I have been keeping Marans as a hobby and to produce dark brown eggs and tasty birds for the house for over 20 years, and now there is a renewed interest in poultry keeping I have decided to offer some of my Marran eggs for hatching.
I have always bred for large solidily built birds with good laying abilities, which are capable of producing a good quantity of very large dark brown eggs with big large deep golden yolks.
The dark brown Maran eggs were Ian Flemings favourite breakfast eggs which his housekeeper procured from a relative, so in his novels he wrote that James Bond 007 liked his Marrans egg boiled for 3 1/3 minutes. (I find my eggs being large and fresh need nearer 5 minutes in boiling water to have a perfect runny yolk and just set white).
I much prefer the clean legged English Marans, both for looks, for keeping the eggs and nesting boxes clean, and their resistance to scaly leg (I have never ever had this in my fowl) English Cuckoo Marans look more attractive should you intend to rear any spare Maran cockerels for meat - and they were originally a dual purpose utility bird. Marans were valued for the excellent quality and fine flavour as gourmet table birds, as well as for their wonderful eggs, something which seems to have been overlooked recently.
My Maran flock is a fine healthy long-lived strain, and they are normally allowed complete free range over several acres of orchard and pasture (though recently the foxes have been calling in the day so they are sometimes restricted to their grassed runs for safety's sake). My Marrans are fed as much as possible on wheat and other whole grains and natural food, and the land they are on is never sprayed or artificially fertilized. They have natural dried and ground seaweed meal and oystershell grit ad lib as a supplement.
I have always selected Marans which have a calm, quiet temperament and I have never had any trouble with aggression from the Maran cockerels. As these birds are from a large strain they are easily kept penned in (or out) of parts of the garden, as they are too heavy to fly. Marans also seem to be less inclined to scratch and peck the garden than some of the lighter and smaller breeds.
I have tried to concentrate on quality rather than quantity and so I do not have a large number of Marran eggs for sale so please contact me for availability. I only ever hatch from dark coloured, well shaped eggs which come from Marans that are good egg producers. So the genes for the really dark eggs are being concentrated, whilst the egg laying abilities are not being lost.
poultrykeeper.com - Large informative site on many aspects of poultry keeping
Fertile hatching eggs for sale from English Cuckoo Marans