The preferred egg-layer of Julia Child (and James Bond), Marans are famous for their chocolate-colored eggs. We raise the Black Copper variety, and we breed them to the French standard that keeps feathered shanks.
We have experimented with raising Marans from a few different popular lines, and our newest pen is an absolutely stunning breeding group from APA Grand Master Skip Bittner. So far, his have had the best personalities, and we hope to form a second pen with some more of his birds in 2024.
We select for both SOP and egg color here, with SOP having the edge. Egg color varies from season to season, but if one of our hens ever lays lighter than a 4 on the color scale, we pull her from our breeding pen.
We removed photos of the Marans and eggs from our previous groups and didn’t think to take any of this Skip batch as eggs or chicks, so we’ll update as they grow and produce eggs & offspring!
Marans lay on average 200 medium-large dark chocolate brown eggs per year.
Marans hens weigh about 6.5lbs and roosters weigh about 7.5lbs.
Marans are very cold hardy and have feathered legs for a little extra protection. Their giant, glorious combs are VERY prone to frostbite, though. They and our Welsummers are always the first to get hit with it, no matter how clean & dry & ventilated our coops are.
Marans hens occasionally go broody, but it's not something they're known for. We've never had a broody one here yet.
Marans prefer to free range and are excellent at it, but they are also content locked in a run. They're very calm and easygoing birds!
So far, all of our Marans have been sweet. The hens are VERY submissive! Some people say that the roosters can be aggressive, but we haven't noticed that yet at all. If we did, we would cull hard! We do not want to pass on aggressive genetics in our birds, even if they're gorgeous or lay the darkest eggs in the history of eggs.