Chickens of the Maran breed

Chickens of the Maran breed

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The breed of chickens laying eggs with beautiful chocolate-colored shells was registered in Europe only in the 20th century, although its roots go back to the 13th century. Maran chickens appeared in the marshy area that spreads around the French port city of Marens. The breed got its name from this city.

History of Maran chickens

In the 19th century, when the Indian breeds of Brama and Lanshan chickens came into fashion, French Maran were crossed with these chickens. The French maran is a breed of chickens with feathered legs. The first birds were presented at the exhibition in 1914. In 1929, the “Maran Breeding Club” was organized in France. The standard was adopted in 1931, where the maran is a breed of chickens, the description of which clearly indicates that the hooves of the bird must be feathered. In 1934, marans were shown at an exhibition in England. It is not known why the English breeders were not satisfied with the small number of feathers on the metatarsals of the chickens, but for breeding they selected only marans with "clean" legs.

"Barefoot" marans were bred in England in sufficient numbers, but France did not recognize this line in the breed. In 1950, the UK organized its own Maran Club. And from that moment on, another "hundred-year war" began between France and England.

French chickens of the Maran breed in the photo (with plumage on the metatarsus).

Already at the beginning of the 21st century, three English maran breeding clubs were established and again disbanded. America's breeders kept up with the Old World, and the originally created Association fell apart as a result of differing views on the Maran standard. On its ruins, a new Maran Club of America was created, recognizing the French breed standard. The French standard is recognized by most of the countries. The only question is whether to "legitimize" both variants of Maranov in the national standard or only one of them.

Even today, the motley is the most common color in marans, but black-copper maran chickens are better known in Russia.

Modern marana chickens: photo and description

Attempts to breed other colors, except for cuckoo, were quite difficult. Often the resulting birds did not meet the desired standards. In particular, hens may have brown eyes instead of red ones. The cocks' tails were raised to 75 degrees to the horizon, instead of 45. The chickens were too shallow for marans. Worst of all, the eggs were too light.

Important! According to the French standard, the color of an egg in a maran should start from the 4th order and higher, as in the lower picture.

As a result of long-term selection work, it was still possible to bring out marans of other colors than the original one. For almost every color, its own standard has been developed today. But first, about the common features for all marans.

General requirements for chickens of the Maran breed

The head is medium in size and long. The ridge is leaf-shaped, medium, red. The texture of the ridge is rough. It should not touch the back of the head. The lobes are tender, medium-sized, red. The earrings are long, red, with a fine texture. The face is red. The eyes are bright, red-orange. The beak is powerful, slightly curved.

The neck is long, strong, with a curve at the top. Covered with long, thick feathers descending to the shoulders.

The body is powerful, rather long and wide. The bird is "tightly knocked down" because of which it does not give the impression of being massive, although it has a relatively large weight.

The back is long and flat. Curves slightly at the bottom. The loin is wide and slightly raised. Covered with thick long feathers.

The chest is broad and well muscled. The wings are short, tightly attached to the body. The belly is full and well developed. The tail is fluffy, short. At a 45 ° angle.

Important! The tail slope of a purebred maran should not be higher than 45 °.

The shins are large. The hocks are medium in size, white or pinkish. In dark-colored chickens, the hocks can be gray or dark gray. The nails are white or pink. The presence of a small number of feathers on the metatarsals and fingers depends on the standard adopted in a particular country: in France and the USA only marans with feathered metatarsals are recognized; Australia allows both options; in Great Britain, marans can only have unfeathered metatarsals.

Important! The sole of marans is always only white.

The American Poultry Association allows for marans: white, wheat and black-copper colors.

Not allowed, but exist:

  • cuckoo;
  • silver black;
  • lavender;
  • salmon;
  • silver lavender salmon;
  • silver cuckoo;
  • golden cuckoo.

At the same time, the American Maran Fan Club recognizes not only these colors, but also adds black, speckled, Colombian and black-tailed colors to them.

Today, all over the world, the most common breed of chickens is the black-copper maran, and the description of the color most often refers to this particular variety.

Breed of chickens Maran black-copper

Black plumage of the body and tail. The feathers on the head, in the mane and on the lower back should be copper-colored. The copper shade can be of different intensities, but it is mandatory.

The color of the mane allowed by the standard for the black-copper marano-rooster.

On the back and loin of the rooster, there may be more or less black feathers.

Color requirements for a chicken are the same as for a rooster: only two colors. Black and copper. The description of the Maran chicken by the American club standards says that the head and mane have a rather pronounced copper color. On the shoulders and lower back, the feather is black with an emerald tint.

