Wheaten Marans Chicken
- Country of origin: Marans, France
- Primary uses: Meat and egg production
- Lifespan: More than 7 years
- Wheaten Marans eggs
- Egg production: 150 – 200 eggs
- Egg size: Large
- Egg color: Dark brown to chocolate
- Cock: 3.5 – 4 kg
- Hen: 2.5 – 3 kg
- Cock: 650 – 800 g
- Hen: 570 – 700 g
- Colors: Wheaten
- Useful to know: robust, docile, and friendly. A lot of families raise them as pets to play with their children or add them to chicken flocks since they can live in harmony with various chicken breeds.
Since chickens come into a variety of types, they make chicken keepers curious and want to try to raise different kinds of chickens.
If you are looking for a chicken breed that can lay beautiful brown eggs and produce tasty meat, Wheaten Marans Chicken should be taken into account.
This chicken breed has strong disease resistance and does not require a lot of complicated caring methods. Therefore, not only people who just begin raising chickens can have a great experience, but also professional chicken raisers can tackle this task easier.
Background and History of the Wheaten Marans Chicken Breed
The Marans breed was developed in France, near the Marans and La Rochelle region around the early 1900s.
Maran chickens are considered to be crossbred by a variety of chicken breeds such as: Coucou de Malines, Plymouth Rock, etc but Croad Langshans and Brahmas chicken breeds were probably used.
Firstly, breeders were more concerned about dark brown egg production than chickens’ appearance, so there were some different types of chickens emerging.
One of them is feathered leg chickens that people call “French Marans”. Other chicken breeds without feathered legs are called “English Marans” or just “Marans” sometimes.
Though English Marans used to be more common, French Maran chickens have taken much attention from chicken raisers. The reason is that French Marans are standardized by the American Poultry Association (APA), meaning only French Marans are able to exhibit in poultry expositions.
Apart from Wheaten Marans chickens, the Marans breed comes in eight remaining colors including Golden Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Black-tailed Buff, Birchen, Black, Black Copper, Columbian, and White Marans chickens.
Wheaten Marans chickens are large and strong. Their heads have medium sizes with simple straight combs. Besides, their earlobes are red and they have medium wattles.
Male Wheaten Marans chickens have stunning golden feathers. In the meanwhile, Marans chicken hens have wheat feathers with slight black highlights around their necks.
Female Wheaten Marans chickens’ breasts and thighs’ colors are slighter wheaten. They also have tails which are decorated with black color at the end.
Wheaten Marans chicken wings are folded and create special v-shaped patterns. Their legs and beaks are pearl.
Wheaten Marans chickens are known as quite docile, friendly chickens. They can interact with people well as well as get along with other chicken breeds. That is why some people choose to raise them as pets or pair them up with other chicken breeds to create a mixed flock.
Wheaten Marans chickens are also rather active, they would be more suitable with free range. Furthermore, they can turn lazy and get fast easily if kept in the coop frequently, so it would be best to allow them to free as much as possible.
Some people worry Wheaten Marans chickens can fly out of their areas if they keep them free. In fact, since their wings are short and tight to their bodies, Wheaten Marans chickens can fly in short amounts of time and distances. So there is no need to worry about that problem.
Wheaten Marans Chicken Productivity
Is the Wheaten Marans Chicken Good for Eggs?
Not completely. To be more specific, if you raise Wheaten Marans chickens to meet your family’s demand, it would be fine, however, it does not make a lot of profits for trading purposes.
Wheaten Marans chickens are dual-purpose chicken breeds, so they do not lay a large quantity of eggs per year. The largest quantity of Wheaten Marans chickens is 200 eggs. A lot of chicken keepers just harvest no more than 170 eggs per year.
In addition, Wheaten Marans chickens mature slowly and begin to lay eggs when they are 35 weeks old. Therefore, Wheaten Marans chickens are not the best layers.
One more interesting thing is that Wheaten Marans chickens’ eggs will have lighter colours by the time. If your chickens start laying very dark brown eggs, they become lighter over time.
Precisely, in the first 6 laying months, Wheaten Maran hens will produce the darkest eggs and their eggs lighten step by step. Though the egg color will fade gradually, it is still dark in comparison with other chickens’ eggs.
It is necessary information for people who are interested in taking beautiful color eggs for exhibition purposes.
Is the Wheaten Marans Chicken Good for Meat?
Of course, Wheaten Marans Chicken meat tastes flavorful. They provide a moderate quantity of meat as well as an excellent taste.
Common issues of the Chicken
Wheaten Marans chickens are robust and adapt well to all kinds of weather conditions, so they have strong disease resistance.
However, there is no complete guarantee that they will never be sick, Wheaten Marans chickens still suffer a couple of health problems caused by some parasites such as worms, lice, mites, etc.
That is the reason why preventative measures are always needed to reduce diseases at the minimum rate.
