All About Blue Copper Marans
If you’re interested in rearing blue copper marans, there are important things you have to know about them before you begin. Let us start with a brief history since the background information, coupled with other details, will be helpful when you go out to buy eggs, day old chicks, chicken feed, and any other item you will need as you start your business.
Brief history of blue copper Marans
Blue copper Marans belong to a breed of chickens known as Marans. They are originally from France, in fact, the name “Marans” comes from a place in France called Marans. As you can already imply, the town of Marans is the first place this breed of birds were reared.
As far back as the 1800s, the first breeders of copper Marans went into the business because of their eggs. These birds are known to lay dark brown eggs that are moderate in size. The Marans chickens have been around for a very long time, so it is hard to tell which exact breeds they are from. But judging by the characteristics of the Marans, we can safely say that the langshans, faverolles, and other local French breed of game birds were crossed to make the Marans breed.
Features of blue copper Marans
If you know the features of blue copper Marans that make them stand out, you will have a clearer understanding of their behavior and this will ensure you prepare yourself well before adding them to your poultry farm. Here are some important features of the blue copper Marans.
As the name implies, they have both blue and copper feathers on them. Their hackles are copper, while the rest of their feathers are blue in color. Their feet are also covered in light blue feathers. Generally, these birds are not so fluffy, their feathers are narrow, just like the regular game birds.
When you look at the combs of blue copper marans, you will notice that they are single and moderate in size; not too big, but not small either. By observing their combs, you can tell which blue copper Marans is male or female. The hens do not have upright combs, they seem to be slanted to one side, but only partially. While the roosters are known to have upright combs.
Blue copper Marans have big thighs, though they are usually medium-sized with broad shoulders and long necks.
- Egg production
Blue copper maran hens are very good layers. Their eggs are the main reason why they are even reared. All things being equal, these birds will start laying at about 6 months old, and they can lay up to four eggs per week. These eggs are dark or chocolate brown in color, and they are quite large. In a year, your blue copper Marans hen can lay up to 200 beautiful large eggs.
It will interest you to know that the eggs of blue copper Marans have some unique characteristics that the eggs of other birds do not have. Apart from the dark brown color, blue copper Marans eggs have a more pronounced spherical structure. Unlike regular eggs where one end is wider than the other, blue copper maran eggs have both ends that look almost equally narrow.
If the main reason you want to breed blue copper Marans is for their dark eggs, then you are just like many other farmers, but you should also know that the younger the hens, the darker the eggs they will lay. This means you will get the darkest brown eggs from a hen that is less than one year old.
Blue copper Marans are not known to be aggressive. They don’t pick on other birds and are usually friendly. But this doesn’t mean they don’t lose their calmness every once in a while, especially when triggered by strangers or when their chicks are triggered. The blue copper Marans hens are friendlier than the roosters and will play with you if you have treats.
We already know that blue copper marans are medium to large in size. But specifics vary, depending on the age and gender of the bird.
The roosters weigh approximately 8lbs, while the hens have an average weight of 6.5lbs. As for bantam blue copper marans, the roosters and hens weigh 32oz and 28lbs respectively.
Blue copper marans have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. It is possible for them to live a little longer than 7 years if properly taken care of, but their eggs will not be as dark as they were in their early laying years.
- Cost of chicken
Getting chickens to begin your business is not difficult, if you plan your finances well, you can make a lot of profit. The cost of buying blue copper Marans chickens should be between five to fifty dollars per chick. Depending on so many factors, starting from the place you choose to buy from.
Why you should breed blue copper Marans
There are so many breeds of chickens out there, and you can choose to rear any of them, but the reasons why you should pick blue copper Marans are stated here.
- Blue copper marans are easy to handle
Rearing blue copper Marans does not require so much technicality. The birds have no special or difficult needs and are fairly docile on all occasions. They are not noisy and can be safely kept in the backyard of your house. These birds are not stressful to handle, and when you are not stressed, you will be able to give your best in breeding them properly.
- They are very prolific
This is one core feature that any farmer should watch out for. If a bird is not prolific, there is bound to be a loss in the business. But if you are breeding the blue copper marans, you don’t have to worry. They lay beautiful dark brown eggs, which is something unique to this breed. You can make a lot of profit selling these eggs, as you are sure of massive supply from your blue copper Marans poultry every season.
