Your thoughts on my system please


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 31, 2012
I am wanting to raise Breed Standard Black Copper Marans. Here are my thoughts/questions:

I am going to buy straight run chicks and pick my stock out of that. Once they hatch and grow some, I can then sex them and sort all the roosters out. My thoughts are at this point all the roosters except the best two or three need to get put into their own coop or broiler barn per say.

From there, the pullets need sorted. I need to sort out the ones that are breed standard and put them in one run with the best roosters for the purpose of producing breeding standard Marans.

The non standards will then have their own run with no roosters. As the "standard" pullets start to lay, I can then further cull the hens out by egg size, weight, or offspring defect.

I would like to sell chicks but I am sitting here thinking to myself, back yard breeders aren't necessarily interested in the chicken being breed standard so am I safe to assume that I need a fourth coop for reproducing non-standard Marans for selling for just the brown eggs/ egg size?

Or am I over analyzing this? I feel there will be more money to be made on standard chickens than back yard chickens per piece but collectively more money made on back yard chicks.

(For all those who think I am money oriented, I want a hobby that actually pays for itself for once...)
I would just keep the standard ones. You can also sell eggs on ebay. I think people will pay more on there if they know they are from standard flock.
I'm not understanding the value of intentionally reproducing the non-standard Marans. It costs you the same in feed to keep them as it does the breed standard birds while the chicks and hatching eggs are worth less. AND, if you only keep the best of what you produce, you'll still have plenty of culls to sell off from your breeding flock to folks desiring backyard birds.
Here. Let me try to explain it this way. I get 100 chicks. Right off the top 50% are roosters. So from there I have 50 females. I put them in their own run with the three best roosters. From there, not knowing the stock I am getting, assume 80% are "defective" in some way or another. These go into a separate pen to sell out to the backyarders and lay "eating" eggs. Now the 10 standard Marans are laying an incubator full every 4-5 days. Those stay with me. And that gives me 2-3 days to produce hatching eggs. From this point fast forward. I am hatching 125-200 birds a month. I gotta keep sorting them out to find the standard ones so i will always have the culls or non standards. Does this make more sense or is there an easier way? Culls or non standards will lay eggs at maturity correct? Figured if im gonna have them, might as well put them to use if they are laying before they get sold. How would you run this operation debid? I am wanting around 100 laying hens that are breed standard. I gotta work my way up though in my mine.
I think you might have better luck putting an Easter Egger/Ameraucana/etc roo in with the non-standards and developing and selling some nice olive eggers than selling non-standard Marans.

ETA: you will have to consider your reputation if you intend to sell good quality Marans. I can see many scenarios in the future where you have a pool of poor-quality birds and high-quality birds--what if somebody gets some birds second hand with your name attached and they are expecting good birds, but get the culls?
Last edited:
So mixed breeds will sell better than a single breed that is non conformant?
So mixed breeds will sell better than a single breed that is non conformant?
Olive-colored eggs are desireable for some folks (just like chocolate brown or blue eggs are) and the only way to get a bird that lays olive eggs is by crossing. It's a different market of buyers than the ones who want breed-conformant birds so they might show them. I know there are a number of folks on BYC who breed Marans and Ameraucanas and also offer Easter Eggers (Ameraucana culls) and olive-eggers to add diversity to their offerings.

IMO, you really need to do some market research to know what's selling in your area, how much people are charging, etc. before you'll know what it will take to make a profit at this. I'd suggest reaching out on the breeder's board since your questions are not really about coop building and more about running a breeding operation.
So mixed breeds will sell better than a single breed that is non conformant?

I think it all depends on the area you live and your plan for selling them. For example, in my neck of the woods, people DO NOT care for and will not buy "Show" chickens. They don't care about the "rare" breeds. They don't care about "bloodline", etc. The ONLY thing they care about are egg producing chickens and meat for their family. The popular breeds and best selling chickens in my area (and I can only speak for where I live and my customer base) are:

1. Barred Rocks
2. Rhode Island Reds
3. Buff Orpingtons
4. Black Australops

The only colored egg they care about is brown. If I sold the different colored eggs (blue, pink, green, etc.) I would LOSE customers and go out of business. I WILL NEVER buy any chickens other than brown layers.

As far as mixed breed/pure breed, my customer base does not care. They are not in it to make a profit. They only are looking to feed their families.

So you may take a look at your area and see what your customers may want and go from there. Hope that helps.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom