Marans should have feathered shanks. While feathered legs may seem to be a liability in muddy environments, they were developed in a swampy area of France and cope with a wet environment quite well. A complete history of the Marans breed, as well as standards, pictures, and other information, is available on the Marans of America Club website. Generally, Marans have white shanks and red or orange eyes. There are 11 generally accepted colors. The Black Copper Marans are known to generally have the best egg color, especially in the U.S.When you are talking about Marans in the U.S., you hear a lot about different lines. Most often touted is the “Bev Davis” line. Bev Davis is an expert breeder who has done a lot to refine Marans in America. She has excellent breeding tips and information on her website.
I hope to be hatching Blue Birchen Marans later this week. Again, there are only two of six eggs developing, and I hope to get at least one pullet! These Marans have much lighter brown eggs and, following blue/black/splash genetics, may not all hatch truly blue – it would depend on what combination of these colors were in the breeding pen. I expect 50% to be blue. I couldn’t find any freely licensed pictures, but you can see a cockerel and their eggs here. There is also a picture on the Feathersite article if you scroll down a ways. This is a blue version of the Birchen Marans.