliefleur
    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your Marans. I had wheaten Marans years ago and loved them. I would like to get some more again some day. I would look into getting hatching eggs from a member here on BYC, I've seen several reputable people selling maran eggs here.
  6. La Casa de Pollo
    The blues are great, I've had problems with all the blacks I have tried (roosters)
  7. bappl
    Oh how funny that they open your latches! I just got my three chicks today and noticed that one was very, very curious. Then I read your post! That is funny!
  8. SunnyDawn
    Goodness I completely forgot about this page!

    RNM, Marans are slow to start laying. I've had a couple that were a year old before they started laying. However they do not give out after a year of laying like some production breeds do. I've had some girls that were 4+ years old giving me the same amount of eggs as they did when they were young.

    Dudley, I sympathize with your plight. I don't think the miserable winters there are conducive to getting eggs unless your whole operation is inside and heated (which causes other problems like too much humidity and the risk of fire from heat sources). I wish you the best of luck though! Let us know what worked for you over the last few years.
      Freisian likes this.
  9. tiki chiki
    I have a silver cuckoo Marans. Stella is great and while not the largest (Dottie the Australorp wins in size) she is definitely in charge. Very calm and talkative. Only cons would be she tends to peck/rip at clothing/skin much much more than the other girls- it hurts and she's persistant!- Also she seems to pick on my Ameraucana (Artemis). Stella doesn't assert dominance as often or as fiercely with the others as with her. Other than that, great! Friendly, pretty, good layer (and EATER!) and full of personality. She always was, even as a chick.
  10. teria
    I have one Cuckoo Maran. I originally had two, but, one was killed by a dog when she was 12 weeks old. They were Loralei and Sookie. Now we just have Loralei. I'm hoping to add another eventually, but, I love my Maran girl, she's so funny. She makes a kind of squeaky scratchy noise to tell me when she is feeling out of sorts or concerned. She is moving up slowly in the ranks, still somewhere in the middle. I guess we'll see what happens when she is fully grown.

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