French Black Copper Marans Vs. Black Copper Marans

The Marans breed of chicken is known for their chocolaty dark brown eggs that have a reputation of being James Bond’s favorite egg!

The French Black Copper Marans and the Black Copper Marans are similar in terms of looks, and body structure, except for the feathers on the legs. The original French Black Copper Marans are distinguished by their feathered legs, unlike the Black Copper Marans, which may or may not have feathered legs.

Both the French Black Copper Marans and the Black Copper Marans are distinguished by their black body and copper plumage. Since the original French Marans had feathered legs, the British did not like the feathered shanks and hence bred them to produce clean-legged Marans.

The breed was recognized by the American Poultry Association only in 2011, but it did not distinguish between the English Marans and the French Marans.

French Black Copper Marans Vs. Black Copper Marans

The history of both the French Black Copper Marans and the Black Copper Marans dates back to the 1800s when the La Rochelle communities in Maran, France, began breeding. They wanted a dual-purpose breed chicken that laid fine eggs and gave quality meat.

They were originally called “poule de Marans,” with their other name being “swampy chicken,” after the swampy area from where they originated. A few years later, this breed was bred with gamecocks brought by seafarers from Indonesia and India.

They were now called “Marandaise Fowl,” and to further refine the breed, they were mixed with other breeds such as the Croad Langshan chicken. Thus, the distinct breed we see today was born!

Currently, there are nine varieties of Marans in the world, but only a few are recognized by the APA. The varieties differ in terms of their egg colors, plumage, and size. The standards for very Marans variety will differ among different countries.

The Popularity Of The Marans

The French Black Copper Marans are becoming more popular with time since the APA standardized only the French type and not the other varieties. Also, the Black Copper Marans are easier to find in the US after the country’s ban on import from France.

There are many breeders who may sell a knock-off of the original French Black Copper Marans as BCM, but they are distinguished by the color of the eggs. The original FBCM gives the real dark and chocolaty colored brown eggs, while the other varieties will give a lighter shade.

Appearance And Breed Standard

Both the FBCM and the BCM have black feathers with copper plumage. However, slight feathering of the legs is mostly seen in the French Black Copper Marans variety. The feathered legs FBCM is recognized in the US and France, while the UK recognizes only the clean-legged Marans.

The FBCM and the BCM are distinguished by their triangle “V” shaped bodies and strong, wide shoulders. The body’s feathers are jet black and may have a green iridescence under sunlight. The hens are smaller in size than the roosters.

Egg Production And Color

On average, both the varieties lay about 3 eggs per week, which comes up to 150-200 eggs in a year. Also, the egg production will lessen with time, along with the shade of the eggs turning lighter.

If you have just purchased an FBCM and the hen lays dark chocolate brown eggs, then you know that they are original ones. The other varieties, such as the Cuckoo, may mostly give a dark brown or reddish-brown egg.

Care And Maintenance

The feathery FBCM has higher maintenance needs as compared to the clean-legged BCM. The feathers may become muddy or get covered in droppings which makes it messy if they are carried to the nesting boxes.

Regular cleaning of the feathers is necessary to keep them away from scaly mites or other debris. Also, feathery-legged Marans are prone to frostbites in cold winters. Their legs may get wet in the snow, making the feathers wet, which may lead to frozen feathers when the temperature stoops low.


When buying any variety of Marans, it is important to purchase from an experienced and reputable breeder. Also, vent sexing Marans is not easy, and the accuracy may not be 100%; hence there is always a 50-50 chance of if your Maran will hatch eggs or not.

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