marans eggs question


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 19, 2008
Loudoun County, VA
Hi, Im new to this forum. Im thinking of getting some marans for their dark eggs and to possibly breed. Does one variety lay a darker egg than another? The copper black eggs I see on ebay are much darker and much more expensive than others. Ive been searching for info on this but can't find an answer. Any info on this would be appreciated.
i've only had experience with the cuckoos,so I can't say much about the difference in breeds. I will say this, the egg color can vary greatly with the same hen. Most of the time, the really dark eggs occur occasionally throughout the laying cycle. Most hens lay lighter or darker,depending on how long their cycle lasts. When mine first started this year,I was really disappointed,but not too long later the darker eggs began. For the last few weeks they have been laying up a storm and last week I noticed the eggs were lighter. Then I got fewer eggs for a few days and now they are getting darker again.
Thanks for the info. Yes I did try searching the forum but didnt find that thread. Ill look more carefully. two more questions:

Ginasmarans: are the lighter eggs you get from your marans still darker than an average brown egg? Where would they fit on the darkness scale?

Im also reading about welsummers. How do their eggs compare with marans eggs?

Thanks -Kurtis
Typically the good lines of Copper Blacks lay a darker egg than other varieties. But, like Gina said, it can vary greatly--and it does vary even from the same hen. I have Cuckoos, and the same hen can lay very different eggs from day to day! The hen's egg canal is kind of like a paint chute, the color gets deposited on the outside of the egg after the egg has been formed. I mostly get decently colored eggs, but every now and then I get one that seems to have missed the "paint" part of its production!The goal for most breeders is to get not only the darker eggs, but to try to get some consistency in the color.

Here's the link to the French Marans egg color chart: This will give you an idea of what people mean when they say, for example, that they have eggs that are a "5-7" on the color chart.

I think (someone else will come along who knows better than me) that Welsummers don't lay an egg as dark as some Marans can, but there is a lot more consistency in the color of Welsummer eggs. The Welsummer eggs that I have seen seem to be about a 4 or 5 on the Marans scale, and a little more brown in color (Marans typically have a russet or red tint to the egg).
Thanks crunchie, thats exactly the info I wanted. I also heard that since the marans color is painted on it can be washed off. How easily does the color come off and is this also true of the welsummers?
I don't know about the Welsummers, but you can scratch the color off of a Marans egg. I think you'd have to do some real scrubbing to wash it doesn't come off that easily...but if the eggs get rolled around in the nexting box, say, you will see the scratches on the egg. It really is like a coating of paint!

I've gotten a few weird eggs that missed the "paint" entirely (or just have a spattering of speckles over it) and those have looked just like your ordinary brown egg as far as darkness goes. But on a day-to-day basis, even the lightest of my Cuckoo eggs is much darker than your typical egg. I'd say the lightest "normal" Marans egg I've gotten has been a 4, with 5 being average--and the occasional 6. But this is my hens' second year of laying, so it is to be expected that they will be lighter. Their first year I got mostly 6s and 7s. There's a pic on my Marans page on my web site. Wish they laid like that all the time! But that's part of what makes the breed challenging. Another bit of Marans trivia: if a hen doesn't consitently lay a "4" on the Marans chart, it's not a Marans (and should not be used for breeding) no matter what her parentage is.

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