The Classic Black Copper Maran Chicken Breed - FowlFamily (2024)

The Black Copper Maran Chicken Breed is known for its deep chocolate-colored eggs. This breed was introduced in the earlier phase of the 1900s. But it became popular in the later phase of the 20th century.

This classic French breed has become popular for its calm personality, cold hardiness, and excellent egg production. This article will be a handy guide for those who want to raise these chickens in the backyard. I’ll also try to drag their history, appearance, and economic insights as well.

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Black Copper Maran in A Nutshell

Here’s a short summary of the Black Copper Maran chickens.

  • Scientific Name: Gallus gallus domesticus
  • Order: Galliformes
  • Origin: France
  • Family: Phasianidae
  • Subspecies: None
  • Varieties: Black, Black Copper, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Silver Cuckoo, White
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose – eggs and meat
  • Distribution: Worldwide
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Adaptability: Very hardy, good foragers

Historical Timeframe of Black Copper Maran Chicken Breed

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The Black Copper Maran hails from the old port town of Marans in France.

Marans was a vital port town back in the 1200s. Sailors would stop there and bring uncommon chickens from their travels to Asia. These chickens from places like Indonesia and India are bred with the regular barnyard chickens of Marans.

The people of Marans originally bred these birds for their meat. Yet the Marans became famous for their chocolate-colored eggs. No other chicken lays such dark, rich brown eggs. So, the Marans won fame for their beautiful brown eggshells.

These chickens first sailed over to America and England around 1900. But they became recognized in the 1980s.

Physical Appearance of Black Copper Maran Chickens

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The Black Copper Maran has a medium-sized, muscular build. The plumage is primarily black with an iridescent green sheen. The breast feathers have a coppery-red color. The feathers are tight and close to the body.

The single comb is medium in size and bright red. They have red or orange eyes and lightly feathered slate-colored legs.

The male roosters weigh around 9 lbs and hens around 7 lbs. The Black Copper Maran has a graceful, sweeping tail and an upright carriage.

Do Male And Female Marans Appear to be the Same?

No, not really. But the difference isn’t too much. The males have copper feathers around their heads and saddles. Females don’t have copper feathers except for the head only.

You may watch this video to have a better idea:

How Many Black Copper Maran Chicken Breed Varieties Are Available?

There are many different kinds of Black Copper Maran chickens. The Cuckoo Marans is the most common type in America. But thanks to breeders, more colors are available now.

Some other Maran varieties are –

  • Silver Cuckoo
  • Gold Cuckoo
  • Rown Red
  • Blue Copper
  • Wheaten
  • Black Tailed Buff
  • White
  • Black
  • Columbian.

All these, except the Blue Copper, come from France originally. But Blue Copper Marans have been around a long time, too.

Marans are large chickens raised for meat and eggs. There are bantam Marans, but they are very rare!

Personality Traits

The Black Copper Maran is known for having a calm, docile temperament. They tend to be mellow and quiet chickens that are not easily stressed.

They are excellent foragers when allowed to free range. Marans will cover plenty of ground searching for food. Also, these chickens tolerate confinement well if needed. However, please be mindful that they do best when allowed to roam and exhibit natural behaviors.

Maran hens go broody but not excessively so. They make devoted mothers and will care diligently for their young. So, they’re pretty cool moms!

Recommended Readings:

  • The Cochin Chicken Breed
  • Golden Comet Chicken Breed
  • Guide to Raising Cinnamon Queen Chicken Breed

Mating and Reproduction of Black Copper Maran Chickens

Marans reach sexual maturity and begin laying eggs around 6 months of age. The hens are not prone to broodiness but will sit on a clutch for 21 days when inclined.

The Maran rooster is a protective guardian who is attentive to his flock. He will alert the hens to food sources and threats. A ratio of one rooster to every 8-10 hens is ideal.

The hen’s eggs are naturally an intense chocolate brown color, as I already said. With suitable breeding and nutrition, they can be dark reddish-brown. Also, the shell is strong and durable.

Are Their Egg Production Up for Economic Good?

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In short, no. They’re good layers. But it’s not very impactful for doing business, I guess!

Black Copper Marans lay medium to large brown eggs. Each hen lays about 200 eggs per year. The amount is lower than other egg-laying breeds. For example, Leghorns are even better; they lay around 280 eggs a year.

In addition, the hens are slow to mature and only start laying eggs at 7-8 months old. Their eggs are also slower to hatch – about 22 days instead of 21.

Maran hens don’t produce enough for commercial egg farms. But they are excellent for small home flocks. Their lower production makes them calmer and less prone to stress issues.

Moreover, too much confinement can reduce their egg numbers! So, consider them good egg layers, but they might not bring a financial lead.

Recommended Reading: Which Chickens Lay Purple Eggs

How Suitable Black Copper Maran Chickens in Backyard?

The Black Copper Maran is just too good as a backyard duck. They are known to be easy-going birds that adapt well to confinement or free-ranging.

Marans tolerate weather extremes quite well, thanks to their tight feathering. Their medium size and active foraging ability let them evade aerial predators. However, they may need protection from foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and other ground predators.

How Much Space Do I Need for a Black Copper Maran Chicken?

Provide at least 4 square feet of coop space per bird. An attached outdoor run will allow them to get fresh air and exercise.

Dietary needs

They thrive on a diet of commercial feed or crumbles supplemented with kitchen scraps and treats. Provide insoluble granite grit to help their gizzards grind feed.

Supply oyster shells for extra calcium to support egg formation and development. Give them free-choice access to clean water at all times.

For rich egg color, supplement their feed with corn, alfalfa, and wheat. Avoid feeding anything that could discolor the egg yolk, such as cabbage, onions, or fish meal.

Is Black Copper Maran Chicken Aggressive?

Black Copper Marans are known to be a calm, docile breed. The hens tend to be casual and not easily worried. Anyway, Roosters can exhibit more aggression during the breeding season. But hey, this is true of most rooster breeds.

Marans are on the less aggressive end of the spectrum compared to other chicken breeds. They forage well alongside other chickens in a mixed flock.

3 Amazing Facts About Black Copper Marans!

Marans are special chickens with unique traits. Let’s take a look at some of the surprising (or maybe unusual) things of the Maran Chickens.

  1. Dwellers find the beautiful brown eggs from Black Copper Marans very special. Back then, only French majesty was allowed to eat eggs from Maran hens. Their chocolate brown color was a sign of their rare value.
  2. Maran hens lay their darkest-colored eggs during their first couple years of life. As the hens mature, their eggs may get slightly lighter.
  3. Even when winter hits, Maran hens keep laying eggs. Cold weather that stops other chickens won’t slow down a Maran!

A Myth About Black Copper Maran Chickens

The legendary author Ian Flames had mentioned Maran eggs in his novels several times. There, the housekeeper of James Bond used to keep Maran eggs. Interesting, heh?

An author famous for his legendary creation is fond of chicken eggs! However, the myth is that people then started to think Maran eggs are the yummiest in the world!

But a Maran raiser denied the thing and poked those who praise Maran eggs a lot! Lisa said the eggs are no exception to a store-bought egg regarding tests or nutrients!


The Black Copper Maran chickens are bred for anyone looking for a unique backyard chicken. Their gorgeous chocolate-colored eggs and calm personality make them ideal pets.

These French birds are perfect for urban and family flocks for a friendly reputation. The multi-purpose Marans is an excellent fit for small homesteads as it can provide meat along with unique dark eggs. All in all, I guess now you know why people treasure these charming chickens from the coastal town of Marans.

Sources and References:

The Classic Black Copper Maran Chicken Breed - FowlFamily (2024)


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