Blue copper marans chickens are one among the many varieties of the marans chickens. These blue chickens are good and reliable birds worth adding on your backyard.
Are blue copper marans blue? What do you know about the maran chicken breed? If you have no idea about them, then you have landed on the right site where I will get into detail about these birds.
From the history written in the James Bond book and a detailed research I have done, this article covers the blue copper marans. Only if you continue scrolling that is when you will know much.
History of the blue copper marans
The blue copper marans chickens originate from the town of Marans, France in Europe. Maybe it is the reason that makes people in France refer to them as French blue copper marans.
In the early 1800s, copper marans breed was introduced to France possibly by seafarers who were on their expedition to explore new trade avenues.
Since the maran chicken were good at laying eggs and were able to offer substantive amounts of meat, they quickly gained favor and were embraced by local chicken keepers.
The maran chicken bred was raised in small farms as well as large farms until they were replaced with modern breeds like the production blue chickens that could lay many eggs and mature fast than the marans.
It is not yet clear when the copper maran chickens got to the United States. Even though, this breed is today recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Characteristics of the blue copper marans
The blue copper maran chickens are medium sized birds with a compact plumage that has somewhat a silky texture when you touch it.
Blue copper marans hens have a darkish to copper colored head and hackle while the rest of the body is blue. They have a thin tail that is not wide, points backwards and does not shoot upwards like it does in some chicken breeds.
They have medium red wattles and combs but in some females, the comb may be long and flop on the side. The beak is somewhat slender with large and prominent dark eyes.
Their legs are grey in color and have feathers on them. On each leg, there are four toes that are well spaced and a short spur grows to indicate the bird is a female.
The blue copper maran roosters have bright copper heads and hackles with a blue back, breast and thighs. This blue color may extend to the tail region which has a color in between blue and dusky blue.
Maran roosters have a large comb that has definite peaks with large red wattles and medium earlobes. These birds have a white skin but in some strains the skin may be mottled in black.
There are some blue copper marans that lack the copper color on their heads and hackles and instead replaced by the blue color. These strains are referred as splash blue copper marans and are very rare.
Temperament and Hardiness
Blue copper marans chickens are fairly docile and calm chickens. However, this trait may vary from one bird to the next because there may be one or two who may be aggressive.
They will never cause harm to you or your little children and choosing them as pets is a good choice to make. These chickens are very active and graceful.
These chickens will allow integration with other breeds that are calm as they are but will require you to have multiple chicken feeders and waterers to ensure equal feeding and drinking opportunities.
Are you looking for a hardy bird? This is an ideal choice. The blue marans are hardy chickens and will do well in almost every climate and soil type.
Although they are hardy, their large single combs will suffer from frost bites during winter. At this time, confine your birds in a heated chicken coop and toss chicken scratch to help them keep warm. Smear the combs with Vaseline jelly and restrict the birds from roaming outside.
Their feathered legs require maximum care because chicken poop and mud balls will easily stick on them and become hard to remove making it hard for them to walk properly.
The blue maran chickens will do well when allowed to free range. They love large areas to roam eating a variety of food they collect on their own to supplement the crumbles and pellets you toss to them.
Even though they love to range, they can still be raised in confinement and still do well. These chickens are sex links and the chicks can be easy to sex at hatching. Additionally, vent sexing can be done to tell the gender difference though achieving 100% accuracy is not a guarantee.
Blue copper marans are recognized by the American Poultry Association of Standard perfection. There are other maran varieties like cuckoo marans, black copper marans, midnight majesty maran and French black copper marans.
The APA only recognizes the feathered leg maran variety. These birds have been cross bred with other chicken breeds resulting to the development of bantam marans chickens
Mature maran roosters weigh 8lbs while the marans hens weigh 6lbs to 4.5lbs.
One of the favorite things with the copper marans chickens is their eggs. Blue copper marans chickens eggs are very unique and different from those of other chickens.
Marans pullets begin to lay at the age of 5-6 months. At this age they are often seen hanging around nesting boxes scouting for a best place to lay their eggs.
Some female Blue copper marans may even take longer than 6 months before they start to lay. However, this will be determined by the kind of care you give to them.
Female marans chickens will lay chocolate brown eggs. That sounds funny! The blue copper chickens will lay dark brown eggs but the brown may be a bit lighter to dark depending with an individual chicken.
However, blue copper marans eggs are not as dark as those laid by the black copper marans.
In a year these birds will gift you with 150 to 200 of these shelled trophies just like the Swedish flower hen. The blue copper marans will rarely go broody and if you intend to hatch those eggs without an incubator choose Hampshire chickens or Bantam Cochin chicken to hatch the chicks for you.
The little chicks will not be pure blue copper marans because they are sex links just like the blacks star chickens but will be a mix of several maran varieties.
Do you want a bird with white meat and skin where the pin feathers are less seen? Go for this bird. It is medium to large in size and can offer substantive amounts of meat.
They have a body of medium length with a deep width. The breast is broad and full with thick muscles in the thighs.
Some say that these chickens have much meat to bone ratio something that I agree with because the breast and thighs are deep fleshed.
This is a bird that will not pose any challenge in the chicken plucker. It is large enough for plucking using this device.
As I earlier said, the maran chicken breeds are hardy. Therefore, not affected by most diseases that affect other chickens.
It is good to provide a warm chicken house during winter. These birds have large combs that will be affected by frostbites.
The feathered legs will require some dry beddings. Any damp soil will form mud lumps that become sticky when dry.
Common ecto- parasites like lice and mites area serious threat that can lead to death or poor production. Using diatomaceous earth in small amounts can offer much help. Dust this powder at the base of the feathers and sprinkle some in the chicken coop floor.
Internal parasites like thread and gape worms are also a serious threat. They attach themselves along the intestinal walls where they feed and multiply.
Chicken worms can be controlled by use of right chicken wormer. Offer as recommended by a qualified bird vet near you.
Blue copper marans chickens have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. This period may be longer depending on the amount of care you offer to your birds.
Laying hens may live longer because they are bred for eggs and not meat. They may live until they can no longer lay as required by the farmer. They are then butchered for meat.
Marans roosters may not have a long period to live because most people prefer layers. Most males will be butchered at teenage when they are about to start breeding. However roosters raised for breeding may live longer.
Those chickens raised as pets will live until they die of a disease or old age. Most chicken pets will never be butchered or sold because they are raised for prestige.
Blue copper marans chickens are a dual purpose breed. A dual purpose breed is one that can offer both meat and eggs at the right amount. They are raised for both purposes.
These chickens are very rare and the most common marans variety is the black copper marans. Another unique factor is that they are sex links and you can tell the gender when the chicks are young.
Blue copper marans hens for sale can be found in some dedicated hatcheries and poultry farms that breed them.
This is a hardy breed that is not noisy and will be good in an urban setting. They will only sing their song to welcome an egg.