Are Black Copper Marans good layers? Everyone raves about their rich colors and great taste, but how much of this is a myth? Do the Marans live up to the hype that you see in chicken circles? Let’s look at how eggy these chickens really are. You might decide that they aren’t worth the hassle or the best thing on earth.
How Many Eggs Do Black Copper Marans Lay?
First thing’s first. Are Black Copper Marans good layers numbers-wise? Your Black Copper Marans will typically lay 150-200 eggs per year, or three eggs a week. So they aren’t prolific egg layers but a solid average layer. But this is only half of the laying considerations. How many eggs your chickens lay depends on so many factors.
A Black Copper Marans pullet starts laying eggs around 8-9 months old. But they can wait an entire year before they lay, depending on their hatch date. Molting and broodiness also play a huge factor in the number of eggs that your Marans will lay. During these times, your hens won’t lay eggs.
However, most Black Copper Marans will lay eggs up until they are six years old. The first two years will be your Marans strongest laying years, with a steady decrease after. By the sixth year, you might only get an egg every few weeks, but they are a pleasant surprise!
Black Copper Marans Egg Color
No doubt, what attracts most people to Black Copper Marans is their rich chocolate egg color. Some Marans even lay speckled eggs. But you shouldn’t get Black Copper Marans hens for this reason only. Of all the Marans, the Black Copper lays the darkest eggs. Yet, there is a catch to this color.
The first catch is that this velvety color is only superficial. The egg’s brown coloring comes from mucus that easily wipes off. If you wash your eggs too vigorously or pick them up before they dry, the chocolate coloring will rub off.
The second is that their coloring fades over time. At the beginning of spring, your hens will lay their darkest eggs. And as the season goes by, the eggs will get lighter and lighter until they take a break in laying. The coloring also starts to fade as your hens get older. The first two years are always the darkest, but the shade will never be as deep even after a laying break.
So as you can see the color is beautiful. If you sell your eggs, some might even seek out the darkest eggs. But they aren’t reliable to always be that dark, so you will have to consider that.
Your Marans 150-200 eggs a year is still quite the feat, but the eggs aren’t as large as others. The Black Copper Marans lay eggs that weigh around 1.75 ounces, which categorizes them as a medium. Most of us are used to large to extra-large eggs, so getting only medium sizes might be a little disappointing.
Marans Egg Taste
Some people claim that the Black Copper Marans eggs taste superior to anything you’ll ever taste. Some of this is due to the myth that dark eggs equal more nutrition. Some famous chefs even claim that these eggs are the highest quality eggs you can use in any dish. But a chicken egg is a chicken egg.
There is no taste difference between a Black Copper Marans egg or a Red Comet. The real difference people taste is between a store-bought egg and a free-range egg. Store-bought eggs are what we are all used to. But when you eat eggs from a hen that can forage and complete its diet, the difference is evident. But if you only eat eggs from free-ranging birds, you won’t taste a difference in Marans.
So if you wanted to raise hens for better tasting eggs, any chicken breed would be fine. It’s mostly about looks for the Black Copper Marans.
Do Black Copper Marans Lay In The Winter?
Winter eggs are a dream for most backyard chicken owners. But not every chicken breed is capable of laying throughout the winter. The Black Copper Marans are one of those chickens that need the break. When you allow your Marans to have a short break from laying, their eggs will return to that dark brown you love. So if you want winter eggs, you will want to add another chicken breed to your flock.
Are Black Copper Marans Broody?
Depending on where you get your chickens, some Black Copper Marans are often bred not to go broody. But others are specially bred for their broodiness and mothering skills. If allowed, the Black Copper Marans are excellent mothers. They sit on their eggs and raise their chicks with such duty.
There are advantages to having either of these Marans. Hens that don’t go broody often will produce the most eggs. But ones that have the mothering gene are your best bet for chicks. We will talk more about that later, though.
Depending on your goal, you will want to talk with your breeder about the best match. If you plan to breed more Black Copper Marans, you don’t want a line that won’t be the best mothers. Your breeder will have the knowledge to point you in the right direction.
Black Copper Marans Hatching Eggs
Are Black Copper Marans good layers? Yes, they are, and they are also the best mothers. Artificially incubating Black Copper Marans isn’t always the easiest task. Beginners might find it incredibly disappointing if they don’t know what to expect.
Black Copper Marans need slightly higher humidity levels after the first 14 days. If you aren’t careful, you could lose an entire clutch. Even experienced breeders find Marans tricky to have high success rates. But hens have a flawless incubation strategy. That’s why it’s best to leave the eggs with the mothers.
Crossbreeding Black Copper Marans
Another reason to consider getting Black Copper Marans is for crossbreeding. If you cross a Black Copper Marans rooster with an Araucana, the result is a beautiful olive egger. There are also Black Copper Sexlink Marans crossbred with a Barred Rock female. And, of course, you could create a unique crossbreed of your own.
The Black Copper Marans has such a docile temperament and decent laying abilities. It makes them great candidates for making hybrid chickens. Just remember to be careful with Black Copper Marans cockerels as they can get a little aggressive.
Black Copper Marans Breeders
Purchasing Black Copper Marans isn’t as easy as it seems. Black Copper Marans are a rare breed in the USA. And you have to be careful of where you buy them because most hatcheries don’t carry good quality birds. They have many tricks up their sleeves to make their Marans seem like a good stock, but most of them turn out to be a flop.
A famous trick that hatcheries and breeders alike do is make the eggs look darker. How dark your hen’s eggs are is primarily due to genetics. She will lay dark eggs the parents passed them down. Since the dark brown eggs come from a coating on the eggshells, sellers will lay the eggs out to dry. The red oxidizes in the air and makes the eggs appear browner after a few days. Breeders will take a picture of these eggs and claim their hens pass on these genes.
This is why you hear of Black Copper Marans owners who don’t get chocolate-colored eggs. They have been duped by pictures online when in reality, their chickens only produce regular dark brown eggs. If the lines are high-quality, the egg color suffers first.
Hatcheries will often show pictures of vibrantly colored Marans. But in reality, their Black Copper Marans chicks are noticeably dull in color compared to breeders. For such a rare and expensive breed, you would really do best with finding a local breeder.
Selling Or Buying Black Copper Marans Eggs
Buying a dozen Marans eggs for consumption isn’t any more expensive than other breeds. So if you sell your extra eggs, you won’t get more for the darker ones. But if you breed, you could make a decent amount.
Fertilized Black Copper Marans eggs can cost as much as $75 per dozen. But if you become an experienced breeder, you could sell quality pullets for $30-$60 apiece. Even on a small scale, you could make enough money as a side hustle to pay for food and supplies. Your Black Copper Marans will pay for themselves and possibly even more chickens.
Do You Want Black Copper Marans Eggs?
Are Black Copper Marans Good Layers? They might not be the best, but we can’t deny that these chickens have many benefits. These chickens can make you a little side money with excellent breeding. You could also create hybrids of all kinds with the Marans. And of course, you could keep all the beautiful eggs for yourself. No matter why you get them, we know you will love your Marans.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!