5 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Copper Maran Chickens

Black Copper Maran Chickens Featured Image
Black Copper Maran Chickens are rare but highly desired in the United States. They lay around 200 eggs per year which are uniquely chocolate brown, while their temperament is docile and friendly, although they do like to roam.

If you’re a chicken farmer, chances are you heard about the Black Copper Maran Chicken. This breed has been in the spotlight for quite some time, mainly due to the interesting color of their eggs, and their rather expensive price.

However, there’s more to Black Copper Maran hens. Depending on your current flock, Marans might be just the breed you need in your backyard.

Keep reading to learn more about these special kinds of chickens.

The Origin Of French Black Copper Maran Chicken

This breed has been around since the 1900s, and it’s believed it came from the La Rochelle region of southwest France.

Back then, Black Copper Maran Chicken was far from the breed you’ll see around today. Once it started mating with other breeds, such as Coucou de Malines, Coucou de Rennes, or Gatinaise, it became more popular. 

The French Department of Agriculture saved the Maran breed after WWII and focused on increasing its egg production. Today, one Maran Chicken lays about three eggs per week and is one of the rare breeds in the US.

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Why Are Copper Hens So Popular?

If you’ve been around other chicken farmers, chances are they’ve talked about raising Copper hens.

One of the main reasons these hens gain popularity is their chocolate brown eggs, as this egg color is rare and sought after. Plus, the color of the eggs doesn’t affect the taste, so eggs are both beautiful and tasty.

So while they’re popular, their demand vastly outstrips the supply. This has pushed up their prices in recent years.

Another reason is James Bond. Yes, the famous book and movie series quite oddly has a connection to this unique chicken breed.

The author, Ian Fleming, had written that James demanded his omelets could only ever be made from Maran eggs since all other eggs were less than desirable. While strange, who’d ever want to get into an argument with James anyway?

At What Age Do Black Copper Marans Start Laying?

Black Copper Chickens usually start laying eggs when they reach 5 to 6 months of age.

Still, it may take longer for a Black Copper to give you its gifts, as it all depends on the environment, time of the year, and the hen’s genetics.

Can Maran Chickens Fly?

Black Copper Marans are similar to other chicken breeds in terms of flying. They’re big and heavy, therefore they may get off the ground, but for short distances, and not for long.

group of black copper maran chickens
Black Copper hens prefer to free-range as much as possible

Naturally, if you believe your Maran will fly away, you should ensure they will remain within the limits of your yard. You must erect proper fencing barriers if you’re choosing to leave them free range rather than confined to the chicken coop.

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Is Black Copper Maran Chicken Noisy?

Black Copper Maran Chickens are rather quiet birds and can do well in built-up areas, or where your coop has been built close to your bedroom window.

If you’re looking to add a gentle breed to your flock, Black Copper hens are an ideal choice. They’re beautiful birds and moderate egg layers which make for a good first-time owner.

They’re also docile, friendly and like to roam around as they like foraging. This makes them great for suburban neighborhoods, but don’t expect them to be cuddly and sit in your lap.

5 Things To Know About Black Copper Maran Chicken

If Black Copper hens have your attention, here are five more facts to help you decide whether you’ll want these as your backyard chickens. 

1. These Hens Lay “The Most Expensive Eggs In The World”

We already mentioned that this breed is known for its egg-laying, but there’s more magic to it. These hens start laying smaller eggs at first, but as time passes, they’ll become more experienced layers. 

Eventually, all Black Copper Maran eggs will become the same in size. However, the eggs will change color.

At the beginning of its laying cycle, the hen will give you deep brown-colored (similar to dark chocolate) eggs, which will later get lighter. After a molt, the eggs will get darker again. What’s more, the color can be wiped off the egg if you try hard enough!

2. American Poultry Association Recognized Marans As A Breed In 2011

It took a while for Black Copper Maran Chicken to reach America. The Poultry Club of Great Britain recognized this breed in 1935. Surprisingly, the American Poultry Association (APA) did so in 2011.

Since they’re recognized as a breed, Maran Chickens should also fit a specific breed profile:

  • Their features include red plumage without yellow or mahogany
  • They must have a black body
  • They can’t have lacing of the feathers
  • Their eye color must be a red/bay mix, etc
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Still, the breed standards for Marans are different in every country.

3. Black Copper Maran Chicken Live Around 8 Years Of Age

The lifespan of Black Copper hens is within the lifespan of many other breeds. They usually live up to 8 years. However, if you give them good care, they may live longer.

Ensure that your Maran chickens have good nutrition, enough space to roam around, and a clean habitat so that you can enjoy their brown eggs for a long time.

4. Maran Chickens Are Dual-Purpose Breed

Besides strikingly beautiful eggs, this chicken breed provides tasty meat, especially when it comes from older chickens.

The amount of meat you’ll get from one chicken is also decent, with hens weighing around 6.5lbs and roosters reaching up to 8 lbs. Maran Chickens actually grow slowly and eat plenty of food in the process.

Being a rare breed in the US, you’ll find them to be on the expensive side. This is why you might want to consider keeping another breed if you’re looking for meat birds or are on a tight budget.

5. One Bird Might Cost You Up To $60

One thing to think about when purchasing birds for your flock is the price. Naturally, the market is versatile, and you might find hatchery birds below $10 each. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for better quality, get ready to spend more.

One Black Copper Maran Chicken from a quality breeder might cost anywhere from $30 to $60. Fortunately, most hens and baby chicks you’ll find on the market are around $14.


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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