French Black Copper Marans: Friendly Chickens With Unique Eggs

Gather ’round, my fellow poultry enthusiasts, for today, we embark on a captivating journey through the wonderful world of the French Black Copper Marans chicken breed. 

With their striking appearance and penchant for producing the most delightful dark chocolate eggs, these fancy fowls have become a sensation among backyard chicken keepers and breeders. Hailing from the charming town of Marans in France.

Allow me to guide you as we explore the fascinating history, physical traits, egg-laying abilities, and temperament of the Black Copper Marans. 

Whether you’re a seasoned chicken keeper, a first-time owner, or simply a curious soul eager to learn more about these intriguing birds, our guide promises to provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about adding these dark-feathered beauties to your flock. 

Quick Guide: Black Copper Marans 

Black Copper Marans, a versatile chicken breed from Marans, France, are known for their hardiness, docile nature, and foraging skills. In addition, their distinctive dark chocolate-colored eggs are highly prized for appearance and taste. Ideal for egg and meat production, they make excellent additions to backyard flocks and homesteads.

Complete Breed Guide: French Black Copper Marans Chickens

Black Copper Marans chicken

Origin & Development

The story of the Marans chicken breed, including the enchanting Black Copper Marans, begins in the eponymous French town of Marans ¹, where the breed was developed for egg and meat production. 

Sailors returning from Indonesia to Marans brought some exotic chickens, which laid the foundation for creating the now-famous “poule de Marans” or Marans chicken. The breed’s dark eggs, especially the Black Copper Marans eggs, left backyard chicken enthusiasts and breeders spellbound.

Over time, Marans chickens have been selectively bred to maintain and enhance their egg-laying prowess and unique appearance. Today, Black Copper Marans are recognized by various breed associations and are highly prized among poultry aficionados.

Physical Characteristics

These chickens are medium to large-sized birds that sport a genuinely eye-catching appearance. Their black chicken feathers are adorned with deep copper hues, creating mesmerizing patterns that make them stand out in any flock. 

The males of the species exhibit more copper coloring on their necks and saddle feathers, while females showcase predominantly black plumage with a few copper highlights.

The breed’s single comb, wattles, and earlobes are typically a vibrant red, which nicely complements their dark eye color. In addition, Marans chickens are known for their feathered legs and feet, usually slate blue or black. 

These unique features add to the breed’s undeniable charm and appeal.

The Dashing Black Copper Marans Roosters

French Black Copper Marans chicken breed

Now, it’s time to shine the spotlight on the males of the species – the dashing and debonair Black Copper Marans roosters. With their regal bearing and resplendent plumage, these feathered fellows are the epitome of poultry panache.

These roosters are easily distinguished by their more pronounced copper coloring on their necks and saddle feathers, creating a striking contrast against their predominantly black plumage. In addition, their single comb, wattles, and earlobes are a vibrant red, and their legs and feet are adorned with feathers, just like their female counterparts.

While looks alone might be enough to win over many a chicken fan, these roosters are more than just pretty faces. They are known for being protective of their flock without being overly aggressive, striking the right balance between vigilance and good nature. In addition, they will dutifully watch over their hens, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Regarding breeding, the roosters play a pivotal role in preserving the breed’s unique characteristics. By carefully selecting well-conformed males that adhere to breed standards, you can ensure the successful continuation of the captivating dark brown eggs and other desirable traits for which the Marans breed is famous.

In a nutshell, Black Copper Marans roosters are truly remarkable birds that combine beauty, temperament, and practicality. They are the perfect counterpart to the enchanting Marans hens, and together, they make a splendid addition to any backyard flock or homestead.

Egg-laying Capabilities

eggs of a black copper marans chicken

What truly sets these chickens apart is their extraordinary egg-laying capabilities. 

Marans hens, particularly the Black Copper variety, are famous for laying the darkest eggs among all Marans chickens. Depending on the individual hen and her laying cycle, these dark brown eggs can range from dark chocolate to almost black.

