I have 5 white and 3 black marans, two of the blacks are12 mos old and one only 5.5 mos. The 5 whites include one 11.5 mo old, one 10 mo old and three 6 mos old. The two 12 mos old hens started laying around 9 mos of age, the white 11 mo old started laying at 10 mos of age and the 10 mos old recently began. The five and 6 mo old marans still have pale pink coombs that are immature. The 11 and 10 mo pullets have red coombs now but still small. The pullet eggs when they start to lay are with an almost normal size yolk just less white. Also when they first begin to lay the eggs are lighter and grow darker as the hen matures the ovaduct where the last stage of making the egg is laying down the color. The better the line the darker the eggs and many have darker spots and markings. The mature hen lays a large egg that is difficult to close the carton on. Coloration markings of each marans egg will vary but the eggs should be very dark coppery brown to chocolate. My marans hens lay and average of 6 eggs a week. I bought my marans from a show breeder who sells his birds that he isn't going to show for reasons such as the tail is too pinched or the feet are not feathered heavily enough. He states that the marans mature much later than other breeds and shouldn't expect them to lay until about 10 mos of age. He raises only white and black marans and showlines are a heavier bird than commercial birds and this is why. He also raises and shows black orpingtons and white orpingtons these being as large as a hen turkey. There again they are a showline and can't be compared to the commercials. The temperament is calm and friendly but they do stand their ground in the order as I have also australorps and RIRs. I can honestly say that these are my favorites, THE PRISSY CHICKENS, who look like they are walking in feathered mules and hold themselves so elegantly.