Welsummer vs Marans...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by urbanfarmers, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. urbanfarmers

    urbanfarmers Out Of The Brooder

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    Bellevue, Nebraska
    I stumbled upon the Marans, saw their eggs and just KNEW I HAD to have some dark egg layers. Right now we have 2 RIR's that are laying but I REALLY want to add some darker egg layers to my flock. I love the Marans but my husband is partial to the Welsummer. I don't know which breed to get and worse yet who do I get them from??? I have read that you need to know for sure that the eggs are from a good line and that the chicks/chickens are not mixed. How do I know where to buy my eggs/chickens and how do I make sure that the eggs/chickens I purchase are not mixed?? I'm considering hatching my own eggs...we are discussing the incubator we will build...so not sure if I want to buy chickens or eggs. Any hints, tips or suggestions are very much welcomed! Oh, btw, my husbands birthday is coming up so I was considering hatching him some Wellsummers just to be nice! [​IMG]
     
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    I have EE, leghorns, wyandottes, and marans at egg laying age. My marans are the only ones that have slowed down egg production during my HOT HOT HOT summer days.

    I have welsummers that will be laying eggs any day now. . . . I have repeatedly that the welsummers will lay more consistently than the marans.

    So, how many chickens are you allowed ? Why not hatch 1/2 marans and 1/2 welsummers. If you are hatching eggs, odds are good that at least 1/2 will be roos. I am saying this so that you will not be afraid to hatch extra eggs. Mature hens are easy to sale at swaps and craigslist and etc forums. Roos - - - most likely you will end up processing them or giving them away. Rare roos from good bloodlines can be sold easier than other types.

    Welsummers - - - Whitmore farms has a good rep.

    Marans - - Lots of people on the West Coast, but on the EAST coast of the US - - -
    I have heard a few good things about Backwoods poultry.

    I ordered mine from Greenfire farms.
    WARNING - - - He has 2 pens that he pulls chicks and eggs from. One pen is PURE Bev Davis
    The other pen is his experimental pen where he trys to develope a better MARANS.
    You MUST SPECIFIY if you only want Bev Davis line.
    I contacted Bev Davis directly ( she happens to live in South Florida and I live in North Florida).
    She is sending everybody to Green Fire Farms for her birds. She is concentrating on experimenting /
    developing her own lines and is not dealing with the selling part of the business.
    She has contracted with Green Fire Farms to sell her lines.

    Others should join in soon with their experiences. The Marans / Welsummers feud is a long running one.
     
  3. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

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    I'm with Math Ace on this one......why not try hatching some of both. You could watch them grow up and then after they have been laying for a while you can decided which bird better suits you. My guess is that you will fall in love with both.
    My Marans are a little better layers than my Welsummers, but right now I only have 2 Wellie gals laying. Normally the Wellies give me an egg every other day, the Marans will lay almost daily. My Marans are friendlier, the Welsummers aren't what I would call cuddly, but very sweet tempered birds that don't enjoy being picked up and held nearly as much as the Marans.
    As for purchasing chicks/eggs................do your homework and don't be afraid to ask the seller/breeder questions about the history of their birds. There are many many great peeps here on BYC that are dedicated to both breeds that have fabulous birds and can help answer alot of your questions. Good Luck!

    ETA: Welsummers are/can be VERY VOCAL birds, they love to sing the egg song. This may be something to think about if you live where you would be worried about noise. I have a couple of Marans hens that sing the egg song but it is nothing compared to the Wellies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:My welsummers are not at POL, yet. However, they make happy little cooing sounds to each other all the time. They are friendly and slightly stand-offish.

    My MARANS sound like DUCKS. They are very Loud and Very Vocal. They are super friendly - - - almost obnoxiously friendly. When our Marans were younger we called them running dinosuars. They were so funny to watch when they were running from the other side of the coop to get a treat.
     
  5. JustOneMore

    JustOneMore Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not have marans but I do have 2 Wellsummers. Of all of our chickens, they are the least likely to seek affection. They aren't "unfriendly" in an aggressive sense but sometimes I think that if I were to fall off the earth the only thing they would miss is the treats I take out there!

    The Wellies approach us with the rest of the flock but they always stay on the periphery, they are least likely to be stepped on because they're never under foot. [​IMG]

    We have a few chickens of a number of breeds (EEs, NHs, Wyandottes, Australorps) but the Wellies are always together. The others mix and mingle in the yard. While the Wellies will be among them they're rarely more than 4' apart.

    That said, I would happily get more of them next year as I think they are beautiful!
     
  6. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    It is so interesting how different everyone's experience is. We are new to chickens, and ordered just 1-3 hens of 9 different breeds. Our black copper Maran is very quiet and doesn't approach us much, but we only got one, so it is kind of hard to judge. She was adorable and active as a chick, - like a miniature penguin. We have 3 Welsummers. One of them follows me around the entire time I am out in the coop. She lets me pet her, even though we never handle them much.

    I like both breeds. What I really can't wait for, is to see the eggs! I do believe the maran's egg will be darker, but it will be months before I find out.
     
  7. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Be sure to let us know who is LOUDER when they get to POL ( point of Lay) around 5 - 6 months old. All mine were quiet as babies - - - but when they reach POL the true bird shows itself [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I've seen several Welsummer eggs out of Whitmore Farms birds, and they're really nice and dark. Darker than lots of Marans eggs I've seen from good lines.

    I believe they select primarily for egg color (which I like). They have Wellies and Marans. I think they're sold out for 2010, but will certainly have more for 2011.
     
  9. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

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    Quote:Oh yes the wait for your first dark egg can be very..... [​IMG]. Marans eggs are darker than Welsummer eggs, well they are suppose to be anyway. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  10. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Wellsummer eggs are more likely, in my experience to be sort of speckled as opposed to the even color. I liked the color of the Wellsummer eggs better than my Marans because of the speckling. It would be your choice. I think it may be easier to sell eggs for hatching from Marans than Welsummer but if you have no intention of that it does not matter. The Marans market does seem to be filling up a bit so even the selling part may no longer be true.

    I like the size of the Marans they are huge. My Wellsummer eggs were not as big.
     

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