For centuries, Marans chicken has been prized for its unique combination of history, characteristics, and variety. From its origins in the marshlands of France, this intriguing breed of chicken has a distinct appearance, behavior, and even specific colors. This article will provide an overview of the complete history of the Marans chicken, its characteristics, behavior, and feeding habits. We’ll conclude by providing an overview of the recognized varieties of the Marans chicken and its colors. So if you’re looking to learn more about the Marans chicken, then keep reading to unlock the secrets of this unique breed!
Origin and Characteristics of Marans Chicken
Marans chickens are a breed of bird native to the marshlands of western France. They have a long history that dates back to the 1800s when they were first selectively bred. Although they have been bred for many different purposes, they are most well known for their stunning and unique dark chocolate-brown eggs.
The distinctive and striking color of their eggs is due to the specific pigment that their bodies produce, which is known as omber. This pigmentation is highly sought after and is large compared to other breeds. Marans chickens have a vivid pattern of black and white feathers, with white feathers on their back and wings and black feathers on their head, neck, and chest, making them quite attractive.
Their bodies are quite powerful and muscular, and they have an unusual, upright posture that makes them stand out among other breeds. They are generally calm and gentle birds but can become easily frightened if startled. This can make them a bit messy in the coop, but with the right kind of handling, they can make excellent pets.
The Marans breed is also known for its excellent egg-laying capabilities. These birds are reliable layers, producing around 150-200 eggs each year. The eggs are dark brown and often have a speckled pattern, known as cuckoo speckles. Depending on the variety of Marans, the eggs can range in color from rich deep chocolate to a light reddish brown.
Marns Quick Info
- Uses: Utility. Dark egg-laying sex-linked hybrid production.
- Origin: Marans, France.
- Eggs: 160 – 210 Dark Brown.
- Weight: Cock: 3.6 Kg. Hen: 3.2 kg.
- Bantam Cock: 500 – 550g, Hen: 400 – 450g.
- Colors: Black, Dark Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Silver Cuckoo (Standardised), Black-Tailed Buff, Brown Red (Copper Black), Copper Blue, Silver Black (Birchen), White, Wheaten, and Columbian (Ermine) (non-standardized).
- Useful to Know: Cuckoo Marans hens can be mated with an unbarred cock to produce sex-linked hybrid offspring.
Marans Chicken Varieties
Marans chickens come in many varieties. The most popular varieties include the Copper Black Marans, the Birchen Marans, the Cuckoo Marans, the Black Copper Marans, and the White Marans. All Marans chickens share many common characteristics, such as a black body and feathering, except for the White Marans who have white feathers. Depending on the variety, the Marans can have a single comb or rose comb. All varieties of the Marans chicken have a feathered shank and a unique slate-colored eggshell.
Behavior of Marans
Marans chickens are known to be friendly and calm, making them an ideal poultry choice for backyard hobbyists. Marans can be identified by their soft, tawny feathers, and they’re also known to be quite curious and quite active birds. Marans chickens also have a distinctively strong character and possess a get-up-and-go attitude, making them easy to train.
As far as their behavior is concerned, they tend to be social and will congregate in small groups when given the chance. Marans are not known to be particularly aggressive and generally get along well with other poultry birds, such as bantams. However, it’s important to note that Marans are also quite protective of their much-loved eggs, which can be an issue if you’re raising other breeds of poultry in the same location.
Marans are also relatively quiet birds. While they will certainly make noise – crowing, clucking, and other typical chicken noises – they are not particularly loud and won’t cause much of a disturbance for neighbors. This makes them ideal for those who live in urban or suburban neighborhoods.
Overall, Marans chickens are known to be hardy, friendly birds with a lot of personalities. They are relatively low-maintenance birds and can provide years of enjoyment for backyard hobbyists.
Feeding of Marans Chicken
The recommended diet for Marans Chicken should include the following components: a high-quality layer feed that is nutrient-rich and provides optimum nutrition, a freshwater source, high-quality treats, and supplemental feed.
To encourage laying, introduce layer feed just before the onset of lay. Many commercial layer feeds include all the necessary nutrients for optimum egg production. Additionally, you should consider offering supplemental feed like fermented grains, cooked whole grains, cooked legumes, cooked potatoes, and cooked noodles for additional vitamins and minerals.
Make sure you provide the Marans with constant access to clean, fresh water- particularly during warm weather- for proper hydration. If a water dispenser is not available, then you should consider checking it several times a day.
High-quality treats should also be offered from time to time. These could include mealworms, small insects, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. You can also offer them a mix of various treats as long as it is not overly fatty or sweet.
Finally, there are some steps to take to encourage the best egg production. Ensure the hen has up to 16 hours of light a day to prompt her to lay. Also make sure she is provided with nesting boxes and calm environments to encourage laying. Furthermore, feed her a balanced and nutritious diet to support overall health and egg production.
Overall, the key to feeding Marans Chicken is offering them a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes commercial layer feed, fresh water, treats, and supplemental feed. This approach is essential for optimal health, peak egg production, and superior egg quality.
Questions About Marans Chicken
Why are black copper Marans so expensive?
Marans hens are bred by selecting the hens that produce the most pigment over the longest period. This makes the breeding process very expensive, and in turn, makes Marans chickens and eggs expensive. Additionally, the dark coloration of the egg is tied to the genetics of the bird.
Are black copper Marans aggressive?
The Black Copper Marans are known to be calm and gentle, making them generally accepting of humans and other animals. Black Copper Marans have the genes of naturally adventurous and aggressive gamecocks, so occasionally they tend to be confrontational.
What color are copper Maran eggs?
Cooper Marans lay dark brown eggs.
Do all Marans lay dark eggs?
Marans hens will lay different shades of eggs in the same year. Egg color is at its darkest during the cooler months, and it fades when temperatures increase during the summer. Other factors, such as stress or a location change, will also cause hens to lay lighter-colored eggs.
What Marans lay the darkest eggs?
The Black Copper Marans, the most common color variation, are almost all black, with a touch of gold on their necks, and lightly feathered shanks and toes. They have a bright red single comb and red to orange eyes. This variety lays the darkest of the dark brown eggs.
Are Maran chickens good egg layers?
On average, a hen will give you around 3 eggs/week, which works out to around 150-200 eggs/year. This means that the Maran is an average layer in quantity, but the egg’s quality is said to be unsurpassed. The hens’ are said to be good setters and mothers but not overly broody.
What age do Marans start laying?
On average, young female chickens start laying eggs or “come into lay” around 6 months of age. Some chickens may start laying eggs as early as 16 to 18 weeks old, while others may take upwards of 28 to 32 weeks (closer to 8 months old)!
Marans Chickens are a delightful dual-purpose bird that has been around for centuries. With their unique dark-chocolate-colored eggs, their sweet and friendly nature, and their variety of recognized colors, Marans Chicken holds a very special place in the world of poultry. By learning about their history, characteristics, varieties, and care, you can bring this unique breed into your life and flock, and enjoy the benefits of having this remarkable breed for years to come.
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