Marans?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by doubleatraining, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now my layers are 2 bantam RIR, 1 BO, 1 BA, and 1 mix.

    Tomorrow I'm picking up a Black Copper Maran hen. She is a year old and a very reliable layer.

    The man is also giving me 20+ roosters for "Camp Kenmore". There will be a few BCM and Cuckoo Maran in there. I plan on picking out a nice rooster and keeping him with my hens.

    The plan is to eat the eggs but when I have a hen go broody...I will let her hatch out the chicks and then they will head towards "Camp Kenmore". I think this will be a good substitute in between my Cornish X batches.

    I plan on letting them grow out for 20-24 weeks.

    Thoughts? Feedback? Experience with these guys?
     
  2. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is what I plan on doing too. I have an incubator though.
     
  3. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No experience yet with processing Marans, but I have 5 BCM hens and a big BCM roo I'll be breeding for dual purpose birds to put in the freezer next year. The birds I have are all a good size and I hear good eating! 16-24 weeks sounds about right, depending on the size of the birds you have.
     
  4. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I processed a Cuckoo Marans roo at about 22 weeks old a few weeks ago. I didn't keep the wings and he dressed out at 3.5 pounds, skinned. A lot less than I anticipated, but then I am a rank newbie and this was my first cull. He did have an ever so slight misalignment of his beak so I attribute some of his lightness to that. In any case, his legs are a great size. The breasts, to me, look quite small but all I am used to is store bought birds. Can't tell you anything about the flavor cuz he's still staying at Camp Samsung at a balmy 8 degrees [​IMG] .
     
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Black Copper Marans, good sized ones, are excellent birds to breed, have eggs from, and especially eat. They're way bigger than your average chicken, and grow faster than show-line heritage birds.


    Although I've dropped breeding Black Coppers as a purebred breed, I've still kept my biggest girls for cross-bred meat birds. Marans x true Araucanas make some wonderful meat birds. [​IMG]
     
  6. TDM

    TDM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I have about 40 Cuckoo and 25 BCM hens primarily for commercial egg production. People seem to like the novelty of the dark eggs.

    I also replenish my laying stock internally. As a result of hatching my own stock, about half are unwanted roosters that I grow out for my freezer. At the age you mention, the marans should dress out about four pounds carcass weight including giblets. I use 145 degree F scald water, and can completely pluck and process a rooster in under 15 minutes by hand.

    Two things I learned:

    1) A marans rooster doesn't fry up on the barbeque well. It was kind of dry due to being very lean.

    2) If you have a lot of young males, keep them away from the hens when they become sexually mature. They will gang up and rip the scalp off a hen trying to copulate with her, which is lethal to the hen.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great thanks for the advice.

    I have 7' long above the ground grow out pens for everyone going to freezer camp. [​IMG]
     
  8. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised Black Copper Marans last year and butchered the extra roosters. There seemed to be a high rooster to hen ratio. I didn't think much of the meat either. Too lean for the barbeque and not that much meat to begin with. I think next time I will just cull when they are chicks, as soon as I can identify the roosters. I spent a lot of time and money feeding a bunch of scrawny roosters and didn't get much quality meat. I'd rather feed Cornish Xs for 6 weeks on and have a nice broiler or fryer. The up side of the story is that I did have plenty roosters to chose from to be the new rooster. I probably would eliminate some of the aggressive ones earlier though. I also had the issue of hens getting gang raped when the males started reaching maturity.
     
  9. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad there's a forum on meat birds. I've also got some spare Wheaten Marans cockerels and am planning on butchering them in the middle of next month. I've butchered Australorps before and did those at about 5 months. I lost track of their week age because I had a few batches that hatched over the course of a month and just kept all of the cockerels together. They came out great. As someone already mentioned, excellent thighs and legs. The Marans I have are a good bit lighter than the Australorps were at the same age, so I'm planning on doing them at about 5 1/2 months to fatten them up a bit. Home butchered chicken is a bit tougher than store bought, but a bottle of beer and four hours in the crockpot makes them nice and tender. When you butcher yours, will you post an update? I might adjust my schedule based on what you find.
     
  10. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely. Right now I have roosters that were given to me so keeping track of their exact age is going to be tough.

    Here is the rough draft of my "Meat bird" plan.

    About 2x year split an order of Cornish X with my neighbor.

    Rooster: BCM

    Hens:1 BCM, 1 CM, 1 BA, 1 BO, few batnam mixes.

    The CM is a known super broody. I'll let her raise as she wants and then either sell the hens or add them to freezer camp too. I think some of the BCM/BA and BCM/BO roosters will turn out to be decent crossses for the table.

    Eventually I would like to try a Cornish/BCM cross.
     

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