Chicken Breeds : ‘Marans Chickens’
Marans tend to lay a nice sized brown egg. They are well known for laying a dark chocolate brown egg, but in practice the colour can vary from lighter brown to darker brown and sometimes also speckley. Even within the same hen changes in egg colour can occur – usually being a gradual change from darker brown at the beginning of her egg laying cycle to a paler brown by the end (often returning to a darker brown again at the beginning of the next).
Below is a photo from Keeping Chickens Newsletter subscriber Brad of eggs from his Black Copper Marans.
Marans were first developed in France in the early 1900’s. Although now widely imported there are variations between the standards in different countries so personality traits and physical attributions such as being feather or clean footed vary depending on the country and strain. One common link though is the medium to large dark chocolate brown eggs of which you might expect around 150 per year
Cuckoo Marans are probably the most common of the breed and come in standard, silver and gold colours. There are also black marans, black copper marans, white marans, wheaten marans and blue marans amongst the other many colour variations.
This photo shows the standard colours of a cuckoo maran hen.