This breed was developed in France in the mid 1800's in the town for which it bears its name, Marans. They had made their way to England in the early 1900's and quickly became very popular for their very dark brown eggs - a trait they are still known for today. These beautiful birds were first exhibited in 1929 in Paris by the Poultry Breeders Society of France and since then have gradually made themselves popular in various countries around the world. We carry the Cuckoo variety of Maran which resembles the Barred Rock in color by displaying feathers which are all crossed throughout with irregular dark and light slate colored bars. Maran's lay the darkest eggs of any breed we carry and are a nice dual purpose bird for both eggs and meat.
Nice Birds Great Customer ServiceMy order of Cuckoo Marans is now almost three months old and what a nice flock they have turned out to be. They arrived healthy, ate and drank right away. I had ordered all females but ended up with two roosters. No problem, I called customer service and was refunded - no questions asked. Great customer service so no complaints. I understand that sexing is not 100% accurate so I am not worried if I get a roo or two. I have had this breed in the past and they are a great dual purpose bird that grow quickly. Order them, you will be happy.
Update: My birds are now approximately 6 months old now. I sold some of the flock and ended up keeping 4 layers. One hen started laying at about 20 weeks and the others started up one by one after that. I am now getting mostly 4 eggs a day, sometimes 3. The eggs vary a bit in shades of color but overall I would say they are the color of chocolate milk. They are a little smaller than I remember from my past birds but are steadily growing larger as the birds mature. I Love these ladies, they are calm, gentle and good layers.
DisappointmentThese birds have been a real disappointment. The main reason I ordered them was because of the egg color. Their eggs are nowhere near chocolate color. In fact, my Red Star and RIR chickens has darker eggs than my marans. I think McMurray shouldn't advertise them as chocolate eggers, it's misinformation. Had I known what their eggs would look like, I would not have ordered them, they are not the best layers. They do have nice personalities and they are sweet chickens, I love all my chickens. My 3 stars would be 5 stars to the birds, because they are sweet and nice, and it's not their fault, and 1 star to McMurray for false information on the breed.