Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meet the Marans

In October 2011 I hatched 5 French Wheaten Marans chicks.

Peaches, one of the three Wheaten pullets
Marans are a relatively rare large breed of chicken in Australia, who lay stunningly beautiful dark brown-red eggs. Now when I say dark brown, I mean really dark, not like your usual brown supermarket egg. You could *almost* mistake them for chocolate eggs!

Marans themselves are rather normal looking chickens, although they do have feathered legs which is not so common with larger breeds of chickens. You wouldn't suspect they'd lay such different coloured eggs. I did hatch one Clay pullet, whose feathers are much darker in colour to the Wheatens.

Maple, the Clay pullet

I was lucky enough to hatch 4 pullets and 1 cockerel. Quite happy with that result, especially since the eggs I bought to incubate set me back $80 for a dozen!

So far I have not had to get rid of the cockerel, at 24 weeks he has only just started to try to crow. Plus he isn't fighting with my other cockerel, Hannibal. He is such a gorgeous boy, I'm hoping to be able to keep him as well, granted the two don't fight. If not, I'll find a new home for him [that isn't in a pot!]. I've named him Kaffir.

Kaffir showing off his prettiness.

I'm planning on keeping all four pullets at the moment, and have named them Maple, Peaches, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Can't wait until they start laying!

Nutmeg [left], Peaches, Maple and Cinnamon [top to bottom, middle] and Hannibal

They're a rather curious bunch of chickens, always following me around, pecking at my shoes and clothes and always wanting to see what I am up to! Sometimes it does make it difficult to photograph them having them right under my nose.

Checking out my knee and the camera

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