Date(s) - 06/15/2018
The breed takes its name form the French town of Marans, but most North American Marans are of the English extraction. The breed was developed in the early 1900’s as a dual-purpose utility fowl and the de Malines and French Cuckoo or Rennes, an ancient clean legged Cuckoo breed from Brittany, figured heavily into its makeup. Langshans, Faverolles and Barred Plymouth Rocks were also used and even Brackel and Gatinaise and perhaps other bloodlines may have been used in at least some strains. After Marans were imported to Britain around 1929, French Cuckoo and Barred Rock blood were used to establish a clean legged breed. As of January 2004, Marans have not been admitted to the Standard of Perfection.
Much like all barred breeds, the chicks are primarily black with a white spot on the top of the head. The front of the neck, wing tips, and abdomen are white. They have single combs and clean, black and white feet and legs.
All the fairly tight, silkie textured plumage is cuckoo with each feather marked across with black and white bands. Because of the action of the Barred gene, the plumage of males is lighter than the plumage of females. The carriage is active, compact and graceful. The head is refined with eyes that are large and prominent. The red, single comb is of medium size, straight and erect with five to seven serrations. The smooth face, medium sized wattles and ear lobes are red. The neck is of medium length and not too profusely feathered. The body is long, well fleshed and of good width. The tail is carried high. The legs are of medium length, wide apart and of good quality bone. The thighs are well fleshed while the white shanks are clean and unfeathered. Each foot has four toes that are well spread and straight.