Black Copper Marans
Little did I know what I was getting into when I got my first Black Copper Marans in 2011. Breeding these birds to the SOP is quite the challenge. My original stock hens were overmelanized with funky combs. Hatching chicks with feathered feet and shanks was not a problem, but plenty of faults popped up to overcome. Egg color was borderline. Anybody wishing to breed these must be prepared to do a lot of culling no matter who you get them from. But they do lay beautiful eggs.
New for 2015: I have two different bloodlines of Black Copper Marans available. One is my line, started in 2011. They are large birds, very mellow disposition, and lay a #4 egg. The other line is descended from the original Wade Jeane birds via Charles Logan, who purchased Jeane's stock. I have keep the Logan line separate and also crossed the two lines in 2014. The Logan line birds are smaller but lay darker eggs, #5-#6. The cockerel I'm using over my line in 2015 is a cross between the two lines and has an exceptional topline:
A few of my Black Copper Marans hens:
● Good dual purpose bird with excellent flavored meat
● Potentially lay the darkest egg of any chicken breed
● Good layers in the heat of summer when other breeds have stopped
● Tolerate the heat well
● Males are beautifully colored
● Gentle, non-aggressive breed
● Dark brown eggs are very popular
● Difficult color pattern to breed to the SOP. More culling is necessary compared to established breeds.
● Not all hens lay the darker eggs. Breeding to SOP plus breeding for dark egg color is difficult
● Hens tend to lay in cycles. They will lay well then quit for a month or more before starting again.
● Large straight combs susceptible to freezing in cold climates
● Require a higher protein diet than a standard 17% layer, otherwise they might feather pick
● Slow to mature completely. Some faults may not show up until the bird is over 1 year old.