Maran Chicken Breed: Chocolate Brown Eggs, Appearance, Origin

The Maran Chicken colors are wide in variety of colors, such as Copper Maran Chicken, Black Maran Chicken, Blue Maran Chicken, White Maran Chicken and more. You’re likely wondering how the egg production, broodiness, temperament and size of these beautiful birds are though, so in this article I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have about the Maran Chicken.

Maran Chickens Origin

The Marans chickens, have an absolutely amazing history. Originating from a small French village, and yes, you guessed it – they take their name from the same village, Marans. This breed is nestled about 240 miles southwest of the romance capital, Paris, and somewhat closer to Bordeaux, around 100 miles to the north. Marans being a port town in the Bay of Biscay, enjoyed the perks of having trading ships galore! And what do trading ships bring? New chicken breeds, meaning that the local people did not skip the opportunity to breed foreign fowls with their prized native Maran, thus creating the vast select of Maran Chicken varieties.

Marans chickens boarded a ship to the United Kingdom in the 1930s, this is where the adopted the Cuckoo moniker, this variety was a massive hit back then, and most of the imports were from the UK. The U.S. had to wait a bit longer till the early 2000s before they got to reap the benefits of Marans being added to their flocks. Russia however began importing the breed much earlier, and in fact in a letter from July 1968, Moscow reported a study which researched a whopping 175 chickens confirming that they was laying over 220 eggs per hen!

The Black Copper Marans chicken, recognized as an elite among the Marans, found its roots in the town of Marans too. This place is now part of something quite remarkable known as the Poitevin Marsh Regional Natural Park.

What Color eggs do Maran chickens lay?

Maran chickens have an eggstraordinary claim to fame, they lay the most magnificent dark brown, borderline chocolate-hued eggs. Black Copper Marans, in particular, are renowned for these treasures. This breed is also well known for it’s friendliness overload alert – these chickens do great in confinement or free-range, and they’re not much of a bother. Not too loud and very cooperative, Marans chickens are an great match for those in a smaller setting.

Are Maran chickens good egg layers?

Maran hens lay around 3 eggs a week, which makes it something like 150-200 eggs per year. The downside is that not all Marans are gifted with the ability to lay those fancy dark eggs,  In order to meet the breed standard, a Marans hen must consistently lay a dark egg with a deep russet (reddish brown) colored shell. French Marans lay some of the darkest brown eggs in the chicken kingdom. They are also pretty decent setters and moms, but they aren’t known for being overly broody.

Breed Standard:

The American Poultry Association (APA) currently only recognizes 4 varieties of Marans: Black, Black Copper, Wheaten, and White. So these would be the ones that I would personally chase after if you’re interested in adding some dark brown variety into your egg basket. However other countries have accepted some of the other color varieties, such as France, which has accepted Black Copper, Blue Copper, Silver Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, White, Wheaten, Columbian, Black-tailed Buff, and Birchen. Bantam Maran Chickens aren’t accepted into the breed standard in the U.S, and there’s currently no telling when this will change.

Maran Chicken Size

Maran Chickens are considered by Breed Standard to be Medium-Sized chickens. The Roosters can weigh between 7-8 pounds, with the hens weighing around 6.5 pounds on average. The Bantam Marans are going to weigh significantly less, with the roosters weighing around 38oz, and the hens weighing around 31oz. Marans are identified as Continental in the US and Large Soft Feathered by the UK standard.

Are Maran chickens friendly?

Maran chickens are usually pretty sweet. They are a breed of bird who doesn’t look to start a fight but won’t back down if you pick on them them. This breed absolutely loves treats, the hens are known to follow you around like the gatekeeper of treats for a snack upon identifying your presence. Major downside to the Maran Chicken for some is that they aren’t necessarily into the “Cuddle Life” or the life of being a lap chicken. These chickens are rather skittish in comparison to their counter parts.

Maran Chicken Summary

Marans chickens, are dual-purpose. That means they’re good for both meat and those exquisite dark brown eggs. These avian friends originated from the region of Marans, a region of France. Here are some fast facts:

Egg production: You’re looking at around 3-4 eggs per week
Egg color: Dark brown, almost indulgent chocolate color
Broodiness: Average
Temperament: Friendly
Appearance: They sport a trapezoid-shaped body, have some impressive muscle on their breast and thighs, flaunt a single comb, red wattles, and earlobes, and don their striking orange eyes. Plus, depending on where you are, they might have feathers on their legs, or not.

Marans chickens are one of the better options if you’re new to keeping poultry. They’re hardy, easy to care for, and absolutely thrive when they can frolic around freely, although they don’t mind being cooped up also.


Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

By Oden

Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

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