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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rare Chicken Breeds

Michael and I just found out about this really cool and rare breed of chickens. They are called Marans, and like I said, they are rare and hard to find true Marans. They lay a "chocolate egg" meaning that their eggs are a deep dark brownish maroon. There are four recognized varieties of Marans here in the US: Black, Dark Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, and Silver Cuckoo.

 We were able to find someone locally who sells Marans. Today I'm going to give them a call and make sure they are true Marans.

What rare breeds do you have or want to have? 


Rachel said...

We just got Buckeyes which are on the ALBC's Threatened list. We also just got Cornish (not to be confused with Cornish Crosses) which are listed on their Watch list.

Alison said...


I got my 8 chickens last week.
So excited!
You inspired me!
Those little cluckers are so dang cute!

Judy T said...

We just ordered our chicks last week. The hatchery was sold out of Marans for the entire spring. We are getting a variety but the ones I'm excited about are the Welsummer chicks. Like the Marans, they lay dark 'chocolate' eggs- some with speckles. And the rooster was the model for the rooster on the cornflakes box- very handsome. They don't arrive until May and we've got a lot of work to before they arrive.

Artful Gathering said...

Lovely eggs. Thanks for the post as I did not know this information. I love my golden laced wynadottes. But the any chicken is fabulous. Thanks again.

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

I have Dominiques and absolutely love them. Oldest American breed and they are incredibly hardy. Good layers too.

Kara said...

I have a Maran! Her eggs are dark brown, but I still wouldn't call them chocolate. Sometimes they're darker than others, and I have no idea why. Diet? She's also a really funny chicken. Very bossy and unafraid of anything.

Here is a photo of her eggs:


Mona @ Healthy Homesteading said...

I love rare breeds. I have 4 Cuckoo Marans that I purposely purchased for egg color diversity. I have a rainbow of eggs now (white, green, light brown, dark brown). I only have one or two Marans that lay the dark color. The other two don't seem to have as dark of eggs. I am going to buy 5 Welsummers (also a rare breed) this year that also lay dark eggs. I decided to buy these because they are similar in size to the Leghorn so I thought they might need less food. The Marans are on the large side so I figured they probably eat more. They make good meat birds though because they have a fairly fast growth rate.
Cackle Hatchery sells Marans if you are looking to buy online.
I am also very interested in rare breed Turkey's and Ducks. I will be purchasing a few Royal Palm Turkey's and Ancona Ducks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I haven't learned about the rare chickens yet. Our first three were going to be an Americauna, Black Star Sexlink and Rhone Island Red but you're making me take a second look.

Unknown said...

Edwards, those are good solid choices!

Anonymous said...

I got my 4 Black Marans from a Marans breeder and just love them. Most of the time, the eggs are not much darker than my Welsummers', but once in a while I get a gorgeous dark mahogany egg that makes me wish they were all that color. Maybe with spring coming on they'll start getting darker, but as they layed all winter, I don't know if that holds true. I also have True Aracauna's and a super friendly black Americauna. This year I'm adding Cochin, Brahma, Lakenvelder, Brabanter and an Orloff. Love my girls!