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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jackhowell990, Dec 1, 2011.
Hi, i was curious of how many eggs marans lay and your overall opinions of them.
Mine layed about an egg a day, they are great beautiful birds to have around and my rooster was EXTREMELY friendly
The best egg laying breeds of chickens will lay about 275-300 eggs a year. This would be about 6 eggs for every 7 days. I'd say that a Maran would lay closer to 225-250 eggs a year which would be more like 5 eggs every 7 days. We've only had a few over the years but seemed like good birds to me.
There is a school of thought that suggests that the egg spending a long time in the process coats and re-coats the egg in the dark color that Marans keepers look for. Perhaps then,it is possible that the less frequent the Marans lays, ie; 3 eggs a week, the better the egg coloration. This may also be related to breed purity.
The breed is reported to have been heavily polluted by out breeding. It is possible that a well laying Marans may not be very pure bred, as the standard for the breed is 3 eggs per week, which is only 150 eggs per year. The Marans, at its best, would seem to be much more about quality than quantity.
I am working with a local breeder of BCM his hens lay 1 egg per day(300/yr), very dark eggs even from his 2 yr olds. He doesn't "show" but after reading the boards here and researching the standard's I think his line would do well if he did.
That said, is there a section in "The Standard" that defines how many eggs the hens lay?
I'm new at this and must have missed that.
My three cuckoo Marans hens lay daily. Of the three Black Copper Marans hens, two lay 5-7 days a week. The third BCM has never laid an egg. All of these birds are under a year old. The eggs of the Cuckoos are not dark eggs, just regular brown eggs. Of the two BCMs laying, one lays nice dark eggs, the other ones eggs are a little lighter.
Of the five breeds of birds that I have, the Marans are the easiest to handle with the BCMs being easier/calmer than the Cuckoos. The BCM rooster that I have is a super nice bird. He's never challenged me at all but will come and watch if I pick a hen up and she squawks. He's my avatar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marans: "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. They were originally bred in the marshy areas of France and can cope with damper conditions.
Marans lay around 150 dark brown eggs each year. Marans are an historically dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well."
The Marans standard calls for the bird to be able to lay an extremely dark egg. If a hen cannot lay a #4 quality egg, she isn't considered a Marans. That standard suggests to me that quality, not quantity is goal of the breed. Some evidence suggests that it takes up to 30 hours to produce the dark color. This 30 hours requirement would necessarily prevent high production.
Tim Adkerson wrote a paper here, on Marans Club: http://marans.org/eggreview.pdf
From the Marans Club site comes this statement: "A Marans hen must lay a number four egg or higher for it to be considered a Marans. As the bird lays, the egg may lighten, but goes back to being dark after a rest."
While I'm not the biggest fan of Wiki, since the input is limited to the person that actually enters it(or edits it), I did find the paper listed on the Marans site interesting.
However if I may quote from it;
"It takes most hens over 25 hours to produce an egg; with some hens taking almost as long as 30 hours (Rose, 1997). According to Butcher and Miles (1995), it is during the last three to four hours of the egg production cycle that is the most important with respect to adding the brown pigment to an egg shell."
This is the only point in the paper that mentioned the "30 hours", so once again I can't draw from this evidence that a breeder that has worked on keeping the dark #4 color along with high production doesn't have hens that can and do lay 300 eggs per year.
I think the key is finding those breeders that have accomplished that, if high egg production including the much sought after dark eggs are your goal. It also is a big plus being able to visit that breeder, see their records and hold a warm fresh "dark" egg in your hand
I have some Marans that are pretty good layers right now - maybe 3-4 eggs a week each. The eggs are very dark and these are old hens. A few years back I had some Marans that layed eggs not as dark, and only 1 or 2 a week at most! I sold those ones and swore off Marans until I got these BC Marans from a friend of mine.
My marans lay on the smaller scale but most eggs also look perfect. Every once in a while they seem to have an "eggcident" where the egg shell is a lighter color and the texture of the shell seems different.