M A R A N S    M E S S E N G E R


I just talked with the president and the secretary of
the Newnan club....I was told that as of yesterday
there were 176 Marans entered!  20 double

They have reversed the tents....our large fowl tent
will be located where our egg table was last year
and our setup across where the large fowl tent
was last year.

Early forecasts look like lows around 30 early
mornings but no rain.  But of course all that could

Marans Chicken Club USA
2013 National
Chattahoochee Vally Poultry Association
9th Annual Winter Show
275 Pine Road
Newnan, GA 30264

See you soon!
Rodney Reeves
Southeastern Regional Director


Hosting an Marans Egg show is not only a good
way to promote the Marans breed, but it also is a
great way to meet prospective Marans owners,
and have fun!

In the past, the club had guidelines for hosting an
egg show, but there was no follow-through on the
club's part.

We now have new guidelines, and hopefully,
these guidelines will make hosting an egg show a
fun and informative venture.

If, after reading the guidelines, you still have
questions, please contact me at:
and I’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

Suzanne Osio
Egg Show Chairman

  • Egg Shows sponsored by the Marans
    Chicken Club, USA can only be hosted by
    current club members.

  • All egg shows need to be pre-approved by
    the Egg Show Chairperson. To find out who
    the current egg show chairperson is, check
    out the list of current club officers on the
    club's free yahoo webpage at:
or on this web site.

  • Contact the chairperson with the name and
    date of the poultry show, and where you
    would like to host an egg show. The
    chairperson will make sure that another egg
    show is not being held on the same date.

  • Next contact someone on the poultry show
    committee to ask permission to host an egg

  • Make sure that you contact one of the APA
    judges prior to the show, to ask if they would
    please judge the egg show.

  • If you don’t know who the judge will be at the
    show, you can ask someone on the show’s
    poultry committee. It is very important that
    you line this up before the day of the show.
    This should be one of the first things that you
    do.  If this is not possible, try to contact a
    judge as early as you can on the show day.
    Judges are very busy and need to find the
    time to do us the favor of judging our egg

  • Post your show online to the MCC group.
    Give people plenty of notice before the show.
    Let them know the Name and Date of the
    show, and where the show is being held. It is
    important that you give a deadline for the last
    day that you are able to accept shipped eggs.

  • Don’t forget to post the address where the
    eggs need to be sent to (your address). Post
    it a few times before the show to remind

  • Egg Show Entry Forms can be printed off
    from the files section of the yahoo group
    listed above. People sending in egg entries
    need to have an entry form filled out and sent
    in, along with their entry fees and eggs.

  • The forms and important details about
    hosting an egg show are in the files of the
    yahoo group. Please read & download all of

Click link below to read and very interesting article by MCCUSA member
Scott Colomb concerning abnormal combs in Marans chickens.

Abnormal Combs: by Scott Colomb

CARE OF CHICKS 101: The Basics (for baby chicks)
By Roselyn Johnson, Treasurer, MCC USA

A Funny Thing About Chicks:
Chicks sleep in all sorts of ways! Do NOT panic if you look in on your chicks and
one is sleeping on it's side or on it's head or splayed out like it's been squashed.
Chicks are babies and pretty much fall asleep when and where and how it's
convenient :-) A slight noise or gentle touch will usually wake the chick.
Sometimes they are deeply asleep; let them sleep and check in on them in a few

Warmth and Brooder Box:
Chicks need heat for about 8 weeks or until they are fully feathered. Using a 90 or
100 watt incandescent light bulb (red, preferably - you can find one in the "mood
lamp" bulb section at Lowes) provides heat for the chicks. Week 1 should be 90
degrees. Decrease it by 5 degrees every week by raising the heat lamp. Have the
heat lamp at one end of the box so the chicks can escape the heat if it is too hot.
If the chicks huddle together they are too cold, if they scatter out they are too hot.
Chicks need a brooder box to keep in heat and keep out drafts. A plastic tub or
sturdy box is good and easily cleaned or replaced. Use paper towels (NOT
newspaper or anything slippery) for the first few days. Use PINE shavings after
that and keep them clean and dry. Do not cover the box, chicks need lots of fresh
air, but not drafts.

