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Marans Chicken Facts, Profile, and Characteristics

Marans Chicken Facts, Profile, and Characteristics

Marans Chicken Information Guide:

Let us discuss today about Marans Chicken Breed profile.

Breed Profile: 

  • Name: Poule de Marans, Country Hen.
  • Country of Origin: France.
  • Marans Chicken Varieties: Black, Black Tailed Buff, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Columbian, Black Copper, Wheaten, Birchen, Black, White.
  • Chicken Weight: Male: Standard: 3.5–4 kg; Bantam: 1100 g and Female: Standard: 2.5–3 kg; Bantam: 900 g.
  • Eggs: 150 Annually.
  • Cost: Female chicks: $13.04; Male: $8.69.
  • Rarity: Rare.
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose meat/eggs.
  • Egg Laying: Medium.
  • Egg Color: Rich Chocolate Brown.
  • Egg Size: Large.
  • Comb Type: Single comb.
  • Feathered Legs: yes/no.
  • Number of Toes: 4
  • Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter.
  • Heat Tolerance: Not especially heat hardy.
  • Personality: Calm, very friendly, suitable for confinement, easy to handle, Docile, and quiet.
  • Climate: Tolerant to all climates.

Introduction To Marans Chicken Breed:

The Marans was developed in 1920’s in the town of Marans, North of La Rochelle in Poitou Charente, France. The original Marans slightly feathered legs, they are mainly seen in French birds. Many strains of Copper Black Marans have feathers on the legs and are noted as ‘French Copper Black Marans’.

There are 4 standard color varieties in the Marans. Marans chicken is a desirable chicken breed for its rich chocolate brown colored eggs. It is a dual-purpose chicken breed and raised mainly for its unique chocolate colored eggs and beautiful appearance. It is originally developed in France around the mid-1800s in the town of Marans.

This breed name comes from the town name Marans, where it was developed. Marans chicken was developed from the local feral chickens descended from fighting game chickens carried from Indonesia and India. The original Marans fowl are reared for meat purpose through recombination with imported CroadLangshans.

Read: Kadaknath Chicken Farming Project Report.

Origin of Marans Chicken Breed:               

The Marans was one of the oldest breeds from the UK. It originates in France in the town of Marans closed to the Atlantic coast, in the mid-1800s. It was mainly developed for both meat and eggs. The eggs are imported to the UK by a London wholesaler.

The dark brown eggs laid by theses chickens became very popular, this led the farmers getting attracted in the breeding the Marans.

The breed is named after the town Marans. Marans have been imported to the USA are rarely seen, for many years now, probably beginning around the time that soldiers returned to the States after World War II.

Over the years, birds and eggs, not only from France they are also seen in England, Canada, Australia, and possibly Belgium and Switzerland. Clean legged Marans has led to the establishment of many clean legged flocks in this country, especially in the Cuckoo variety; and the American standard adheres to the French standard, calling for lightly feathered shanks and toes.

Physical Characteristics of Marans Chicken:

  • Marans chickens are a dual-purpose breed and is famous for its meat qualities and extremely dark chocolate colored eggs.
  • These chickens grown large for meat production as well as for eggs. Marans hens lay about 150-200 eggs per year.
  • Cuckoo and Black Copper are the most common Maran chickens. Black Copper Marans have black with copper feathers on the neck. And Cuckoos are of barred feathers and have black and white speckled appearance. There are also some other colors exist but are not recognized. They are Blue, Blue Copper and splash. This breed chicken has 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 a single comb in red color and have red wattles.
  • The Silver Cuckoo–are usually the darkest of all the varieties. They can be purchased at most of the major hatcheries, including ours. Cuckoo Marans have clean-legged, while others have the standard feathered legs.
  • The English standard of Marans chicken has clean legs, the Australian standard recognized Marans have both feathered and clean-legged. They have a strong beak with a slight hook to it, it should be horn colored.
  • Marans Club of America only recognizes feather-legged birds and the French standard calls for feathered legs. Approximately, Marans males’ weigh about 3.5-4 kg and hens weigh about 2.5-3 kg. In Maran chickens, there is a bantam variety available (male bantam weighs about 1100 grams and female bantam weighs about 900 grams).

Varieties of Maran Chickens:

  • There are 9 recognized colored Maran chicken varieties in the French standard. Some recognized colors are French Standard are Black, Black Copper, Birchen, Black-tailed Buff, Columbian, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Wheaten and White.
  • The majority of the Marans you see today is cuckoo colored, ranging from a very dark grey color down to silver. These have bright orange eyes and white legs. Most attractive part of these chickens is their chocolate brown egg and very tasty and highly portioned meat. They are the most popular as show birds in the 1940s where there were far more colors including a gold color cuckoo.

Maran Chicken Behavior:

  • Marans can be lazy birds. They will get fat very easily if allowed, so it is the best method to raise them as free range as possible to avoid fat in Marans. Marans are easy to look after, and they will be very active when let them free in open place. These are highly disease resistant breed. Marans will lay deep brown eggs and are quite placid in nature.
  • Marans chickens are a fast-growing breed and extremely hardy and resistant to almost all climates. They are generally docile and quiet in nature. They are good foragers and go well in the free ranging system.
  • Neither the roosters nor the hens are aggressive. Maran females are good layers and lay 150 to 200 eggs per year. They go broody and hens are great mothers. See full breed profile of Marans chicken below.
  • The Black Copper Marans are said to be quiet and gentle, although the roosters can tend to be confrontational with other roosters.
  • The hens are generally docile, but the behavior varies from bird to bird, they aren’t known for being a ‘cuddly’ bird.
  • These chickens are very active birds, they enjoy foraging and free ranging but will tolerate confinement fairly well. They are also quite winter hardy, these are suitable for Northern climates given adequate housing and shelter.

Read: Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Farming.

Advantages of Marans Chickens:

  • Their chocolate colored eggs make them very special bird.
  • Marans roosters are very sweet. They are very observant and strong and are fast to react to the signs of predators.
  • They have very simple behavior and they will stay safe and careful while they forage.
  • Dual Purpose Breed.
  • They produce high quality meat.
  • Friendly, Docile, and Quiet.
  • Good foragers, they stay very safe in foraging.
  • Good for confinement.
  • Highly disease tolerant.
  • They very quiet and are not aggressive.
  • Very strong and resistant to all weather conditions and diseases.

Disadvantages of Marans Chickens:

  • These birds are pretty rare.
  • They lay very less eggs in winter season.
  • Some varieties don’t lay dark chocolate colored eggs.
  • Irregular Layers.
  • They gain fat easily, and not suitable for all coops.
  • Heavy feeders.

Read: Tuna Fish Farming.

Last Updated: December 10, 2018
Author: Jagdish


  1. Hi there I’ve owned 11 chickens two were accidental roosters and given away and we recently had our first death of a hen she snapped her neck in the night falling from the perch we think and a little after that one of our other hens died struggling to breathe we were planning on getting more hens (we’re thinking olive eggers and black copper Marans) On the chance, we do get a Maran rooster we think we might keep him if he seems to be a good rooster (Our first accidental rooster was a Rhode island and was wonderful always straight up looking around let the hens eat the treats but we gave him away before he started to crow we weren’t planning on a rooster, our second was a horrible rooster and bullied the hens that didn’t bully him we gave him away) So anyways I was wondering if anyone here has had a black copper Maran rooster and could tell me how he was thanks

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