Marans question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by walkswithdog, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you were buying:

    Black Copper

    Black

    or

    Cuckoo Marans

    What lines would you look for a good bird from, a great bird from?

    Which websites/clubs are reliable?

    If I'm going to buy eggs, best sources?

    I won't be buying until LATE next year. I'll let the market finish freaking out for a bit. It may be odd in the midst of all the hoorah over egg color and high prices but I actually just like the look of the birds. I'm an odd egg that way [​IMG]
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    There are many really good lines; I'd suggest joining this forum if you are serious about the breed:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marans_Chicken_Club/

    On
    the forum, there is a database of folks selling specific breeds (hatching eggs/birds), and folks LOOKING for specific breeds.

    Any reputable breeder should be willing to send you an egg sample of their eggshells; or, at the very least, to provide pictures and information of their birds, eggs, breed lines, etc.

    Good luck - I think you're smart not to jump on the bandwagon, so to speak, right now! There's been lots of folks selling really nice hatching eggs this year; so, I would assume that next year, hatching eggs will be less expensive. [​IMG]
     
  3. MNKris

    MNKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In general, Black Coppers will give you the best egg color. That isn't aways so, but in general.


    So good breeders;
    http://www.bevsmarans.com
    http://home.earthlink.net/~kdoctor1/


    Join the Marans Club of America and dark egglayers yahoo groups for starters.

    I have chickens from several different breeders. The questions to ask are

    "How dark are your eggs on the French egg chart". Look for at least a 4, preferably a 5 or 6. If they say they have 8-9s they are probably lying through their teeth.

    "What lines are they from?" Hatchery birds are gentle, nice, not dark layers. I can tell you that from experience as well. Most are just darker than a RIR, say a 2 or 3 on the egg sale.

    "What size, shape, quantity does the parent flock lay"? You can get good marans that lay large eggs, but if they lay high quanities, the egg is likely to be a lighter egg. From my experience the really dark layers only lay 3-4 eggs/week. It takes that much time to get the dark coating on the egg. Marans eggs should also be nearly round, making it hard to tell point from base. You should be able to tell, but it shouldn't be as easy as say a RIR.

    "How big are the birds, and what is their conformation like?" One of the common problems I have seen in marans is their legs can be too close together.

    "Feathered shank or Featherless shank?" Makes a difference. French - feathered, English - non feathered. Pick your preference...Most people are shooting for feathered shanks.

    You shouldn't have to pay the rediculous prices people are asking for the marans eggs. If you are lucky, you will get 8-9 to hatch out of 12. I have seen them go for $460/dozen. That's $51/chick. Let's say you get 4 hens, eikkkk!!! That's over $100/layer!!!

    The last thing I can say, is ask for references. I paid $240 for bad eggs. I hatched 5 out of 29 from one group and 3 out of 26 on another - two different "breeders". A lot of the eggs were dirty, odd shaped, and odd sized. I think some people knowingly send bad eggs out because they are fetching such a good price. When I asked them about it, it was "Too bad so sad. Sucks to be you". I decided to go with a true breeder and I hatched out 9 of 12. Go figure. I learned my lesson there. It pays to get on a good waiting list, and wait...

    Edited to add...If you are interested in eggs for next year, get on the breeder's waiting lists now. The waiting lists can be a year long or more...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the website. I went and joined. [​IMG] I enjoy learning. I'm so not interested in the fad, but the chickens are gorgeous.

    All the darkness of the eggs thing aside, some of the black coppers, blue coppers, blacks and cuckoos I've seen are really pretty birds. For me it wouldn't be so much about egg color as well bred, consistency toward the standard. Which LOL I already know, makes me WRONG. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I don't mind. I'm wrong often enough.

    But since I'm in an ongoing marathon rebuild of a partridge rock flock, I'd rather simplify things and just buy into good marans.
     
  5. MNKris

    MNKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The thing to understand is that the egg color IS part of the Marans standard. If your flock can not consistantly lay at least a "4" on the color scale, it is not a true marans, regardless of its parents. Check out the French Marans website for more info...
     
  6. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the egg is important to the standard and I do mean to adhere to it, I try to read as much as possible. And the dark eggs are attractive. I just think after that whole marans thread that the chickens themselves are more attractive than the eggs. Did I say that right?

    I know they only exist because they lay the super dark eggs. A real case of what came first, the chicken or the egg. Because appearance of the chicken followed the production of the egg.

    But I really like the look of the birds. For me it's the chicken before the egg. But they're both neat.
     
  7. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with alot of what Wynette recommended. Good thoughts.

    One thought is that if you like the Cuckoos, they are available and are very inexpensive and lay gorgeous eggs. You could find ones now if you wanted to have dark eggs.

    Glad you joined the yahoo group. There is lots of excellent information there.

    Good luck!!!!!!![​IMG]
     
  8. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    there is a seller whose initials are the same as Recreational Vehicle that sells on ebay and his flock has the slow feathering gene... buyer beware
     
  9. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:[​IMG] this took me a minute (but I promise not more than that). Good to know, didn't know *they* sold on ebay. hmmmm I won't ebay marans, I think it's a rip-off. There are enough good people willing to share for reasonable prices if you are willing to wait a little while [​IMG] . I agree, time to get on lists now

    Krista
     
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really appreciate all the information. I won't be buying a recreational vehicle on ebay, thanks for that heads up. I thought a wait list was more appropriate glad to know it makes sense.

    Fast production of eggs isn't what I wanted and it makes sense that slower production makes for darker eggs. I'll have BRs and BR crosses for real egg production already.

    Even in rocks a bird with a thin pelvis, narrow hip/leg is a bird that doesn't produce well here, they end up in the meat pen.

    Thank you for specific criteria. I'm torn between the different colors. Black coppers are stop your heart gorgeous but I've seen great blacks and great cuckoos... Hard to get on a list when I can't decide. chuckle [​IMG]
     

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