Black Copper Marans (dark egg layers)
This is such a unique breed! They're best known for laying the darkest coloured eggs but they're also very tasty meat birds. A great description of this breed can be found at The Marans Club (click here).
Our Flock & Update for 2023 Season
January 2023 update: We're almost sold out of BCM eggs for the 2023 season already. I'm guessing that we're currently booking into August for the preorders. If that's too late in the season for you, feel free to place a preorder for next season so that you're earlier on the list (if you're ordering for 2024, please make sure to add a note on the order so that I know).
Good quality Black Copper Marans are difficult to find in Canada so I purchased from three breeders across Western Canada. Of the three lines, I chose the strongest two lines to work with for my breeding program.
In 2021 we focused heavily on our black copper marans. We hatched out 275 of this breed in 2021, grew out 200 of them, and selected only the top 6 birds to keep as potential breeders for the 2022 season. Keeping only the best 3% allowed us to make some incredible strides with our breeding program. We followed a similar method in 2022 but on a smaller scale, keeping only the best 6% as breeders.
Here is a list of what we've been able to achieve in all of our breeding BCMs for the 2023 season (but please note that just because my breeding birds have these characteristics, there are still genetic factors which may cause their offspring to be different).
- No disqualifications (ex. no significantly lopped combs, no side sprigs on combs, no beak deformities, no positive white enamel on ear lobes, no pearl eyes, no black eyes, no split wing, no slipped wing, no roached back, no twisted tail feathers, no split tail, no squirrel tail, no wry tail, no rumplessness, no yellow on shanks or toes, good leg feathering, no bow leggedness, no duck foot, no knock knee, 4 toes, no webbed foot)
- Colour of back conforms to Standard of Perfection (SoP)
- Colour of neck conforms to SoP
- Shape of back conforms to SoP
- Shape of legs conforms to SoP
- Appropriate leg feathering conforms to SoP
- No middle toe feathers, requirement of SoP
- Colour of breast, no leakage, conforms to SoP
- Shape of comb- made progress but this will be a focus again in 2023
- Friendly and calm temperament
Conforming to the Standard of Perfection is important not just for showing and breeding but also to support egg productivity and meat yield.
Any flock will always be a work in progress so we're working with a mentor for our Marans breeding program and we're also active members of The Marans Club and the APA (American Poultry Association).
For anyone who's looking to understand more about what makes a quality Marans, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of the Standard of Perfection here.
Marans Egg Colour
There are many misconceptions about the egg colour of Marans so I want to make sure that everyone understands how these beautiful colours work. A Marans hen's egg colour will change throughout her laying cycle. Usually her first eggs are her darkest and they gradually become less dark the more she lays. When she has a pause in laying (for example, during annual molting), it gives her a chance to "reset" and her eggs will once again be darker when she resumes laying. They will gradually fade throughout her laying season and the process begins again. So while I am very happy with the egg colour from my Marans, please understand that the breed does not have consistent egg colours throughout the entire year.
Furthermore, the darker the egg colour, the harder the egg is to hatch. The darker pigment seems to make the egg shells thicker which makes it harder for the chicks to break through and they also seem to be more sensitive to incubation parameters. In my opinion, the best results are achieved from hens who carry the beautiful dark egg genes but laid the egg midway through her laying cycle. In my opinion, this passes on the dark egg genes to the chick but the shell is not so dark and thick that it hinders the chick's ability to hatch.
Availability for 2023
We sold out very early last year and we're only breeding our best trios again in 2023 so we will have limited availability again. Preorder early because aside from fulfilling the preorders, we're not likely to have extras during the season. Our breeding season depends on the hens and on the weather and will likely start in April or May.
Hatching Eggs: Due to how much we narrowed down our Black Copper Marans breeding pens, we're only likely to have a max of 2-3 dozen eggs/week available. Feel free to add more to your order if you'd like, but if you do I might need to ship them separately which will require a second shipping charge. Please also click here for details on purchasing hatching eggs from us.
Chicks: Order above by adding to your cart and placing your order. Please also click here for details on purchasing chicks from us.
Pullets & Cockerels: Order above by adding to your cart and placing your order. Please also click here for details on purchasing started birds from us.
Please also be sure to read our Terms & Conditions for more information before ordering.