Last April 3rd, we had a broody mama chicken, hatch out 4 baby chicks from hatching eggs that we purchased from a local breeder. Of those chicks, we only had one girl who is now 5 1/2 months old. We were so surprised when she laid her first egg at only 41/2 months! That’s early, most breeds begin to lay at 6 months of age and some at 8 months of age. This lil gals name is Sydney and she is a French Marans hen. She is a mix of Wheaten Marans and a Cukcoo Marans. I named her Sydney because I have a friend, named, Juliette who is from Sydney Australia.
Back in July of 2000, I had the privilege of visiting her and her husband David while on my way to attend and teach at the International Christian Dance Fellowship conference that was being held in Mittagong, NSW. It was dark when I arrived that first evening because in Australia, it is winter in July. We stayed up late and visited and then I crashed into bed. David and Juliette and myself were all staying at Juliette’s parents home in Sydney, Australia. In the morning when I woke up I realized that I wasn’t in my own room. Where was I? Oh, YES! I was in Sydney and Juliette told me that her parents lived on Neutral Bay across the water from the Sydney Opera House.
I ran to the window and leaned onto the window sill and looked out to the left. Indeed they did live on Neutral Bay and I could see that the harbor water ran right along the back side of the house. I looked to the left and scanned the horizon but no opera house. Then I saw a speed boat on the water and it was heading towards the house. It was towing a man who was water skiing. I followed them with my eyes as they past my window and then I looked off to the right toward the famous Harbor Bay Bridge. I could see people climbing up the overhead supports to the bridge but no opera house. I am afraid of heights so the idea of climbing up over the bridge supports scares me. Clearly not something that I would do. If you are interested in this extreme experience you can read more about it here. As the water skier disappeared on the horizon, I stood up and stretched. As I looked straight ahead there it was….
Oh my goodness, the Sydney Opera House was right in front of my window!!! I can’t believe that I hadn’t seen it before. It was beautiful and I so hoped that I would have the opportunity to walk around the building or maybe see inside when I returned to Sydney after the conference concluded.
This breed’s name is Marans and the “s” is part of the name even if we talk about one single chicken. They have lightly feathered legs and they lay chocolate-colored eggs. Some hens that lay eggs so dark they look like they are 80% cacao . Sydney’s eggs aren’t that dark but they are lovely eggs.
We have another French Marans pullet who is a Blue Splash and her name is Lovey. She is a sweetheart, very friendly and she likes to be held. She came from a hatchery and arrived on April 25th.
Here is a photo of Lovey Girl at 4 months of age. She is considered a blue splash because her feather coloring is a white background that looks like someone threw black or grey paint spots all over her. She is very friendly and reminds me so much of Violet. If you haven’t met Violet you can read about her, here. Lovey isn’t as talkative as Violet but she is fast becoming my favorite chicken right now. She had spraddle legs when she hatched and we had to make her some hobbles. Basically, hobbles are a splint made out of vet wrap and it goes around both legs. This keeps the legs together and prevents them from splaying out. She could barely walk those first few days. She is fine now but I think that she remembers all the time I spent with her at the beginning of her life. Lovey always RUNS when she sees me heading for the chicken paddock. She loves to jump up in my lap to be held and petted, just like Violet. She is 6 months old now and should start to lay beautiful dark chocolate covered eggs very soon.
Do you raise chickens from the Marans breed?
Please share some of your experiences with us!