The Marans are an old heritage breed. They were developed in the marshy areas of France. They are a dual purpose bird - my roosters dress out at an averaged 4 to 6 lbs. They are prized for their dark chocolate brown eggs, laying about 275 - 300 eggs per year. The brown color in Marans' eggs is the result of a layer of pigment deposited over a finished egg as it passes through the oviduct. You can even scrub the dark coating off the eggs whereas with other eggs the tan pigment is built in to the shell calcium. The egg color is graded on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the darkest. The minimum acceptable color for a Marans egg is a 4#. A pullet might lay a amazing 7# to 9# because of being delayed in the oviduct and as a result being spray-painted extra long. Our hens have been proven to be able to lay #4 eggs or darker. Our line comes direct from Bev Davis - the originator of the Wheaten strain.
The French version is feather legged; the English is clean legged.
There are 9 recognized colors in the French Standard: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian.
The Blue Wheaten variety is not yet recognized in the Standard. We are working on genetics with the breed - as there is a problem producing Blue Wheaten roosters. We have two Blue Wheaten boys at the moment:)
Here is one of my Blue Wheaten roosters and some Wheaten hens:
Here is a Splash hen:
The Wheaten line carries feathered shanks and amber eyes. They are a strikingly beautiful bird.