I choose the Marans for the egg color. We have a blue one, she came out of a very dark colored egg. The woman I got mine from told me that the eggs will lighten up some as they reach the end of their laying years.
As with any bird, try to see the parent birds, and the color of eggs the hens are laying. While Black Coppers used to be the go to variety for the darkest eggs, breeders have really improved the colors in other colors as well. Blue Coppers and Wheatens are increasingly getting darker, some darker than the Black Coppers. Just because it is a Black Copper does NOT guarantee a dark egg! Ask to see the parent hens' eggs first! Also, at this time of year, many things can affect egg color. Heat, stress, parasites, worming, molt, end of laying cycle, and change of home will all tend to lessen the egg color, in any variety of Marans.
I am looking for a source of either chicks or eggs, either local (upstate NY) or by mail. Can anyone recommend a reputable source? I'm a newbie and have fallen in love with these lovely dark egg layers. Feel free to pm me if you're not comfortable giving names out on the thread (I'm new here and not sure how these things work yet).
Hi all! Speaking of marans, has anyone here had any experience with maran mutts? I've got a cuckoo maran and assorted hens (NH red, barred, white, and partridge rocks) and am considering hatching out some of the eggs. Will the maran sire genes be likely to result in a darker color at all? And since they're not necessarily heavy egg producers, will that lower production tend to carry over, or would hybrid vigor be likely to offset this? Looking to add a few young 'uns to replace some of my aging hens (and make the flock a bit bigger, of course...)
Twist of Fate, I know my cuckoo originally came from Meyer hatchery and is in fact a cuckoo maran (judging by pinkish-gray legs, stature, and conformation), and he's a big, handsome, healthy boy, but I bought him second-hand and haven't had any direct dealings with Meyer yet beyond visiting their store (very nice, clean facility). So that's all my knowledge on the subject!