At Cornerstone Poultry we are breeding Black Copper Marans to the French Standard.
For years this chicken was bred to lay prized gourmet eating eggs. French chefs are notorious for using only the highest quality ingredients, so it’s probably no coincidence that this breed originated in France.
The priority of the Black Copper Marans breed then… is the egg, which is extremely dark brown in color. It is a deep chocolate. The darkest eggs can be marked or spotted, as the coloring is applied to the top of the shell in the last stage before laying. Speckled eggs are normal but not required for the breed.
The standard size for these eggs is “Extra Large.” Our target for our breeding program is at or above 75 grams.
The depth of egg color is measured in France by the “Marans Scale”. It is a scale from 1 to 9, with Marans coloring starting at 4, and Black Copper Marans coloring starting at 5 as noted below.
You’ll see that 1 is a typical large white egg with an oval shape. Marans eggs are both larger and rounder in shape.
Of all the breeds we have here at Cornerstone Poultry, our Marans have the lowest lay rate. Some speculate that to achieve the darker color, eggs must pass much more slowly through the oviduct thus greatly reducing laying rates. In a nut shell, or should I say egg shell, it takes longer for Marans to lay their eggs. And I knew that going in, but being a self professed foodie, I just could not resist raising an egg that French chefs will pay dearly for.
The Black Copper Marans chicken is a moderately large sized black bird with copper colored hackles. Roosters should weigh an average of 8 pounds and hens 6 1/2 pounds by French standards. Most U.S. birds a notable smaller. Interestingly, this is one of the only breeds whose standards include egg color.
Of all the breeds we have researched, this breed seems to have more uncertainty in the validity of their lineage. After hours of emails and phone calls, we have decided to focus solely on the Cottagehill Black Copper Marans line. These birds are as true to type as we have seen, laying beautifully dark colored eggs.
Our hope is to establish a small breeding flock of excellent birds true to the French standards over the next several years. This is the only breed here at Cornerstone Poultry where egg color out ranks egg production.
Links to more information on the Black Copper Marans Breed
If you plan on breeding Black Copper Marans, we highly recommend that you become a member of the Marans Club of America or the Marans Chicken Club USA. It is a great way to meet other breeders and learn more about the breed.
Marans Club of America (MOAC)