- 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.
For more about the Marans breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-maran.1132230/
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance: Cold
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Dark Brown
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Silver Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, White, Copper Black, Black, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, and Ermine. MANY colors in development!
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
"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.
Rooster. (Molting Pic)
chickengr likes this.
"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.