Black Copper Marans – Gorgeous Eggs and Chickens

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Black Copper Marans are a dual-purpose chicken breed. Their history, physical appearance, behaviors, meat production, and eggs contribute to their uniqueness and popularity. They are usually toward the middle of the pecking order so consider raising them with less aggressive breeds if raising them in a mixed flock.

They are of French descent and are winter hardy. This breed is also called French Black Copper Marans.

Hens will begin laying when they are 5 – 7 months years old. Black Copper Maran hens are known for laying dark brown and copper colored eggs. They may even look dark red. They lay 3 – 5 eggs each week.

If you want to raise them for eggs, you don’t need a Black Copper Maran rooster unless you want to hatch fertile eggs and baby chicks. Roosters will also provide warning and protection from predators. They aren’t as aggressive as other rooster breeds.

Black Copper Marans


Black Copper Maran hens will sometimes go broody. They are good setters and mothers but won’t always hatch eggs. Hens are not known for being broody. However, it depends on their individual dispositions.

Black Copper Maran chicken
Black Copper Maran chicken

Every animal, including birds, has their specific behavioral traits. A group or species of animals may have certain behaviors that are always present. On the other hand, it is worth noting that behavior may vary within the same group of animals.

black copper marans
Black Copper Maran rooster protecting his flock

The Black Copper Marans are known to be calm and gentle, making them generally accepting of humans and other animals. Black Copper Marans have the genes of naturally adventurous and aggressive gamecocks, so occasionally they tend to be confrontational. The roosters exhibit this genetic trait more since they often show aggression to other flocks. However, when they succeed at scaring off a perceived threat on their territory, they are mostly calm.

black copper maran chicken
Black Copper Maran rooster feathers are black, brown and copper

The hens have a more docile temperament and are found aggressive only in rare cases. However, it is important to note that these characteristics vary from bird to bird.

Due to their gamecock genes, they have high foraging tendencies. These birds are active and fun-loving, making them a great addition to a barnyard due to their calm and friendly temperament. They are one of the birds that end up as pets for farm owners or poultry keepers.

black copper maran rooster
Black Copper Maran rooster

Black Copper Maran Care

These chicks and chickens are relatively easy to raise. One reason is the absence of inherent health issues. Their gamecock genes make them active and aggressive. The genes also contribute to their health and fitness. Black Marans do not have special health needs like some other breeds. Being clean-legged helps them to maintain cleanliness.

These birds are naturally strong. Black Copper Marans have high adaptability and can survive harsh weather conditions, whether hot or cold temperatures. At the same time, they still require proper care and attention. You must ensure they have an appropriate shelter that will protect them from extreme weather conditions and predators.

As active birds, Black Copper Marans require standard feed with all the necessary supplements. Therefore, it is important to take note of their diet and create a nutritional feed plan. Although they are not prone to frequent illness, getting them periodic medical check-ups is recommended.

Black copper maran hen
Black Copper Maran hen


Black Copper Maran roosters have gorgeous copper feathers adorning their necks and throughout their bodies. The hens will have mostly dark black feathers with some hints of green you will see in certain lighting. 

Black copper maran eggs
Black copper maran eggs

Black Copper Maran Eggs

They lay medium-to-large sized eggs. Many farmers and poultry owners rear this breed because of their eggs. Their dark eggs are their most prominent features. 

Egg Color

French Copper Maran eggs are highly coveted. They are shades of rich dark brown, copper and chocolate. Maran breeds generally produce brownish-colored eggs, but the Black Copper Marans are the most sought-after backyard chickens because of their beautiful chocolate and caramel colored eggs.

One interesting fact about their eggs is that the colors are subject to change. It can change from a deep chocolate color to a light brown color. You may decide to sell these eggs.

Egg Production 

Black Copper Marans are known to be good egg layers. They are reliable layers, laying up to 150 – 200 eggs per year.  Hens that produce eggs that are darker in color tend to lay fewer eggs. Still, the uniqueness of their eggs makes this the main reason they are sought after. Conversely, the Black Maran hens that lay a considerable number of eggs produce a lighter tone.

When you see Black Copper Maran eggs that are not as dark as they are famous for, it means they have been laying a large number of eggs that season.

Note that the color of the Black Copper Marans eggs is largely dependent on the rate of production and not the other way around. Some eggs have a longer production time, which allows them to absorb more color pigments.

When the process is quicker, the eggs are not fully pigmented and often come out lighter. At the beginning of the egg-laying cycle, the eggs come out darker due to the abundance of the pigment, regardless of their production rate.

Their egg-laying will subside a bit in the colder months.

reddish brown maran egg
Copper Maran hens can start laying between 5 – 7 months

Meat Production

As a dual-purpose bird, Black Copper Marans can also be raised for meat production. Because of their large size of up to 7 lbs, Black Copper Marans are good birds for a hefty dinner. Most people slaughter the Maran when it reaches full size, which is between 6 – 10 months. This ensures the meat is still tender.  Many homesteaders raise them until they stop laying reliably and then use them for meat.

Sexing Chicks

You will be able to determine the gender of Black Copper Maran chicks when they are newborns. The males will usually have a larger white spot on top of their heads than the females. 

Cockerels have their saddle feathers coming in above their tails on their backs. Cockerels and roosters have shiny pointy feathers there where a pullet or hen will have more short round or blunt tip feathers above the tail.

Black Copper Maran cockerels
Black Copper Maran cockerels carry and contribute up to 75% of the dark egg gene for breeding toward dark eggs

Breed History

They have a rich history. The Maran breed was named after a town in France where it has its origins. French Black Copper Marans were subject to different cross-breeding attempts resulting in multiple breeds of Marans. They have even been faced with extinction at different points making Marans a rare breed.

They are a product of breeding gamecocks and local hens. The first set of animals from that breeding were further crossbred with other breeds like Brahmas and Croad Langshan.

Despite the variety of Maran breeds, French Black Copper Marans have the most attention. They stand out from other breeds due to their plumage’s exquisite colors, their dual purpose of both egg and meat production, and their unique chocolate-colored eggs.

French black copper maran rooster
Black Copper Maran chickens are also called French Black Copper Marans

Finding Black Copper Marans For Sale

Check with reputable chicken breeders to find Black Copper Marans for sale in your area. If you want to breed them yourself, find a Black Copper Marans breeders so you can ensure the bloodline and the traits to look for.

None should have black eyes. The Standard calls for reddish bay eyes on both sexes. You want to select for reddish bay eyes, especially in your males. 

You can also check Craigslist and other resources for day old chicks; however, these won’t be guaranteed. They can be hatched from a mixed breed or inferior stock.

Raising French Black Copper Marans

French Black Copper Marans can be expensive to acquire but are worth it. You do not have to spend a lot raising and caring for them. They are an excellent addition to every poultry or backyard. They are strong, attractive, gentle, adapt quickly, and their eggs are always a beauty to behold.

Though they are not known for being the very best layers by their egg production rate, the unique color of their dark copper eggs is the main reason people love this breed. Raise a few alongside other friendly breeds for a colorful assortment of eggs. 

Black Copper Maran eggs do not taste differently than other breeds. They are known to be a great source of chicken meat and can make an “elegant” addition to your flock.