Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens hatching February to August.
The wonderful French Marans breed of chicken has become very popular in the United States over the past twenty or so years. This increase in interest is mainly due to the breed's ability to lay super dark brown eggs in shades that can be described by words like chocolate and mahogany. There has been a lot of recent work on breeding different varieties of Marans Chickens as well as work on breeding for darker, deeper egg color.
The Golden Cuckoo color variation is one of these fabulous new Marans varieties, and it is truly striking. Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens have golden cuckooing and striping that varies in the shade as it moves over the birds. Hens have lighter golden heads and necks that change into a gray, silver cuckoo pattern with deep golden spangled throughout. The tails of the hens are dark with some light edging. Roosters are very flashy with large combs and wattles and bright golden and copper striping from the head and over the shoulders, wings, and saddle. Tails are blue-gray. Both sexes have pinkish horn-colored beaks and legs. Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens have clean legs. Male chicks are usually a bit lighter than females which make early sexing easy.
Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens are great in both backyard or small farm settings or larger production-styled settings. They are hardy and strong birds and do well on forage. Also, because of the increasing popularity of the breed, they would be great birds for breeding and selling as hatching eggs or as chicks.
Production: Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens are from old, dual-purpose traditional lines of chickens. They are good layers, laying from 150-180 eggs per year. The coloring of the eggs is dark brown and how dark they are will vary from individual to individual. The eggs tend to be darker earlier in the season and fade as the season wears on. They are also solid and dependable as meat birds, and their meat is very dark and richly flavorful.
Temperament: Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens are active chickens, enjoying foraging, and they also do very well with other birds. They are quite friendly and amiable, and although roosters are protective, they are not overly aggressive in general. Hens will occasionally be broody and do make good mothers.
History: The Marans Chicken breed is known to have been developed in a town called, Marans, in France. Marans is located on the west coast which is notoriously wet and cold, and this hardy breed was created during the early 1800s from French game birds and Langshans. It wasn't until the 1990s in America that the Golden Cuckoo color variation was developed, and the lines are still in the early stages of development.
Conservation Status: Although Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens are very rare, they are a relatively new breed to America and are not yet classified by the Livestock Conservancy.
Body Type: Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens are heavy-bodied fowl with rather coarse facial features including a short and thick beak. Their beautiful golden speckled feathers are a contrast to a tough and hardy-looking bird. Roosters and hens have large red combs and wattles. Rooster combs are tall and single with dramatic points. Feathering is considered 'hard,' which means that they are tight and close to the body with a stiff shaft and less fluff than you would find in an Orpington or Rock.
Weight: Cockerel 7 lbs, Pullet 5.5 lbs
APA Class: Although Golden Cuckoo Marans Chickens have not yet been recognized by the APA, the Black Copper and Wheaten varieties were admitted in 2011.