Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New color of eggs for the cartons!

I'm so excited, you'd think I laid these eggs myself. For a couple of years now, I've been dying to get a breed of chickens called Marans. They lay the darkest brown eggs of any breed of chicken, and I think the eggs are simply wonderful. I've never had any Marans hens before because they've been hard to find, and super spendy when I did find them.

This spring when I was at the hatchery to pick up chicks, I noticed that they had a tub of chicks near the counter. I didn't need any extras, so I didn't go over and look--besides, it was a very long line that day filled with people picking up birds, and I didn't want to lose my place in line. Well, as you kind of do while waiting, I was listening to what was going on around me and heard a hatchery employee describing the chicks in the sale bin. That's when the word "Marans" caught my ear--turns out that the hatchery had an extremely good hatch of Marans and was selling sexed Blue Copper Marans pullets for $5 each--normally they are $20 each. Well, when my turn in the line came up, I wasn't taking any chances. I told the clerk that I'd take every Marans in the bin, no matter how many there were.

Turned out that there were only three. But those three have grown up to be the prettiest chickens in my flock, and some of the sweetest. One hen likes to perch near the nestboxes at night with a large group of other birds. The others all jump off the perch when I gather eggs, but not this lady. She stays there and lets me pet her. She's not a good Blue Copper--she's all blue, no copper in sight--but she's my favorite chicken in the whole flock right now. That's her in the middle (ignore the white chicken, who is a white Leghorn cross).

Three Blue Copper Marans--and a friend

You'll notice that blue, in chickens, describes a blue-grey color. It's that way in other animals, too--such as a blue roan horse, or a blue terrier.

I've been waiting to see the eggs from these girls for the past six months. Besides the fact that they are lovely birds, I really wanted to see what color egg they'd lay. Although Marans lay the darkest eggs around, hatchery stock tends to lay lighter eggs than breeder stock and some colors of hatchery Marans, such as the cuckoo color, have a bad reputation of laying a normal brown egg.

Well, this week my wait was over. All three of my girls began laying on the same day. Here's one of their eggs next to the other colors of eggs my chickens lay.  Isn't that dark brown egg gorgeous?!?

My Marans babies have just begun to lay eggs, and there are only three of them, so not every carton will have a dark brown egg in it. Think of the dark eggs as an awesome surprise. I don't think they taste any different from the other colors of eggs, but the French have a thing for Marans eggs and swear they are the tastiest you can get.

The first few dark eggs were packed into the cartons this week and delivered to the Clintonville Market, so if you're lucky you might get one. It will be luck of the draw to get a dark egg in your carton for at least a year. I'm feeling like I need to get more of these awesome birds, but I couldn't get the chicks until next spring some time, and then those babies wouldn't lay for six months after that... I hate waiting. :P