The all new Breeder Award Seal of Approval program was created to build an alliance between Marans breeders. This program was design for Marans breeders whom choose to follow particular guide lines within their breeding programs to adhere to the French Standards. Award seekers who have earned an MOACABA seal can now be recognized as applicants with integrity. Apply for your seal today! Click on Seal.
The one thing I really hated to see this year in 2010 was to finally see the Black Copper Marans placed in the hatchery market. Mass production is not what they needed.What Black Copper Marans really need was the brakes put on them to get them corrected in both plumage and egg color. Hatchery BCM's are only going to enhance the problems they already have. You know hatcheries are not going to grade for egg color. They are going to hatch according to supply and demand. So that leaves us with triple the amount of faulty BCM's here in the US.If we lose the egg color then we lose the marans uniqueness.Working to get both plumage and egg color in the Black Cooper Marans has been something many breeders have been working on for years.
The marans community has been broken for years as well. I just sometimes have to wonder that while the older marans community was focusing on matters unrelated to plumage and egg color, could this have caused some breeders just not to give a damn anymore and sell out to the hatcheries? I really feel that if every one could have remained on the same page with the same goals over the last 10 years that selling out to the hatcheries would have never happened. But maybe I'm just being naive. Probably so.
I have only been in the marans community for 2 years and I have been in basic training everyday. Heck I thought basic training was only 12 weeks. I have to give thanks to my friends in France for helping me. As well as David Hancox. They took this greenhorn under their wing and more or less taught me how to take the bull by the horns. But I am always reminded that I am in a learning process everyday.This is what makes breeding marans so exciting and humbling.
But let's get back to hatchery marans. The cuckoos have been on the hatchery market for a while now and this year the Blue Splash, Golden Cuckoos and Whites and Black Coppers.
The Cuckoos are cleaned-shanks. So far they are stating that the other varieties are feathered-shanked. First off try and remember that the hatcheries know so little about what they are selling they can't even get the name right. They are selling MARAN, that should be your first warning sign.
So I suggest staying as far away from the hatchery marans as possibly. Buy from reputable breeders only. Yes you may pay a little more but these breeders have spent years and huge amounts of money on their lines. As well as on imports and other costs. But remember that there is not one single USA lines that is perfect. If they say they are perfect or number one line you can expect just as many flaws in them as you can any other line. Especially when it comes to the Black Copper Marans. Sorry but that's just the way it is. We all wish it could be as easy to buy a few Black Copper Marans and get a number 9 egg from the first pullet and she have perfect hackles and no mossiness and the cockerel has perfect hackles and saddle color, no red breast, and comb and tail angle at 45 degrees. but it's just not going to happen.
But the best thing to do is get a line and know of its faults/merits. Research and breed to correct those faults. And you do not have to be some kind of genetics expert to figure it out. It will be be your own personal breeding program that will make the difference.
If you are a breeder and seller-sell your faults/merits honestly- so you buyer will know that they are/or not getting for their flock. I once didn't know what some of my faults were when I first received my Marans, I had a rude awakening fast. Work together as a buyer/seller. DON"T HOLD GRUDGES. Remember this- there is no reason to try and make a killing on your marans by claiming to be the best, because basically you are just re-selling what some one has already sold you, faults/merits-included. Remember to never allow a marans to rob you of your friendships. On average friendships can out last marans 1 to 10 on a scale in years. Is it worth it?
As the USA Delegate for the Marans Club of France I get 100's of emails from people about every corn-picking line in the US and their faults and also their good traits. Wish I could say I get more on the latter. So as long as you don't expect a miracle and you keep focused on all marans, especially the Black Copper Marans, that they are all a work in progress I really feel that some day we will have some fine specimens of Heritage Marans.
Your comments welcome!!
Comment about Marans Mills By Marcia Rasmussen-MOAC Member-March 1st 2010
I can't tell you how much I appreciated your "Marans Mills?" article in the Marans Club newsletter.
I learned most of what I know about chickens from my grandparents, who had tended a multi-purpose flock since the Depression years, selling eggs and meat birds to the local community. My youngest memories are of spreading the morning scratch and having Grandmother show me, very gently, how to reach under a hen to retrieve a newly-laid egg. It was a wonderful way to grow up, but until recently, I was only exposed to the mass-produced birds available from commercial hatcheries.
All of that changed with the dawn of the Internet. As soon as I began searching on chickens, I fell in love with the Marans. (All the more so, since my family is most decidedly French.) You can probably guess where this is going. I ordered a shipment of cuckoo Marans chicks from McMurray the first year they were offered and I waited expectantly for those fabulous mahogany eggs I had seen on the Internet. I was heartbroken when the first eggs were no darker than my Granddaddy's barred rock eggs. With a little more research, I learned why.
Sadly, many people simply will not care whether the chicks they order from the big hatcheries are true to the Standard or not. BUT, with the Marans, they should, at the very least, care about egg color. If they order "chocolate eggers," as McMurray advertises, they SHOULD care if the egg is only pale brown. I realize there is a lot more to breeding quality stock than getting the egg color right, but at least the Marans has this going for them. If people order chicks expecting them to lay "chocolate" eggs, they should soon realize that something is amiss.
In any case, I appreciate your article. Anything and everything we can do to educate the poultry community about this problem is a step in the right direction. You might consider writing a broader scope article and publishing it for a wider audience. This problem is not unique to the Marans.
Meanwhile, I'm still lovingly breeding the best birds in my McMurray cuckoo line, but it's a more-or-less hopeless battle. I look forward to "starting over" with some of your birds whenever they are available.
The Original French Black Cooper Marans chickens are some of the rarest chickens to enter the U.S. Due to the extraordinary rich dark reddish brown color, these are some of the most sought after poultry birds today.
These are from some of the purest lines that have actually been imported from France.
Jake scanned into the Marans Club of France Body Type Diagram.Tail angle is just at 50 degrees.
We are working earnestly to get some great Marans available to offer in 2010. We are also introducing a new French banding program this year . It is already underway.
I can only hope that the orders I receive will be for all good intentions for the line and birds. A great breeding program is what I hope for them..
It should be an honor for the French to offer to work with the Americans on this level and to discard their efforts is a lack of respect and egotistically foolish.
As the new Official USA Delegate for the Marans Club de France I will work as hard as I can in the areas that I can to promote the French Standards of Marans.
But as far as I am concern a delegate is not a stand alone person but a group of individuals whom all have the same goals. If any ONE person thinks that they can represent the Marans community alone, they would be foolish
I want the APA to approve the Marans Standards as much as anyone, just not at the expense of the breed.
Our Marans are coming right along. Jake has decided that he is going to make sure every hen gives him a offspring. So far we have tested 12 eggs from him and have gotten 12 nice baby chicks. Our egg color is not where we would like to be but our promise is to keep working on it.Be sure and check out my Brinsea review on the MOAC club site under the Brinsea incubation page.