The Maran is a heavy, soft feather breed. It is very hardy, a superb layer of dark brown-shelled eggs, generally disease resistant and simple to keep.
Marans originated in western France in the town of Marans, is best known for its dark chocolate coloured eggs.
Laying potential is over 220 pa.
It is a fast grower and does well in damp areas, having been developed in a marshy portion of France.
The original French birds have feathered legs, but this characteristic has been bred out of the British and many American lines.
The French recognise 9 varieties:
- Silver Cuckoo;
- Golden Cuckoo;
- Coppered Black;
- Black-tailed Fawn;
- Ermine; and,
- Silvered Black.
In the Cuckoo Marans, males are lighter in colour than females - it is possible to sex them even as chicks with reasonable good accuracy.