Description of the breed of chickens maranov wheat color

In a rooster, the color of the head, mane and loin ranges from golden red to brownish red. Covering feathers are long, without a noticeable border. The back and loin are dark red. The shoulders and feathers of the wing are deep red.

Flight feathers of the first order are black with an emerald sheen. The second-order feather is orange-brown. The throat and chest are black. The belly and inner side of the thighs are black with gray down. The tail is black with a green tint. Large braids are black. The feather on the sides may have a red tint.

In the chicken, the color of the head, neck and back ranges from golden red to dark red. The photo shows the wheat color of maran chickens well. The lower part of the body is the color of wheat grain. Each feather has a small strip and border. The down is whitish. The tail and flight feathers are dark with reddish or black edges. Second order feathers appear reddish brown. The color of the plumage may vary, but the basic requirement is that all three colors - wheat, cream and dark red - must be present.

A little about breeding wheat marans

It is better not to cross the wheat maran with the red-brown or silver-cuckoo varieties. The color of the latter is based on another gene "e". When crossed, a bird of a non-standard color will be obtained.

The second point in the "wheaten" marans: autosex chickens. Already at 2-3 weeks it is possible to determine which of the chickens is the hen and which is the cockerel.

In the photo above, the wheaten rams have begun to fledge. The dark feathers on the top chick indicate that it is a rooster. Red feathers are a sign of a chicken.

In the photo below, the chickens are older, with a clear division into hen and rooster.

Silver cuckoo color

The Maran breed of chickens, presented in the photo, corresponds to the French standard for a silver-cuckoo color. According to French requirements, the rooster is lighter than the chicken. The plumage is equally variegated throughout the body and may have a reddish tint.

By British Standard, the cock's neck and upper chest are lighter in shade than the rest of the body.

In French: dark plumage with a rough pattern; subtle lines; grey colour.

In British: the neck and upper chest are lighter than the body.

Important! Silvery cuckoo marans are genetically black.

This means that black chicks may appear in their offspring. Silvery Cuckoo Maranos can be mated with the black variety. When a silver cuckoo rooster mates with a black hen, the offspring will have dark roosters and lighter silver cuckoo chickens. When mating a black rooster with a silver cuckoo hen, dark roosters and black chickens are obtained in the offspring.

Silvery cuckoo marans:

Golden cuckoo color

Sometimes golden cuckoo marans are called the breed of chickens "golden cuckoo", although this is still not a breed, but only a variant of color.

The golden cuckoo rooster has bright yellow feathers on the head, mane and loin. The shoulders are reddish brown. The rest in color corresponds to the standards of silver cuckoo marans.

The chicken is "more modest" in her yellowness on the feather is present only on the head and neck.

Breed of chickens Maran black color

The chicken and the rooster are completely black. Emerald tint is optional. The feather may have a reddish tint. This variety of color in maran is quite rare, although cuckoos are also genetically black.

White maran

Chickens with pure white plumage. In males, the standard allows for a yellow tint on the feathers of the mane, loin and tail, although this is contrary to logic. The maran's white genes are recessive. The presence of even a weak pigment in the feather indicates the presence of genes of a different color.

The hocks of the white maran should be strictly pink. If the chick has a gray or gray-blue metatarsus, this is a lavender maran that has not yet faded into an adult feather.

Lavender color

The lavender color can be in different variations, as it is based on black and red basic pigments. The gene that causes the lightening of these pigments to the color of "coffee with milk" or blue in marans is dominant. Therefore, from chickens of this color, you can get either black or red marans. Otherwise, the color of lavender marans corresponds to the variants with unclarified pigment.

Lavender cuckoo rooster

Black-tailed maran

Red body with black tail. Roosters' braids are cast in emerald. In chickens, tail feathers may have a brown tint.

Speckled color

Completely white body interspersed with feathers of a different color. A colored nib can be black or red. The frequency of inclusions also varies.

French standard white and speckled marans:

Silver-black color

An analogue of a copper-black color, but the red-brown color of feathers on the neck and loin of this type of marans is replaced by "silver".

Maranov with such plumage can be obtained by crossing silver-cuckoo and copper-black chickens.

Colombian color

The body is pure white with white down. On the neck there is a mane of black feathers with a white border. The chest is white. The tail feathers are black. Small black braids with a white border. Flight feathers have black underside, white upper side. So, when the wings are folded, black is not visible. Metatarsus pinkish white.

Productive characteristic of maran chickens

Maranas belong to the so-called "chickens that lay Easter eggs." The standard of the breed is a maran egg, the color of which is not lower than the fourth number on the above scale. But the desired minimum egg color is 5-6.

