There is no doubt that one of the most popular breeds of chicken is the Black Copper Marans. It is a beautiful and stunning chicken that also lays beautiful chocolate colored eggs.
In this article, we will discuss all the important things that you need to know about Black Copper Marans including their history and origin, egg laying capabilities, appearance, size and color, temperament, and how you could properly take care of them.
History and Origin
The Marans breed came from an area called La Rochelle in south western France. It was called the poule de marans. These chickens were, however, referred to as swamp chickens because they thrived in a countryside area that is marshy and low leveled.
These birds were then crossed bred with game cocks and local barnyard hens from Indonesia and India (brought by sailors). The resulting breed was called the Marandaise fowl.
The Marans breed we know today is a result of having several breeds of chicken being bred. The breeds include Brahmas, Croad Langshan, Coucou de Rennes, Coucou de Malines, and Gatinaise. These breeds are the ancestors of the Marans that we know today.
The breed became popular and a hit in France primarily because the eggs that it lay were very much sought after. During post war France, the breed almost became extinct. Because of that, the Department of Agriculture in France started a breeding program in an attempt to rescue the breed as well as to increase egg production. The program was a success and in 1952, the Marans was producing about 200 eggs per year.
When the program stopped, many chicken breeders took up the opportunity to raise Marans on their own. Fortunately, they did a great job with caring for and improving the breed.
Looking at its side, the Black Copper Marans has a V shaped body. It has a strong, sturdy, and long body, which makes it a popular breed for cockfighting. The Marans also has a wide shoulder.
The Marans has great plumage. Its body feathers are deep black and shines iridescence green under the sunlight, just like a green beetle.
The hackle feathers have a coppery and reddish tone. The Black Copper Marans rooster has a copper colored saddle feathers that cascade over its back. The hen, on the other hand, is not as attractive as the rooster but it is still a beautiful chicken. All Black Copper Marans are usually clean legged.
Size and Color
A Black Copper Marans rooster weighs between seven and eight pounds while a hen weighs around six and a half pounds. There are also bantam Black Copper Marans although they are quite difficult to find. Different countries have different standards when it comes to Marans. But in general, they are classified as a large type fowl and of Continental breed.
The ear lobes, wattles, and comb of the Black Copper Marans are all colored red. It has a strong beak with a slight hook structure in it. The beak is horn colored.
The eyes of a Black copper Marans are color red. Its feet and shanks are colored pink or slate. Its soles are colored white just like its skin.
A rooster Black Copper Marans has black breasts with minimal spotting. It has an obvious black triangle on its wings as well as deep red shoulders. It has lancets or copper colored feathers in its neck, back, and hackles.
A hen Black Copper Marans is colored black with red markings on its hackles. It has slight red markings on its breast.
The eggs of Black Copper Marans are known for being dark brown and chocolate colored. These eggs are widely sought after.
A Black Copper Marans hen that lays fewer eggs will have darker colored eggs. If your hen, however, lays eggs more frequently, you can expect the egg color to be lighter. On the average, a Black Copper Marans hen will lay about three eggs per week. This equates to about 150 to 200 eggs per year. This means that in terms of egg laying, Black Copper Marans are just average. However, they eggs are considered to be ones at the top in terms of quality. The hens are also good nesters and mothers. But they are not extremely broody.
In general, in terms of temperament, Black Copper Marans are considered to be gentle and quiet. However, the roosters tend to be aggressive at times with other roosters.
Black Copper Marans are not as cuddly as other breeds of chickens. They are, however, docile in general.
Black Copper Marans also like to be active at times. They enjoy free ranging and foraging. But they do tolerate confinement well. They are also somehow cold hardy. This means that they can live in areas with cold climates but they should be given proper and adequate shelter and housing.
Should I Get a Black Copper Marans?
If getting many eggs is what you sought after a chicken, then the Black Copper Marans is not the perfect one for you. However, if you are looking for beautiful and delicious eggs regardless of quantity, then the Black Copper Marans would be good for you. In terms of roosters, if you want a gamecock, then this breed is also a good choice.