Cuckoo they lay really dark eggs???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cjeanean, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I'm looking for some of the chocolate egg layers (LOL, that sounds funny!) and I'm wondering if Cuckoo marans lay the really dark eggs. Also, what's the difference between the Cuckoo and french marans??? Other than the coloring and feathered legs??? And the price? LOL! Is anyone selling Cuckoo maran eggs for hatching??? How much??? Thanks, guys!!!
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    They lay dark dark eggs, but it also depends on where you get them from. There may be some sources where the birds you get are not as pure and may not lay the dark dark eggs. I think the cuckoo and french may be 2 dif colors but dont take that to the bank. I think they would cost about the same as any other chicken [​IMG]
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    They lay dark eggs if you get them from good breeders. Most breeders will brag about their color rating and show pics and the whole nine yards. There are a couple threads about the Marans already, one of the most recent showing several Marans Clubs. Do your research on the breeder and you'll be okay.

    Also, the color of the eggs lighten as the season goes on. So don't expect those best colors to be laid all season long.

  4. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Cuckoo is a color variety within the breed (there are also copper blacks, wheatens, whites, and several others....). The breed is a breed that originated from France. The French standard calls for, among other things, feathered shanks. There is no such thing as a "French Marans" in terms of variety or color, etc.. It's somehow developed into some sort of mystical variety...[​IMG] When breeders started working with the breed here in the U.S., the gene pool became very limited (it's very hard and very expensive to get eggs from overseas) and so in some cases the breed was crossed with other like breeds (e.g., barred rocks) to keep it going. Two different "versions" developed, the main distinguishing features between the two being clean legged and feather legged. The clean legged are sometimes referred to as being the "American" type and the feather-shanked, the "French" type. I believe that there have been attempts to standardize both types as separate varieties within the variety--or at least, to make both types acceptable within a standard (of course, at this point, the breed is not recognized at all by the APA and there is no official standard here in the U.S. yet).

    So anyway, long story short, someone saying that they have "French Marans" might mean that they are breeding for the French standard (i.e., feather-shanked instead of clean-legged) within the variety (which could be Cuckoo, Copper Black, etc.). Or, they might have some Marans with feathered legs and think that means they have "French Marans" and that that makes them superior birds. Really, quality egg color is the only thing that's going to tell you if you have quality birds or not, and the bird having feathers on its legs isn't going to make it lay a darker egg. Me personally, I like the feathered legs and, being a French breed, I want to breed my birds to meet the French standard as best I can. So I try to breed for feathered shanks, but there are a lot of good genetics (with regard to dark egg color) from Cuckoo breeders who have both feathered and clean-legged birds in their flocks. So I do have a few birds with clean legs. But I have to look at egg color first, and then type. I'm hoping, in a couple of years, to have a flock that breeds true (most of the time) for feathered shanks.

    Egg color is super tricky, and the genetics are not very well understood. Egg color can vary widely from line to line, breeder to breeder, bird to bird within the same flock, and even from the same bird over the course of their laying cycle (like Kim pointed out, the color does lighten up as the bird's laying cycle progresses). Don't expect to get hatchery birds and get great egg color. You might get darker-than-usual eggs, but not by much (in most cases). And just be aware that, even in well-bred birds, the egg color is not going to be consistent. Also, different varieties lay darker eggs than others. Copper Blacks seem to have the best egg color going here in the U.S. (of course, this means they are also the most pricey! [​IMG]). I think that some lines of Wheatens have good dark egg color, too. Cuckoos are the most widespread and easily available variety--this also means that there is a wide variance in quality of egg color. In general, they do not lay as dark an egg as the Black Coppers. However, I think that in a well-bred line of Cuckoos you can get good egg color somewhat consistently.

    I think I posted in that thread Kim was talking about....if I can find it again I'll post you the link here. There was some good info there. And some pictures of eggs.

    Here it is! It was only a few posts down... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Hatchery marans will lay you a darker than normal egg but you won't get the deep dark coloring like from a breeders marans.
  6. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Here are some cuckoo marans eggs pipped that I bought to hatch this spring. They are not really dark, but compare them to the red star pullet eggs in the next photo. On my computer the colors are fairly accurate.


  7. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Good job Crunchie, not much left to say. Just do your homework,read up on the breed and know what your purpose is. If you are thinking of selling eggs or birds,remember establishing your own line is a slow process and you will have to invest money in birds from good breeders and you will have to select birds that are as close to the standard as you can get. If you just want dark eggs for your own use,you don't have to be so picky.
    here is a pic of some of my eggs(the darker ones in the pic)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  8. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    I am informed now [​IMG] Crunchy nice job! [​IMG]

    "mystical breed [​IMG]" ye [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Informed, or just bored?? [​IMG] I just looked at that post again and thought, "man are you long-winded!" My fingers type faster than my brain, I get a bit, um, carried away sometimes. [​IMG]

    OK, well, just to add to any confusion and muddy the waters a bit more, I just learned something new today about the origins of the Marans here in the U.S. In case anyone is as obsessed over detail as I am. [​IMG] Apparantly most of the Marans here in the U.S. came from France by way of England. The breed had taken a hard hit in numbers and had mostly already lost the feather-shanked trait--feathered shanks is a trait that we (and the Brits) have been breeding back in ever since, I suppose in an attempt to bring the birds back to the French standard.

    I'm really not too informed on the history and the origins of the breed, but I did pick up this little tidbit of info up today and found it interesting. Makes the "French" Marans all the more mystical. [​IMG]

    I agree with Gina that it takes time to establish your own flock of Marans. I've had these birds for a couple of years, but I still don't consider them "mine". I have passed along a few eggs here and there, and I'll do so again in the near future (if my broody girls cooperate! [​IMG]), but they aren't "my" line. I have to give props to the breeders that I got my stock from, they put a lot of time, effort and money into those birds. I think maybe in another year or two I might have a group of birds that I can call my own. [​IMG]

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