- They are good in cold season
Here is another upside to rearing blue copper marans. These birds don’t give problems, no matter the weather condition. If you are living in a cold region, you can still breed blue copper Marans since they do well in colder climates.
- Beautiful appearance
Thanks to the cute colors of the blue copper Marans, they are aesthetically pleasing and will give a great view of your poultry.
- They are useful for multiple purposes
Yes, the dark brown eggs are the main reason people go for blue copper Marans, but that’s not all they have to offer. These birds are also good producers of meat, so as you breed them for their eggs, you can also breed them for delicious meat, which will earn you more than double of the profit you would have if you reared them for only eggs.
Remember that blue copper marans lay a darker color of eggs in their early years, and when they start getting older, the eggs they lay will get lighter. This knowledge can be economically beneficial to you, because if you’re in business for both eggs and meat, you can rear the older birds for meat while those below two years of age can be mainly for eggs.
You can still sell light brown eggs laid by older blue copper marans, people buy them a lot too, but if your focus is on the darker eggs, you can make the older fowls your only meat producers.
Eggs and meat are where most birds stop being useful, but not the blue copper marans, they are also good pets. Thanks to their friendly nature, you can keep some around the house as companions. They are fun to play with, it’s even better when you have treats for them. If you have kids around the house, they can be good play companions since blue copper Marans are known to be okay with children.
- They can evade predators
If you have a good poultry farm, predators are the least factors you would worry about since the farm will be safe for your birds. But anything can happen at any time, especially when your birds are out in an open space. In such cases, you can be rest assured that blue copper marans have a good sense of protection. They are known to evade predators quite well, which is a good advantage to rearing them. Please note that it is important to always make sure they are in a safe environment at all times, even if they can evade predators.
- You don’t have to worry about broodiness
Blue copper maran hens are known to have a moderate broodiness level, many of them never go broody. On the rare occasions that they do, one way to make the hens break out of broodiness is by moving them to private pens. When you do this, make the broody hen sit on her clutch. Many chicken keepers have attested to this method of breaking a maran hen out of broodiness.
What you need to successfully breed blue copper marans
Now that you know the advantages of breeding blue copper marans, let us look at the things you need to do in order to carry out a successful breeding process.
- You’ll need enough space
It is true that blue copper Marans do well in confinement, but that doesn’t make it the best way to rear them. Before you start, make sure you have a conducive environment for the birds, where they can feel free to roam about. It is safer this way.
Having enough space for your birds will also help you ensure they exercise often. Keeping them confined at all times could make them fat in an unhealthy way.
- You can start with day old chicks or eggs
For day old chicks: ensure you are buying from a credible source with good reviews from those who have already bought from them. Rearing day-old chicks into laying age can take some time, but the profits are massive if you do it right. You’ll also get experience with young blue copper Marans, so when your birds reach maturity and start hatching, you’ll be familiar with their physical and economic growth process.
For hatching eggs: this is arguably the best way to start breeding. Apart from the transportation risk during shipping, it is the most economical way a new breeder can start their business.
When your eggs are shipped, only hatch the biggest and darkest colored eggs. This will ensure that the genes are passed down.
When your chicks grow into hens and start laying, also hatch only the darkest of them all. If you continue this way, you’ll never run out of beautiful dark brown eggs to supply.
- Feed them balanced diet
Just as you need to eat well to stay strong and healthy, your birds also need the same. Make sure you feed them with vegetables, fruits and non-sugary grains.
- Keep them healthy at all times
If you’re feeding the blue copper Marans well, you’re already halfway into keeping them healthy. The other part involves general neatness and other healthy practices. Start by making sure you disinfect your equipment before use, change the drinking water every day, and only use clean containers.
- Control parasites
You must not allow parasites to invade your poultry. They can do a lot of damage to the fertility of your hens and the health of the entire flock. Tampans and red mites are very dangerous to chickens, and there are other equally deadly parasites as well. So, to protect your blue copper Marans, make a budget for parasite control. Don’t buy random insecticides, since it’s easy to mistakenly buy the ones that could be harmful to your flock.
There are insecticidal powders registered specially for birds, and these are the only ones you should buy. When you get them, read the instructions carefully before using them. If you notice any fleas on the comb of your blue copper Marans, use Vaseline to rub the entire comb, it will kill the fleas.