A healthy Marans hen can produce around 150 to 200 brown eggs annually, with some ambitious individuals laying even more. While they may not be the most prolific layers compared to other breeds, the quality and uniqueness of their dark eggs more than makeup for any perceived shortcomings.

When Do Black Copper Marans Start Laying?

Black Copper Marans typically start laying eggs at around 6 to 7 months of age. However, this can vary depending on factors such as individual genetics, diet, and environmental conditions. Providing proper nutrition, care, and a stress-free environment can help encourage egg production.

Personality & Temperament

Black Copper Marans are known for their friendly and docile temperament, getting along splendidly with humans and being easily handled. This makes them an excellent choice for families with children. While protective of their flock, Marans males are not known to be overly aggressive.

These friendly birds are also compatible with other chicken breeds, making them a versatile addition to any backyard flock. With their calm demeanor and adaptability to various environments, Marans chickens are well-suited for both experienced chicken keepers and beginners alike.

Health & Common Issues

They are generally healthy and resistant to common poultry diseases as a hardy breed. However, like any other chicken breed, they may still be susceptible to genetic and environmental factors impacting their health.

To ensure your Marans chickens remain in tip-top shape, providing them with proper care, a balanced diet, and a clean living environment is essential. 

Regular health checks and preventive measures, such as vaccinations and parasite control, can also help keep your flock in good condition.

Care & Management

Regarding housing requirements, Black Copper Marans need a well-ventilated, dry, and draft-free coop with enough space to accommodate their size. In addition, providing roosting bars and nesting boxes will ensure they have a comfortable place to rest and lay their eggs.

Feeding and nutrition are essential for maintaining the health of your Marans chickens. A high-quality, balanced feed formulated for laying hens will support their egg production and overall well-being. Additionally, providing your flock access to grit and calcium supplements will help promote strong eggshells and proper digestion.

They enjoy free-ranging and foraging insects, providing essential nutrients and keeping them engaged. However, if you cannot offer a free-range environment, a spacious, secure run with access to fresh grass and vegetation will suffice. 

Remember to protect against predators on the ground and from above to keep your Marans safe.

Breeding & Genetics

If you breed your Black Copper Marans, selecting a high-quality breeding stock that adheres to breed standards is crucial. In addition, choosing healthy, well-conformed birds will help maintain the unique traits that make Marans chickens desirable. 

Establishing a successful breeding program is vital to preserving the breed’s characteristics, such as the dark brown egg color.

Incubation and hatching can be exciting and rewarding experiences. 

Ensure your incubator is set at the correct temperature and humidity levels for optimal results. Once your Marans chicks hatch, provide them with a warm, clean brooder and a nutritious chick starter feed to support their growth and development. 

Keep in mind that a young female Marans chicken is called a pullet.

Uses & Benefits of Black Copper Marans

As a dual-purpose breed, they provide both egg and meat production. Their chocolate eggs are visually appealing and renowned for their exceptional taste, making them a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts.

Marans chickens are also suitable for exhibition and show, thanks to their striking appearance and unique features. With their friendly and docile temperament, they make excellent pets for families or individuals seeking a rewarding and engaging hobby.

It is worth noting that other varieties of Marans, such as Cuckoo Marans, share some similarities with the Black Copper Marans. However, the dark eggs of the BCM make them the most sought-after among all Marans varieties.

Final Thoughts on This Unique Breed

In summary, french Black Copper Marans are:

  • An enchanting and versatile breed.
  • Offering a unique combination of beauty.
  • Egg-laying capabilities.
  • A pleasant disposition.

You can enjoy the many benefits these captivating birds bring to your backyard flock or homestead by providing them with proper care, nutrition, and a suitable living environment.

Whether you are an experienced chicken wrangler or a first-time owner, we hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights and inspiration to help you decide to add these chickens to your flock. 

Happy chicken keeping!

References

1: http://aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/18E02A05.pdf

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.