Feed and Water:
Medicated chick feed is fine as is an all natural chick feed. Feed free choice and
as much as the chicks will eat. Always have fresh water available. Put small
stones in the water so a chick can climb out if they get in the water dish. The
medicated feed is used to protect against Coccidiosis. Since the drug needs to
build up in the chick's system to offer protection use it exclusively if you choose
this feed. Chicks do not need the amount of calcium a layer chicken does. If
feeding processed crumble or pellets, do not feed chicks layer ration. If feeding a
natural feed with oyster shells added for calcium, chicks will avoid the oyster shell
and can be fed layer ration after 6 to 8 weeks on starter feed. Do not feed scratch
until the chicks are several weeks old and only as a treat. Chick grit or coarse
sand should be offered free choice. Grit is needed throughout a chicken's life.

  • Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar to each gallon of drinking water to help keep
    your chicks and chickens worm free.
  • If the chicks start feather picking or toe picking they are likely overcrowded.
    Move the chicks to a bigger brooder area and use Desitin (it tastes bad) on
    the battered chick and/or remove it until it heals.
  • Chicks often start to fly at 2 to 3 weeks old (depending on the breed).
  • Use “chick furniture” to introduce older chicks to adults or older chicks. Invert
    a box, cut chick sized archways in all 4 sides. This keeps the big chickens
  • Scatter the boxes around the coop and the run and put a brick on top so they
    can't blow away. Put food and water in the huts so the chicks can go in a eat
    and drink without the pressure of the older birds. Or make sure to have some
    of the huts near the food and water.
  • The chicks will rapidly learn to run under the box to avoid bigger chickens
    until the chicks have been accepted into the flock.
Marans are just, just, just getting started in
Canada but are VERY much in demand,
especially the Black Coppers. We don't
have nearly as many shows and even our
biggest shows are much smaller than
those in the US. But folks north of the
border are very attracted to the Marans'
dark eggs. I was at a show yesterday and
came home with at least a dozen requests,
plus another message left on my voice
mail. I can't possibly keep up with them all.
I do hope to get an egg show supported by
the MCCUSA organized later this year at
one of our more popular annual shows.

I'm hoping to discuss my new role with all
of you in Newnan next weekend and to get
a clearer idea of how to move forward
representing the Club in Canada.

Barb (in Canada)

Hello from the South Central Region of the MCC USA Club!

We have had a very busy year already. Everyone is in the process of preparing for
our National in Newnan, so it seems I never have enough time to meet myself
coming or going.

Last year we started the year off in College Station at the Bluebonnet Classic,
which gave a nice win to Bev Robertson with a Black Copper pullet. The next
show in our region was a show in LaGrange, Texas, where Bev also took Best of
Breed with a Black Copper cockerel.

Then came one of our favorite shows, the Fancy Feathers 4-H APA show in New
Braunfels, Texas. Bev was the proud winner of the BB there with a Black Copper
pullet. Beaumont was a great show with lots of cash prizes. Bev won there with a
Black Copper pullet.

Attending and winning at the Red River Bantam Club Poultry Show in Decatur was
April Howington with a Black Copper pullet. Then there was another show in
LaGrange, where Angie Jones won with a Black Copper hen. I always love it when
Angie wins because she is always so happy that she is jumping up and down and

From there folks went to the big State Fair of Texas show in Dallas.  Ernie Haire
won with a Black Copper cockerel there.  We had a nice show in Nebraska last
year also. Vickie Gillum won there, and did a great job putting on an egg show!
Next our regional folks attended a nice show in Abilene; April won that show with a
Black Copper pullet.

Then came the Pelican State Classic in Haynesville, LA; the big winner there was
Ernie with a beautiful Black Copper pullet. It was so nice to see our Arkansas
friend Carla and her lovely family. They are always delightful! She won third place
with a nice set of eggs! April won second and Ernie won first!

