Marans as a Dual Purpose (cold weather) Breed

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Hozer, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Hozer

    Hozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    Excuse another marans thread (but I'm guaranteed to get a few responses).

    I just butchered 2 5-month old black copper roosters and I was impressed by 3 things:

    1. I was amazed by how many feathers these guys had. They seem to have twice the feathers as my other breeds (Welsummers & Ameraucanas).

    2. They had nice thick, white skin.

    3. They are a heavier, meaty bird and had more fat on them.

    The down side is all those feathers made for difficult plucking and seemed to be held in tighter. I ended up skinning them due to all the pin feathers.

    These birds also seem to be more cold weather hardy. When it is raining and blowing, I look out at the pen and I see a few birds out in their run and I know it is the B/C. They always seem to be the ones out.

    I live in Alaska, so that is an important factor.

    A woman I know says they will come out down to about 20 below. I also know 2 people with coocoo marans and they say the same thing...their birds stay out all winter.

    So far it is pretty promising....I kinda threw them in my order as a lark ($10.00 a chick lark).

    It remains to be seen how well they lay.

    Another odd side note, I obviously had too many roosters and they were pestering the hens to where they were staying in the coop, but the Marans hens were always out.....go figure???
     
  2. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I breed Marans; we're in Minnesota. I don't suppose it's as cold here as Alaska but it's horribly cold anyway. It got down to -33C for a while last winter (I don't know what that is in fahrenheit without a calculator).
    I haven't let our marans out in the dead of winter; even so the males get frost bitten combs, other than that they seem hardier than our orpingtons. They feather out, come into lay & generally mature, pretty fast for a purebreed. Considerably faster than Orpingtons & some of the heavier breeds.
    My darkest egg laying hens are not highly productive, I tend to get about 3 eggs per week peak from them. However I have some Marans hens which lay a, huge, shiny, perfectly respectably copper coloured egg almost ever day for reasonably long periods.
     
  3. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Hozer, thank you!!!!!!!! Sometimes its like pulling teeth to get info like that. I really wanted that info too.

    I have some Roos that will be heading out soon and I am glad to know it will be worth the time and effort. I will skin them thanks to you.
     
  4. Hozer

    Hozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    I suppose at the current prices most people aren't butchering too much.

    I posted locally to give B/C Marans roosters away...no takers.

    I guess I'm learing about roosters. In the future I'll probably skin them all. They are all stringy...even at 5 months. It's not like you are going to roast them. About 4 to 5 hours in the crock pot on high. Everyone likes my chicken and dumplings.

    I need to practice caponizing...but you don't know how they are going to look until it is too late.

    I did manage to stash one blue and one black/copper locally with the ability to breed back later.

    I would have a much harder time culling a hen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  5. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    About 4 to 5 hours in the crock pot on high.

    After cooking in the crock pot they shred well & make go nicely to make chicken & veggie pie.​
     
  6. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Mar 3, 2008
    [​IMG]

    (Next time you have birds to pluck, bring them up here and use the plucker... [​IMG] )
     
  7. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    That's a long way for me to go to use your plucker... just kidding I know you didn't mean me. LOL

    Hozer, did you age your Roo in the fridge for a couple days? I know that helps and I really think that the ACV in the water that I use to cool them off in helps too. Just a guess.
     
  8. McSpin

    McSpin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    My cuckoo marans grew fast, feathered well, started laying early and appear very hardy, but they have large combs that will likely get frostbite and they eat chicken feed like pigs. For cold weather, dual purpose I much prefer my wyandottes. They seem completely unaffected by the cold and their combs are more suited for it. They also grew faster than my marans on less feed.
     
  9. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Good morning McSpin, thanks for the info. Are they Columbian Wyandottes? Do they lay during the winter?
     
  10. Hozer

    Hozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    Quote:They did sit in the fridge for a day or 2. Either way, I have learned roos are only good for boiling. My previous experience is with cornish-cross and I guess my expectations were off. I have also been the the local "hatchet man" on occasion for women with old chickens they want to get rid of. The old roos aren't worth bothering with in my opinion...nothing but skin and bones.

    My wife is Chinese and she is used to buying her chickens live, paying someone a buck or 2 to butcher it and cooking it right up for soup. Her mother will come up the stairs to her appartment with a live chicken in a bamboo cage in each hand and you are eating chicken dinner later that night. They eat everything fresh and are used to killing their dinner. My wife couldn't do it, so she paid someone to butcher the bird. It is quite cheap and they are really fast. That's all they do for a living....butcher chickens. So my wife wanted me to just kill a rooster whenever we wanted chicken soup. We found out they are too tough and she had to boil them longer...plus, I needed to get rid of them for the hen's sake. So, I would kill a batch and freeze them in halves for soup later.

    One of these days I will have to post a thread about chickens in China. I only saw 2 kinds....silkies and another breed that looked a little like RIR...maybe dual purpose.

    Tori (Mrs. AK Birdbrain), thanks for the offer. The little polish you gave me are fine. On ACV, vitamins, and scratch treats. Still in their own tractor and getting special attention from my daughter.

    The Russians near us set up a plucker like a grinding wheel and rub off the feathers.

    We better be careful, or they will move this thread to the meat chicken section.
     

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