Copper Black Marans chickens are currently very popular. Aside from being a stunning bird, it also produces eggs of a truly extraordinary dark chocolate color.
Its short existence (1900 or so) has been marked by ups and downs and even near extinction.
There are many different types of Marans, but the Copper Black Marans has become increasingly popular in the United States.
In part because it was rumored to be James Bond’s favorite egg, the Marans breed has become popular in England.
You may also want to read about the top 7 black chicken breeds.
History of Copper Black Marans
La Rochelle, in southwestern France, is the birthplace of the original Marans (poule de Marans). Due to the low and marshy terrain, the local chickens became known as “swamp chickens.
Sailors brought local barnyard hens and gamecocks from India and Indonesia to breed with the original landrace birds. They had an abundance of gamecocks because they traded them for fresh food and water. The name “Marandaise fowl” was given to these original birds.
Over time, the Marans were improved upon by crossing with Croad Langshan, Brahmas, Coucou de Malines, Coucou de Rennes, and Gatinaise chickens, ultimately giving rise to the modern-day ancestors of the Maran breed.
The Marans became well-known in their native France for the vibrant red of their eggs, despite the fact that their plumage was a hot mess.
France’s Ministry of Agriculture saw potential in the species and launched a breeding program to bring it back from obscurity.
The program was successful in part because it led to a rise in egg production. In 1952, Marans were averaging about 200 eggs per year.
From the side, the Copper Black Marans’s body looks like a wide ‘V’ triangle. The structure of the body is long, sturdy, and robust. They need to have a roomy chest and broader shoulders.
Their feathers are truly stunning. The body’s feathers are a jet black overall, with a possible green iridescence in bright light.
Reddish copper coloration can be seen in the hackle feathers. The rooster’s back is adorned with copper saddle feathers. The hen may not be as ornately decorated, but it is still a stunning bird.
Typically, Copper Black Marans have shiny, unblemished legs. In comparison to the hen’s weight of 6.5 pounds, the males’ averages 7-8 pounds. Although bantam Marans do exist, they are extremely rare.
Although Black Copper Marans roosters are known to be aggressive toward other roosters, the hens tend to be calm and peaceful. This is to be expected given the history of gamecock breeding, and there are even relatively tame roosters available. Hens are typically tame, though individual hens may be more or less submissive. This bird certainly doesn’t have a reputation for being particularly ‘cute.
The Copper Black Marans are a lively bird that do best when allowed some freedom to roam but can adapt to a caged environment. They can survive the cold without any trouble if given the right conditions, making them an excellent pet for the North.
Egg Laying and Egg Color
Ironically, the term “black copper” The eggs laid by Marans are famous for their deep chocolate color. The eggs of all of Maran’s birds are brown, but the Black Copper is prized for the exceptional “chocolate” brownness of its eggs.
When a Black Copper hen lays fewer eggs, those eggs are darker. An excellent egg-layer won’t produce the darkest eggs. The egg’s pigment overlay is a limited resource, so as the ‘ink’ runs out, the color fades. In this article, we go into greater detail regarding the various egg colors.
Similar to Welsummer eggs, some of these will be speckled with a darker hue. In some cases, the color of the eggs will change over the course of a season. For example, at the start of the laying season, the eggs will be quite dark, but by the end, they will have lightened quite a bit.
A hen will lay an average of three eggs per week, or between 150 and 200 eggs per year. While the Maran lays about as many eggs as the average layer, the quality of its eggs is said to be unparalleled.
The hens are reputed to be good mothers and setters, but not particularly broody. Here’s some helpful advice for anyone looking to purchase some Black Copper Marans:
Don’t buy hens based on the color of the egg in a picture. Darker eggs develop when they’ve been out in the open air for longer.