Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans eggs April 2019
Black Copper Marans and Blue Copper Marans mixed breeding pen
Please see our breed list for more details.
White and Splash Marans breeding pen
Canadian National Poultry Show Armstrong, BC 2017
Black Copper Marans Cockerel -Best in Breed
Champion and Reserve Champion Continental Fall Featherfest 2016
Black Copper Marans Pullets
White Marans: (eggs are not quite as dark as Black Copper Marans)
chicks are straight run/unsexed 2018
In 2018 we bred for darker eggs, improved shank feathering and a darker copper colour in our Marans flock. We wound up with some beautiful cockerels, but some of those pairings also created a few hens that were over melanized (too dark). Most of our hens grew dark copper hackles (feathers around the neck) as adults but a few remained darker. This year we will continue to select for egg colour and work towards adding more copper into the hens hackles.
We have been breeding our beloved Marans in assorted colours for six years. Marans can be a challenge to breed when you take into account such factors as dark egg colour, proper APA confirmation standards, feather colouring, shank feathering and temperament goals. We have slowly improved our stock from one generation to the next using six unrelated lines in our breeding program from BC and QC. We will continue to select our darkest egg layers and breed them to our top show winning roosters to meet APA standards. These chickens are rare beauties and so are their unique eggs.
Marans egg color is a very controversial and often misunderstood topic. Egg color varies by each individual bird, by the time of the year, diet, health, lighting and management (free range on green pasture vs. confinement). They are not always super dark eggs as the colour is applied to the outside of the egg. The darkest egg a hen will lay is either their very first egg when they start as a pullet or the first egg after a molt. It is assumed that the reason the eggs fade over time is that the section of the oviduct that secretes the pigment produces a lot of pigment at first but eventually starts slowing down over time. 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 change in location, will also cause hens to lay lighter colored eggs. It is not uncommon for egg color to really drop off in the last few eggs before the bird stops laying. After a break in laying, perhaps after a moult, the color is recharged and the cycle begins again. Egg color can be an even brown, or spotted and stippled with varying shades of brown.
Blue Marans eggs are a bit lighter or have more spotting then Black Copper Marans eggs. Our White Marans eggs are a bit lighter then the Black Copper Marans eggs. However, White Marans are reported to be the calmest Marans chickens and we definitely agree.
The Marans was developed during the 1920’s near the town of Marans, North of La Rochelle in Poitou Charente, France. Marans is a port town in the Bay of Biscay. Trade ships over the centuries brought with them new breeds of poultry, which were bred with the local chickens, resulting in the Marans chickens that we have today.
Though increasing in numbers, Marans chickens are still considered rare in the U.S. It was not until 2011, that the first variety of the Marans breed, the Black Copper Marans, was officially recognized as a standard chicken breed in the United States. The Black Copper Marans are the preferred egg of gourmet chefs and were the only egg Agent 007 would eat in the original James Bond novels.
Marans have a thin layer of feathering down their legs. They are generally quiet and docile birds; but they can also be quite active, taking well to free ranging in rough terrain and are also tough, winter hardy and disease-resistant. They lay around 150-200 large to extra large dark brown eggs each year. Marans are historically a dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well. Standard APA Weights: Rooster 8 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs, Cockerel 7lbs, Pullet 5.5 lbs.
The Marans of France club’s website states:
The shell represents approximately 10% of the weight of the egg. In the Marans, when these optimum conditions are met, one notes that the solidity of the shell is greater than that of eggs of other breeds.
Even when the empirical observation is easy (when one breaks a Marans egg, it is often with a certain difficulty), no scientific proof had attested it until a group of students (promotion 1995-1997) of the Institute des Sciences et Vie de la Terre (I.S.V.T.) of Puy en Velay studied the extra-russet-red eggs of the Marans.
These would thus have considerable advantages for marketing, decreasing the number of potential breakages during transport, and the storage time of these eggs is quite longer than that of traditional eggs.
This lower permeability often causes decreased hatchability of approximately 5 to 10% compared to majority of other breeds.
Black Copper, Blue Copper, White Marans Cockerels
White Marans Pullet-First Place Winter Carnival Show, Vernon BC 2015
Marans Pullets: White, Black Copper, and Blue Copper
Black Copper Marans Eggs level 5 -7 on the Marans Chart
Black , Blue Copper and White Marans Chicks