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Maran chickens

Maranhen

Maran chickens

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The Maran chickens is a small breed compared to other chickens. They are popular at poultry shows and preferred for its eggs rather than for its meat.The marans is a breed famed for the deep mahogany colour of it’s eggs.

The very dark coloured egg layers tend not to be quite as prolific as for example good Rhode Island Reds – but we like to think they are taking more care over each one and certainly the quality of the egg is superb; they taste gorgeous and have great structure. Our girls are well capable of laying over 200 eggs a year – the exact numbers will depend on conditions – weather – feeding etc.
Up here some years are so dark, wet and miserable we are amazed any of our birds lay at all!!! Bear in mind with all our figures they are probably lower than these birds would lay further south as we have a much shorter daylength and horrible weather !
To improve the winter [low light] laying ability is something that needs work on all pure breeds, but can take years.There are 9 recognised colours: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaton, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian. Black Copper is the most common of these.All have red or orange eyes and white feet. The average weight of a Cockerel is around three and a half kilograms.

Marans chickens are quiet, docile, gentle birds, but they are quite active, taking well to free ranging in rough terrain and are also tough and disease-resistant. Marans lay around 150 dark brown eggs each year. Marans are an historically dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well. The Marans originate from France, and were imported into the United Kingdom in the 1930s.

Birchen marans:

Bev’s Birchen line was bred from the Leurquin line, which was a Swiss import line consisting only of several males in the US.  The Leurquin males produced any number of colour combinations, but it was the birchen pattern that interested Bev from this line.  Many obstacles had to be over come in this line from side sprigs in the comb, mossy plumage and light coloured eggs.  The males had a tendency toward squirrel tails as well. When crossed with the Fitch line (which was done because there were no Leurquin females and no other non-barred lines in the US at that time), the hackle feathers became black in the females so Bev had to backtrack to breed offspring back to an older female.  Over the years the egg colour has improved but this is still a line that is being worked on.

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