LAST UPDATED ON September 12, 2023
Black Copper Marans chickens are known for laying lavishly dark eggs. Colors range from deep reddish-copper, crackled-copper with dark brown flecks, to a decadent dark chocolate tone. Older hens will lay lighter eggs as they age. Their iridescent black plumage shines violet and emerald green in the sunshine. The roosters are beyond gorgeous with brilliant coloring and long shimmering green tail feathers. They are curious and kind creatures.
Each hen lays an average of 5-6 eggs per week. In seasonal climates, like ours here in Maine, they will lay 6-7 on the longest days of summer and 2-3 in the deepest winter freeze. In addition, they will take a few weeks off from laying when it first gets cold here in Maine.
There is often a lull in egg production while they molt. Black Copper Marans chickens tend to molt hard. Add more protein to their diet to help them get through it quickly.
Roosters are substantially larger than hens. Roosters make fine fryers weighing in around 9 pounds, but plucking can leave behind a few black feather sheaths which look unsightly for those used to meat specific breeds—but they taste just fine. They grow slower than meat birds but it’s worth the wait.
The roosters carry themselves proudly with regal markings. I have never had this breed get aggressive. Given the brilliant coppery-orange saddle feathers on the roosters’ rumps, they can be easily sexed at two months, and mush earlier for chicks with super high, brilliant red combs.
Black Copper Marans hens vary from solid black, black with greenish sheen or black with reddish-brown to golden lacing along their necks. Black Copper Marans chickens have black to slate gray legs with black feathering mostly on the lower-outside part of the leg and sometimes extending down the outmost toes tips. We have one girl named hippy for her bell-bottom look.
Black Copper Marans roosters have coppery orange neck hackles, and saddle feathers located on their top-rump, and gorgeous iridescent green tail plume and wingtips.
Both sexes have black undersides with slate gray down. Roosters have very tall bright red combs and long thin waddles. Hens will often have shorter yet very impressive combs. Do not overlook this feature when culling cockerels. Best to wait until you are sure.
Read about Black Copper Marans standards: New APA Standards for Black Copper Marans.