We wrapped up the year in Shawnee, Oklahoma, at the Oklahoma State Poultry
Federation Show. Wow it was super fun! I personally enjoy seeing the Smith's at
their booth each year. Of course I always have to purchase too much! Roselyn
Johnson, our new Treasurer, traveled with Beverly Robertson, Sandy Siegfried
and I to that show, and I thought we had way too much fun! Ernie won again there
in Oklahoma with a Black Copper pullet.

This year is shaping up to be another great year for our region. We have already
attended the Bluebonnet Classic! Ernie, Peggy, Dot and Mary went to Fort Worth
to the Live Stock show this year also.

Time and space does not permit me to name all of the great winnings and placings
but let me say, we all had a great year last year, and are planning to have an even
greater one this year.  There were many Continental wins along the way.

We are so proud that our region will be hosting a qualifying meet in Shawnee,
Oklahoma, near the end of 2013. We can't wait to have everyone come into our
region for a meet! We promise to show you a good time.

As for Newnan, I will be bringing about 35 birds. I will have my entire flock of
cuckoo, several black, and misc other varieties. Beverly Robertson will be bringing
lots of her nice blacks, and other varieties, as well.  Sandy, Ernie, Dot, Mary,
Peggy, and Roselyn are all coming too! Our plan is to travel together from
somewhere in MS on Thursday night.

See you all very soon!
April Howington, South Central Regional Director
South Central News!

This Newnan show marks the fifth anniversary of the Marans Chicken Club.  We
can all enjoy the satisfaction of having two of the Marans colors accepted by the
APA. Now several birds have visited championship row at various shows, we can be
justly proud of what we have all achieved by working together.  This is a wonderful
start for a breed that was little-known in America. Of course, this is no time for us to
pause. We look forward to qualifying meets for other colors during the coming years.
Your enthusiasm is shown by the large numbers of birds entered at the show. I
would like to say a few words about egg color. For me, this is a very personal
challenge. It is the characteristic that sets our breed apart. Keeping the egg color
while breeding birds for good show characteristics can be very tricky. The ideal,
dark egg color is an elusive trait that is easily lost. Remember that the egg color is
passed on by both male and female but the most importantly the male. We cannot
tell what genes he has passed on until his daughters and grand daughters start to
lay. By then, it is difficult to correct but, with care, it can be put right. Although the
egg color of a bird entered in a show cannot be judged, it is very important for it to
be maintained in exhibition birds. Whoever acquires birds descended from your
prize-winning entries will thank you for it and the breed will continue to gain in

Bev Davis


Just a Note to let everyone know that the West
Central Ohio Poultry Club has the trophies
ordered, and ribbons are ready, for a great
show March 9 -10.

This will be an Ohio State Marans meet, being
the first in Region III. We will be announcing
more state meets in Region III as we get them

I hope to see a lot of bird and egg entries, so
please help make this a success.

There is donated money for both eggs and
birds with a total of $1000 added money for
the show. Check out the www.WCOPC.com
website for more details.

Hope to see you there!!!! It will be a good time.

Becky Berger
information submitted by:

History of the Marans lines in the USA – Part One

Fugate Line

Letter from Fugate to Trish:

Dear Trish,

I will indeed help set the record in order. I have been retired exactly one week today and will begin to collect my memory and my records.

My first Marans came from Isaac Hunter of Dowagiac, Michigan. I acquired the birds in 1960?? I went to Isaac's farm and bought two pair; two
cockerels and a hen and a pullet. I also bought a couple dozen eggs. It was the fall and the adult stock went into a second moult and didn't breed until
the spring. The pullet laid a darker egg than the hen but I hatched from both. The eggs were very large (I have weights in my records stored in TN).
Occasionally I would get a spectacularly large dark egg; of these, about half had double yolks! And Marans eggs tended to have blood spots!

Of the 26 eggs I brought from Michigan; I got 14 chicks. They performed rather like their Parents...

This particular strain tended to have respiratory problems and splayed legs. They layed well and I disagree with the often heard remark that the
Marans do not lay well! They certainly do not lay as many eggs as most other breeds but they lay MORE eggs than almost any breed! They are very
good winter layers, super foragers and the quality of their flesh is of world renown.