In addition, Wheaten Marans cocks usually have large combs and they are easy to frostbitten by extremely cold weather. Equipping with the coop heaters is the best way you should take into account to protect your chickens from negative impacts in winter.
Wheaten Marans chickens have similar requirements as other chicken breeds such as a clean and healthy living environment, freshwater sources, sufficient feed, etc.
However, the more you take care of them, the better they will develop. So, here is some detailed and useful information that you should notice to give Wheaten Marans chickens the best living conditions:
As we said, Wheaten Marans are perfect free-range chickens. They are active and love ranging. Wheaten Marans chickens can spend all day walking around to scratch and look for their food.
Though it would be definitely better to allow them to free, it is necessary to confine them at night in comfortable coops to prevent them from predators.
Wheaten Marans chickens have quite large sizes so they demand substantial coops. Some basic requirements of the ideal coops are waterproof roofs, droppings boards and large nesting boxes placed at nice dark positions, etc.
Most importantly, you have to design their coops in order to prevent them from vermin as much as possible. Some parasites like mites or lice can enter chickens’ coops through cracks and feed off their blood at night.
In the worst case, Wheaten Marans chickens can die if they are bitten for a long time. Some plastic units of chicken’s coops having inside sections make good conditions for lice and mites to thrive, so you should consider thoroughly before choosing any chicken coop furniture.
Make sure that you just confine them at night since Wheaten Marans chickens will lazy easily and get fast quickly if they live in an enclosure for a long time.
How to Raise the Chicken?
Wheaten Marans chickens’ diets are also a sufficient combination of carbohydrate, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals like other chicken breeds.
However, big brown eggs need higher quality feed and trace mineral supplements. Wheaten Marans hens demand a higher calcium content before their laying eggs to form eggshells, make eggshells sturdier and support their laying process.
One of the best calcium sources that you can provide their demand for are oyster shells or limestone grit.
Caring of newborn Marans chicks
Baby chicks always need more special and careful caring than adult chickens. Newly hatched chicks absorb enough nutrition from the egg yolk to survive at least for 48 hours, therefore you do not need to take them into brooders and feed them right away.
After hatching, baby chicks are more prefer to sleep. You can dry them properly by leaving them in the incubators for about 12 hours to make them stronger. You should watch and adjust the coop temperature to be suitable for their needs.
For example, if your baby chicks gather together, the temperature can be low and you need to increase the heat. On the contrary, you need to decrease the coop temperature if your chicks lie on the ground and grasp the air.
Though we all know Wheaten Marans chickens have strong disease resistance, it is always essential to have some preventative methods. And without a doubt, vaccination is one of the best ways to protect them from diseases.
Having enough required vaccination can help to impede parasite appearance and prevent Wheaten Marans chickens from health problems.
Make sure to ask your local poultry vet before vaccinating them to use them properly and check some important information such as the types, the expired date of vaccines to ensure their safety.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Raising Chickens
Benefits of Raising the Chicken
- Firstly, Wheaten Marans chickens are dual-purpose breeds. Though Wheaten Marans chickens do not lay a numerous quantity of eggs per year, they produce quite high-quality meat. So you can make profits from both their eggs and meat.
Otherwise, apart from bringing a lot of benefits from their meat production, Wheaten Marans chickens can be great egg sources for your family.
- Secondly, Wheaten Marans chicks can get along well with other breeds of chickens.
They are not aggressive more often and can live together with other types of chickens without serious problems. Therefore, they are good choices if you would like to make a mixed chicken flock.
Challenges or Drawbacks of Raising the Chicken
- Firstly, they take a long time to mature and serve for meat purposes.
Wheaten Marans chicken meat tastes flavorful but they grow slowly and eat a lot of feed before reaching useful table weights. That is why Wheaten Marans chickens are not economical like meat chickens.
- Secondly, Wheaten Marans hens will lay lighter eggs by the time. Wheaten Marans chickens are famous for their beautiful dark brown eggs. Unfortunately, their egg color will be lighter after the first 6 months though it is still darker than other chicken’s eggs.
It is really important to know with people who are counting on a wonderful dark brown egg supply.
We have just learned about some basic and essential things of Wheaten Marans chickens, so let’s summarize a couple of key points.
First thing is that Wheaten Marans chickens are dual-purpose breeds, meaning they can serve for both meat and egg production. Even though they produce a moderate quantity of eggs, about 200 eggs per year, Wheaten Marans can provide high-quality meat sources.
However, they take a long time to grow so you need to be patient and accept the fact that they will not be economical like other meat birds.
Next, there are some crucial requirements about their living conditions, their dietary feed as well as caring methods that you should take into consideration to take good care of Wheaten Marans chickens.
Especially, what you have to do with newly hatched Wheaten Maran baby chicks. Raising Wheaten Marans chickens also have advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to have a full understanding before deciding.
Reading this article thoroughly before making your right decision.
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