Marans chicken is a desirable breed because of it’s rich chocolate brown colored eggs. It is a dual purpose breed and raised mainly for it’s unique egg color and beautiful appearance. It was developed in France in the mid 1800s in the town of Marans.
This breed bears it’s name from the town name Marans, where it was developed. Marans chicken was developed by using the local feral chickens descended from fighting game chickens carried from Indonesia and India. The original Marandaise fowl were improved for meat purpose through recombination with imported Croad Langshans.
Marans chicken was first imported into the United Kingdom in the 1930s. It is originally a feather legged breed. But a clean legged variety of the Marans chicken was eventually developed in England through breeding with certain English and French breeds. It was recognized by the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in the year of 2011.
Marans Chicken Characteristics
Marans chicken is a dual purpose breed and known for both of it’s fine meat qualities and extremely dark eggs. They grow large enough to be used for meat production as well as for eggs.
On an average, Marans hens produce about 150-200 eggs per year. There are many color varieties available of Marans chicken. The recognized colors in the French Standard are Black, Black Copper, Birchen, Black-tailed Buff, Columbian, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Wheaten and White. Cuckoo and Black Copper are the most common of all these breeds.
Black Copper Marans appears in black with copper feathers on the neck. And Cuckoos are of barred feathers, giving a black and white speckled appearance. There are also some other colors exist which are not officially recognized. Such as Blue, Blue Copper and splash.
This breed should have orange eyes. The shanks are usually slate or pink, the soles of the feet should always be white as Marans have white skin, not yellow. They have red colored single comb and red wattles.
The English standard of Marans chicken calls for clean legs, the Australian standard recognized both feathered and clean-legged, the Marans Club of America only recognizes feather-legged birds and the French standard calls for feathered legs.
On an average, Marans roosters weight about 3.5-4 kg and hens about 2.5-3 kg. There is also a bantam variety available of Marans chicken (male about 1100 grams and female about 900 grams). Photo form Wikipedia.
Marans chickens are a fast growing breed and extremely hardy that will thrive in almost all climates. They are generally docile and quiet in nature and pretty active. They are good foragers and do well in free ranging system.
They are also tough and disease-resistant. But they can be lazy and get fat very easily if raised in confinement. So it’s best to keep them as free range as possible.
Marans chickens are very friendly and are easy to look after. Neither the roosters nor the hens are aggressive. Hens are good layers and lay rich chocolate brown colored eggs. They go broody and hens are great mothers. See full breed profile of Marans chicken below.
Marans Chicken | Breed Profile
|Other Name||French: Poule de Marans|
|Breed Purpose||Dual Purpose|
|Breed Temperament||Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Color||Rich Chocolate Brown|
|Varieties||Black, Black Copper, Birchen, Black-tailed Buff, Columbian, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Wheaten, White and some other colors are also exists but officially not recognized.|
- Very beautiful chicken breed
- Dual purpose breed
- Good layers
- Good for quality meat
- Colorful eggs
- Rich chocolate brown colored eggs
- Not aggressive
- Easily handled
- Bears confinement well
- Good foragers
- Good for free ranging
- Very hardy and can tolerate almost all climates
- Pretty rare
- Poor winter layer
- Some varieties don’t lay dark chocolate colored eggs
Is Marans Chicken Good for You?
Marans chicken is good for you if you…….
- Prefer producing colorful eggs instead of common white and brown eggs.
- Want to have some beautiful chickens.
- Are willing to raise some large size dual purpose breed.
- Want to produce quality meat as well as dark colored eggs.
- Want to raise some friendly chickens which are easily handled.
- Want to raise some fast growing chickens.
- Are looking for some chickens which are good for confinement.
- Want to raise some chickens which are good foragers and good for free ranging.
- Are looking for such chicken breed which can tolerate almost all climates and disease-resistant.