The coloration of the shell depends on the number and intensity of the functioning of the glands in the oviduct. In fact, dried mucus secreted by glands in the oviduct gives the maran egg its brown color. The true color of an egg in marans is white.

The age when marana chickens begin to lay is 5-6 months. At this time, the glands in the oviduct do not yet work at full strength and the color of the egg is somewhat lighter than normal. The maximum intensity of egg coloring in laying marans is observed by the age of one year. The color lasts for about a year, then the eggshell begins to fade.

The egg production of the breed, if you believe the reviews about maran chickens, is up to 140 eggs per year. It is not known whether it is necessary to believe these reviews, since there are also statements that the eggs of marans can weigh 85 g, and even reach 100 g, while an egg weighing 65 g is considered large. It is quite possible that 100- gram eggs, but they are two-yolk. Since the non-commercial descriptions of the eggs of the Maran chicken breed with the attached photo, it shows that the egg of the Maran does not differ in size from the eggs of other egg-laying hens. You can clearly see this in the photo below. The middle row is maran eggs.

In fact, marans carry large, but not larger than normal, eggs.

Marans have good meat characteristics. Adult roosters can weigh up to 4 kg, chickens up to 3.2 kg. The weight of one-year-old males is 3 - 3.5 kg, pullets 2.2 - 2.6 kg. The meat has good taste. Due to the white skin, the marana carcass has an attractive presentation.

There are practically no disadvantages in the Maran breed of chickens. These include only low egg production and too thick eggshell, because of which the chickens sometimes cannot break through. A certain difficulty for amateur breeders can present a complex pattern of color inheritance. But it will be all the more interesting to study the genetics of maran chickens.

The advantages of the breed can be called a calm nature, which allows you to keep them together with another bird.

Keeping maran chickens

The maintenance of this breed is not fundamentally different from the conditions for any other chicken. As elsewhere, chickens need to walk all daylight. Dampness should not be allowed in the chicken coop. House temperature should be + 15 ° C. Maranam are satisfied with standard roosts. If chickens are kept on the floor, a sufficient layer of bedding should be provided to allow the birds to make a nap in the bed.

Feeding is also similar to other breeds. Although foreign farmers believe that adding coloring feed to marans' food improves the color of the eggshell. Such feeds can be any plants containing large amounts of vitamin A:

  • carrot;
  • beet;
  • nettle;
  • greens.

How true this is can be verified experimentally.

Breeding marans creates much more difficulties.

Breeding maran chickens

For breeding, medium-sized eggs are selected.

Important! It is believed that the best chicks come from the darkest possible eggs.

Therefore, eggs are also selected for incubation by color. Thick shells, on the one hand, are good for the chicken, since salmonella cannot penetrate through it. On the other hand, chicks often cannot break eggs on their own and need help.

During incubation, due to the thick shell, air does not penetrate deeply into the egg. Therefore, the incubator must be ventilated more frequently than usual to ensure that the air contains sufficient oxygen.

2 days before hatching, the humidity in the incubator is raised to 75% to make it easier for the chicks to hatch. After hatching, the ravens need the same care as chickens of any other breeds. In general, the breed is unpretentious and hardy, chickens have a good survival rate.

Reviews of maran chickens

Victor Stepanidov, pos. Dedovo

He moved to the village and decided to breed chickens. I searched and read a lot about different breeds. I liked the Maran breed of chickens, looked at the description, photos and reviews, it seems like a very interesting breed for breeding. I bought a hatching egg, brought out the chickens. The chickens grew up, and it turned out that in our village no one needed beautiful brown eggs. Since I planned to sell not only brown ones, but in general multi-colored ones, I also had ameraucans. And I decided to try crossbreeding. So now I don't breed pure marans, although I have no complaints about the breed itself.

Nadezhda Reukhova, village Black Stream

This is now one of my favorite breeds. Very calm chickens. When we let them into our herd, they did not create much fuss even while they were establishing the hierarchy. Unfortunately, marans lay a small number of eggs. But they give an excellent opportunity to experiment with crossing.


Maranas in Russia are still more likely to be classified as decorative breeds than as a chicken for a personal backyard. Their low egg production makes it difficult for owners to produce eggs for sale. And few people will buy eggs more expensive just because of the color of the shell. Although you can get some money before Easter. In the meantime, marans are kept by amateur poultry farmers, for whom chickens are a hobby, not a living. Or those who are trying to make money on colorful eggs by crossing different breeds of chickens.

Watch the video: The Best Chicken Breeds (February 2023).

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