The Colorful World of Marans Chickens

Marans

Marans chickens are a breed known for their stunning eggs and unique appearance. With a rich history and a variety of colors to choose from, these rare beauties have captured the hearts of cooking enthusiasts and chefs alike. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Marans chickens and their delicious eggs.

A Blend of Colors: Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans

When it comes to Marans chickens, the Black Copper and Blue Copper varieties stand out. When hatching a dozen eggs from these breeds, you can expect mostly black chicks, with the possibility of a few blue Marans chicks. At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we don’t separate chicks by color, so whether you pick them up or have them shipped, you’ll likely get both colors in your flock.

Champions in the Show Ring

Marans chickens have also made a name for themselves in poultry shows across the country. At the Canadian National Poultry Show in Armstrong, BC in 2017, a Black Copper Marans Cockerel won the prestigious “Best in Breed” award. The breed has also been recognized as the Champion and Reserve Champion at the Continental Fall Featherfest in 2016.

The Quest for Darker Eggs and Beautiful Birds

At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we take pride in continuously improving our Marans flock. In 2018, we focused on breeding for darker eggs, improved shank feathering, and a deeper copper color in our Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans. Through careful selection, we aim to enhance egg color and add more copper into the hen’s hackles. Our goal is to meet the American Poultry Association (APA) standards and produce chickens that are both visually stunning and excellent layers.

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The Mystery of Egg Color

One of the intriguing aspects of Marans eggs is their color. It’s a topic of much debate and often misunderstood. Egg color can vary depending on various factors such as the individual bird, time of year, diet, health, lighting, and management. Marans eggs are not always super dark, as the color is applied to the outside of the shell. The darkest eggs are typically laid by pullets when they start laying or after a molt. The color may fade over time, especially during the summer months or due to other factors like stress or a change in location. However, after a break in laying, the color is recharged, and the cycle begins again. Marans eggs can range from an even brown to spotted and stippled with varying shades of brown.

Shades of Blue: Blue Marans Eggs

While Black Copper Marans eggs are known for their rich color, Blue Marans eggs have their own unique beauty. Slightly lighter or with more spotting, these eggs offer a delightful variation for those seeking something different. At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we also offer White Marans eggs, slightly lighter in color compared to Black Copper Marans. Not only are they visually appealing, but White Marans chickens are known for their calm temperament.

A Taste of History

The Marans breed has a rich history that dates back to the 1920s in the town of Marans, France. Located near the Bay of Biscay, Marans was a port town frequented by trade ships that brought new poultry breeds to the area. These breeds were then crossbred with local chickens, resulting in the Marans chickens we know and love today.

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Rare Beauties in the United States

Although Marans chickens are increasing in popularity, they are still considered rare in the United States. It wasn’t until 2011 that the Black Copper Marans variety was officially recognized as a standard breed in the country. These chickens are highly sought after by gourmet chefs and even made an appearance in the original James Bond novels, where they were the only eggs Agent 007 would eat.

A Unique Combination: Beauty and Utility

Marans chickens are not just prized for their stunning eggs, but also for their overall qualities. These birds have a thin layer of feathering down their legs, which sets them apart from other breeds. They are generally quiet and docile, making them great additions to any backyard flock. Marans chickens take well to free-ranging in rough terrain, are winter-hardy, and have natural disease resistance. In terms of egg production, they lay an impressive number of large to extra-large dark brown eggs, totaling around 150-200 eggs per year. Marans are historically known as a dual-purpose breed, valued not only for their eggs but also for their table qualities.

The Strength of Marans Shells

One interesting feature of Marans eggs is their shell strength. According to the Marans of France club’s website, the shell represents approximately 10% of the egg’s weight. Marans eggs have been found to have stronger shells compared to other breeds, reducing the risk of breakages during transport and allowing for longer storage times. However, due to the lower shell permeability, hatchability may be slightly decreased compared to other breeds, ranging from 5% to 10%.

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Marans Roosters

Conclusion

Marans chickens are a captivating breed that combines beauty, utility, and the joy of colorful eggs. At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we continue to breed Marans chickens of exceptional quality, focusing on egg color, APA confirmation standards, feather coloration, shank feathering, and temperament goals. These rare beauties and their unique eggs are a testament to the dedication and passion we have for our Marans flock. Discover the world of Marans chickens and add a touch of elegance and deliciousness to your own backyard.

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