Are my maran hens really marans?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Spellbound, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Spellbound

    Spellbound New Egg

    Feb 11, 2012
    Hi, advice needed please on my new 'marans'.
    I took on this cockeral at 4months old to save him from being killed. (Now named Rocky- Pictured)

    Obviously as he got older he has got 'needs' so have had to buy him a few ladies.
    Untill i took him in i had never had marans and don't know much about them.
    It is the three girlies i have bought that i need the advice on.
    Can people please advise me if they look like marans or more like speckledy crosses please as i didn't realise untill after i had bought them that you can get these speckledys that look quite like them. And then also barred or different patterns.
    Im not too bothered either way what they are but it would be nice to know.
    I was told they are last years chicks and have just started laying.

    This picture shows their markings a little better.

    A bit more information that may help -
    One of the hens has a lot lighter (white) coloured neck than the others, this hen also has slightly feathered feet. I read on the internet that marnas should have 'orange' coloured eyes and the crosses eyes are normally more grey in colour? Is this right..? For this hen her left eye is orange in colour where as her right is grey, cloudy and very very dull. My grandad however seems to believe this is more as a result of an old injury than anything.
    (you can see this eye in the picture below)


    The other two hens are darker in colour and a little smaller.
    They have white legs and both have orange eyes.
    (Picture of one of these)

    Now the eggs are also very confusing.
    1) One of my hens started laying and the first egg i had from her was white!! Not cream..... WHITE!! It was very thin shelled as well. Next day her egg was white with an area the size of a 10p piece completely brown in pigment. The next day the egg was almsot half white/half brown, and the following day was all brown, however the brown is not that dark at all :/ is this at all normal?? I have been told that marans should lay very dark brown eggs from day one? Her eggs are a decent size.
    2) The next hen is laying brown eggs, again quite light in colour though; they are very very very small eggs. I have had bantams that lay bigger eggs!! I have took a picture of them next to my car key as they are that small!
    3) The final hen is laying brown eggs, again quite light brown and very very very small however these eggs are covered in a very dark brown speckled pigment, the colour you would expect the eggs to be.

    Will all of this change in time? A few people to look at my hens have said they think they are marans, however the eggs seem to tell a different story. Do you think they have been crossed somewhere??

    I have attached a link to the pictures as well; i will try add some pictures of the eggs to this - Marans/?start=all

    Any advice appreciated..


  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If the egg color is not a deep, chocolate brown, which I believe must be at least a "4" on the Marans dark egg scale, it is not considered a Marans, even if there is Marans mixed into it's heritage. Your birds look to be my eye, which isn't the best, to be barnyard mixes. The white legs matched with the barring type feathering might lead one to believe Marans breeding, but these could also be BSL or Barred Rock mixes, which is what I suspect they might be. The very light white/beige/tan eggs would certainly disqualify the birds as being Marans. If the coloration does not deepen soon, I think Houston should be alerted that there is a problem. Pullet eggs are small. They do grow larger in a few weeks "practice" laying.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. Spellbound

    Spellbound New Egg

    Feb 11, 2012
    The speckled eggs are about a number 4 on the chart however i would say the others are a little lighter. I will upload some pictures of the eggs soon so you can see what i mean. If they are barred rock mixes or similar will offspring if they breed with my cockeral be of a nice type?? I have been reassured that the cockeral is out of really really dark brown eggs. Thanks for your help.
  4. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 14, 2011
    [​IMG] cuckoo marans with feathered legs
    [​IMG] Gold and silver cuckoo marans (yours appears to be the silver)
    [​IMG]Silver cuckoo marans rooster (urs appears to possably have some wheaten mixed in him with that leakage i see)

    [​IMG] cuckoo marans hen without feathered legs
    [​IMG] cuckoo marans rooster

    urs appear to be pure silver cuckoo marans (i could be wrong though). my guess is they are a very poor quilty marans. the marans i have outside layed a pretty light egg the first couple of times then it darkened up. my best advice is to post this on the marans thread and see what they say about them (you will need to take down your post # and the page # as that thread does move very fast and you might have to repost a couple of times to get ur answer since it does move so fast, i had to do that when i asked about mine)
  5. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    hatchery marans, especially the cuckoos I have been told, do not necissarily lay a deep dark brown colored egg. Pullet eggs hold the record for some of the strangest and oddly sized/colored eggs laid by chickens. They do increase in size (mine are now beginning to lay larger eggs after a month of small eggs). I agree with your grand dad about your girl with the grey eye. Chances are she is blind in that eye.

    If they are of hatchery origin, there is a chance they were crossed with some other breed, or they are just really poor quality pure cuckoo marans. Either way, their egg color and size will even out as they get into the practice of egg laying :)
  6. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR

    Egg color comes from the rooster I believe (at least it does regarding brown vs. blue), so offspring could have darker eggs if he really did come from dark eggs...

    I agree to check on the Marans thread for their opinions of the birds.

    My Cuckoo Marans is a hatchery bird and she lays a 3 egg. My Blue Copper Marans lays a 4, maybe a 5 at times.

    Good Luck.
  7. Spellbound

    Spellbound New Egg

    Feb 11, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your advice. Will transfer the post to the Marans thread and see what else people think. Thanks again.
  8. TulsaChick

    TulsaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2013
    I'm in oklahoma and want to buy a Maran hen. Anyone know where I can buy one?
  9. jaybobrenn

    jaybobrenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2013
    SW Oklahoma
    I bought 3 Cuckoos and a Blue at an auction in Newcastle near Oklahoma city.
  10. jaybobrenn

    jaybobrenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2013
    SW Oklahoma

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