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Black Copper Marans

While growing in popularity, Marans chickens are still not common in the United States. They originated in France and were introduced in the United States in the 1930s. Black Copper Marans lay exceptional eggs, rich in flavor and dark mahogany in color.  When females chicks hatch, they have a finite amount of pigment or coloring in their body, so as they age and continue laying, the color of the eggs lightens. This does not affect the quality or superb taste of the egg. You can find a lot of information about Marans on the internet, but the following link is one we highly recommend: 


In our experience:

  • Marans are an extremely hearty breed and fairly tolerant of hot and cold weather extremes, provided they have shelter from the cold and direct sun and ample clean water. With good management practices, they tend to have very few health problems.

  • The roosters have rich copper colored feathers on their necks, saddle and upper wing area; black and iridescent green on their wings and tails; a black chest, plain or stippled with copper; grey or slate colored shanks; and feathered feet on the outermost toes. 

  • Hens are black with touches of iridescent green in the sunlight, their necks the same or lightly colored with copper.

  • The majority of Marans, male and female, are quite gentle.  Aggression is not a trait we want to cultivate.  No matter how handsome a rooster might be, if he is aggressive, he is culled from our flock.

  • This breed is considered of medium-size, with hens weighing about 6-1/2 pounds and roosters about 8 pounds.  A hen will lay approximately 150 large to extra-large eggs per year.

  • Hens can become broody, but in our experience, only a small fraction do.  Even when this happens, the broody hens usually remain quite docile and allow you to handle them and retrieve eggs.  In general, we find BC Marans to be very agreeable overall.

At Thornfield Poultry, our Marans breeding program is fairly simple:

  • Only incubate and hatch the darkest eggs

  • Maintain the breed characteristics specified in the Standards of Perfection, more specifically, medium-sized birds with a balanced body type and acceptable color variations.  Some of the unacceptable traits we watch for are: an oversized or unbalanced body frame; long shanks; white feathering on adults; bare, un-feathered feet; any feathers on the middle toes; excessive mottling of the chest on a rooster; and yellow shanks.

  • Not every chick we sell will be show-quality or flawless.  With our pullets and adults, we judge and price our birds according to Breed Quality and Non-Breed Quality.  A Breed Quality bird possesses quality traits that meet the Standards of Perfection and will make an excellent show bird or breeding stock.  Breed Quality does not mean a bird is flawless, however.  Birds are like people—no one is perfect. 

  • Non-breed quality means the birds possess flaws, per the Standards of Perfection, that we prefer not to pass on to offspring.  For instance, we avoid the “English type,” which is clean-legged—without feathers on the legs and feet, that is.  Other examples of flaws can include: feathered middle toes, long shanks, yellow shanks, sparsely feathered legs and toes, and improper markings.  Non-Breed Quality has nothing to do with egg quality.  Non-breed quality birds are less expensive and ideal for someone whose interest is in the Marans eggs.  They are also ideal for backyard poultry enthusiasts who cannot have  a rooster.


Contact Us

Thornfield Poultry

P.O. Box 819

Hillsborough, NC