The chocolate egg layer, marans are known for their deep dark egg colour. A beautiful chicken that will bring a gorgeous look to your egg box.
The Marans came to be with a mix of Landrace, fighting cocks, Brahmas, and Langhans, with a splash of other French breeds as well. The breed began in the 12th century but it took until 1914 to be presented as an actual breed. At first the maran breed spread like fire across France, unfortunately during WWII the Marans suffered a steep decline to near extinction. In 1950 a strong effort was made to reestablish the maran breed under the Departmental of Agricultural services of France. Within three years the Farming center established for the preservation of the maran had 300 marans. Yet again the marans suffered a setback when they were used in sex-linked projects and outcrossed to other breeds to improve size. It wasn’t until the 90’s that the breed received another boost in preserving its heritage throughout France & Belgium.
Marans come in a variety of colours, with the black, black copper, blue copper, splash, wheaten, and cuckoo marans being the most common at least in our area. We ourselves have the black copper, and splash marans, and genetically should be able to get the blue copper marans. In 2011 the American Poultry Association excepted the black copper marans as an official breed of the APA, and since then now also accepts the wheaten, and white. There are two standards of the maran the French which calls for feathered legs, and the English standard which calls for clean legs. We breed for the French standard and feathered legs.
Marans are known for laying the chocolate egg, however genetics, feed, time of the year, and age play a factor in how dark of an egg you will get. Beginning layers and spring time eggs are known to have the darkest eggs, but it is as if they start to run out of colour as the laying season progresses or as the chicken ages. Although the marans are revered for their dark eggs, they are not known for laying the most number of eggs in a year, however the dedicated breeders of the marans are working to improve upon that.