The Marans Chicken Club USA describes the breed as “a medium-size bird with the character of a rustic farm hen, giving an impression of solidity and strength without being coarse. The legs are lightly feathered, but leg feathering should never be excessively heavy.”
Marans are dual-purpose, laying as many as 200 eggs annually and making decent table birds.
Marans originated in the port city of Marans, France.
American Poultry Association-approved plumage varieties include White, Black Copper and Wheaten. Other varieties that breeders are working on include Birchen, Black, Blue, Blue Copper, Blue Wheaten, Columbian, Crele, Cuckoo and Splash.
Pure Marans hens lay distinct rich, coppery-brown eggs, which are a result from a recessive gene; when crossed with another breed, the eggs appear much lighter.
Mature males weigh as much as 8 pounds.
Hens weigh 6 1⁄2 pounds.
Find out more at The Marans Chicken Club USA.
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Chickens magazine.