I introduced new blood into this flock in 1962. I brought eggs from England in an egg carton packed in my baggage. I hatched 7 chicks (4 males, 3
females). I kept these birds separate from the Hunter strain for two years. I called this second strain my British strain. They were not as large, not as
docile, egg quality (darker) was better, they did not lay as well as the Hunter strain. The next year I returned to Europe for an extended period and my
poultry man ran all the Marans together. During this period, the flock (70-odd birds) ran together and fended for themselves; actually hatched their
chicks in the wild and raised their own and very successfully.

When I returned, I trap nested (for egg quality - color and size) and rotated male birds. The result is probably what you are now calling the Fugate
strain. I brought Cuvee Noire (black copper) from France in 1982. I brought 36 eggs from three different flocks near Marans. More later and if you
have any questions voice me.

Letter from Fugate to Cari Shafer:

I have put together some notes and collected my memory so follows my involvement with the Marans.  

I first encountered the Marans in France in 1952. I visited a colleague in La Rochelle, France and on a visit to the local market saw my first Marans
eggs. The eggs were a reddish brown almost mahogany. The eggs sold for a premium at that time.

When I returned to the United states some years later (1960ish), Isaac Hunter of Dowagiac, Michigan had an ad in the Poultry Press. I contacted
Isaac and visited his farm and bought a cock, a hen, and a pair of younger birds. Isaac gave me an additional cockerel. I penned the two females and
rotated the male birds every 15 days. Both females layed nice dark eggs and in March I began to hatch. The first season I hatched and raised 30-odd
chicks to maturity. I kept 10 of the best pullets and the two original hens from the Isaac Hunter flock, a cock from the Hunter flock (the first old cock bird
died and I am not sure if I ever got progeny from him?) I selected several male birds and rotated them with the hens/pullets. I kept this flock for several
years but brought new blood in form England In 1972.

The English birds came from a Mrs. Bosworth from near Bath. I went to her farm and collected the eggs (2 dozen) and kept them in a hotel room in
London for a week. I did turn the eggs every day. When I got the eggs home to Tennessee they were already 11 days old. I did manage to hatch two
males and one female from the 24 eggs. The Bosworth Marans were so like the Hunter strain that I suspect they came from the same lines originally.

I interbred the two strains and what you have now that you are calling the Fugate strain is a blend of Hunter and Bosworth birds.

I note in current literature that you now have lighter/darker males! My males were as alike as two peas in a pod. Coocoo; not light or dark coocoo! Did
I miss these differences? Or did they not exist in the strains I raised?

I also found the chicks 100% auto sexing right out of the shell. Occasionally I would encounter down on the legs but the down never developed into
feathered shanks.

Generally speaking my flocks were a paragon of health and hardiness. They did have a tendency to respiratory ills and had splayed legs. I never did
show Marans because beauty is as beauty does! I did take exhibits to poultry shows and sold hatching eggs but kept the eggs in a cage so people
couldn't handle them....

I never fed commercial feed to mature birds. My basic ration was 1/3 corn, 1/3 wheat and 1/3 oats. Unground in full grain. And alfalfa pellets during
the winter months. I laced the water with soluable vitamins, I did not use oyster shell but a pigeon grit. Probably an old wives tale but I suspect that
oyster shell lightens the egg shell?

At one time I had 1000 birds on hand but we had a chicken and egg business and were selling several dressed birds a week. We sold the chickens
and the eggs for twice the local market value and couldn't fill all orders.

The Health Department made signs of looking at our operation and we moved to Kosher slaughter. (And also cleaned up our act somewhat).

My Copper Black Marans came from France in the egg and I also got eggs from Dennis LaBelle of Consecon, ON Canada. The eggs from the
French birds were rather like the eggs from the Hunter/Bosworth birds but the French birds grew off more slowly, and both strains were the same from
pot to pan.

The lighter coocoos dressed off more easily. The French birds were more docile, real pets. But the Coocoo birds were not flighty....

Hope these observations will be helpful.
Newnan 2011 Black Copper Qualifying Meet - Group Picture

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Please mail your membership dues in the form of a money order or personal check to:

Marans Chicken Club USA
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