This is the Official French Standard taken direct from the Marans EU Site
(Standard approved by the “Entente Européenne des Standards”, organisation for the coordination of pure breed poultry standards).
MARANS, town on the Atlantic coast, near La Rochelle (France).
Characteristics of hatching eggs
The eggs should be large, ranging in size from about 65 grams for a pullet to 70-80 grams for an adult hen.
To have a deep dark red-brown coloured shell.
Leg ring diameter
Cock: 22 millimetres
Hen : 20 millimetres
Cock: 3,5 to 4,0 kilos
Hen: 2,6 to 3,2 kilos
Cockerel: 3,0 to 3,5 kilos
Pullet: 2,2 to 2,6 kilos
B – IDEAL TYPE AND OBJECTIVE TO REACH
A well built bird, of average size. Plumage held close to the body. Giving an impression of strength without looking heavy and awkward.
The best eggs must be very big and a dark-brown colour.
C – STANDARD:
Body ..........strong, fairly long and wide especially near the shoulders which are held high.
Neck...........long, fairly strong, tending to curve in on top towards the skull; the hackles are made of many long and abundant feathers covering the shoulders well
Back............long, flat, slightly concave towards the rear
Saddle........large, slightly raised but not rounded, covered with many lancets
Breast.........strong and large
Wings.........short , kept close to the body
Tail..............strong at its base, quite short, fairly up without going over 45 °
Head..........average size, slightly flat and long
Comb.........simple, of an average size, with a fairly rough texture. Sharp edges. The lobe not touching the nape
Wattles.......average size, red with a fine texture
Ear-lobes...average size, red and long
Face............red coloured with or without down
Eyes............bright, with a orangey-red iris
Beak...........Quite strong, slightly hooked and horn-coloured
Shanks.......big, without vulture hocks
Tarsi...........average size, with some feathers white or lightly pink coloured for all the varieties except for the BLACK, BROWN-RED and BIRCHEN Marans were grey or dark grey is permitted, although not preferred, for both sexes. Four long and well separated toes with the outer one sparsely feathered. The claws are white or horn- coloured
Smaller than the cock, with a large, strong and more rounded body, a straighter back line, a well developed abdomen , and a fine comb,
straight or inclined only in the rear part.
In the Marans, this required silhouette must symbolize one of the
undeniable characteristics constituting the “signature” of the breed.
The BROWN-RED VARIETY
(Also called Black Copper-neck, Black Copper, Copper Black & Red Birchen)
Cock : Black-breasted red, with parsimonious red spotting on the breast. Having a black wing triangle. The red markings are not to be yellow or mahogany.
Copper coloured lancets in the neck hackle & the back. Deep red shoulders.
Hen : Black with red hackle markings but without the typical Birchen breast lacing. Very slight red breast marking is acceptable. Green sheen is not required.
The SILVER-CUCKOO VARIETY
Cock : Overall cuckoo, the cock’s plumage is much lighter than that of the hen.
Hen : Fairly dark cuckoo plumage, with a rough pattern and irregular lines; lighter hackles; dark or lightly grey under colour
The GOLDEN-CUCKOO VARIETY
Plumage colour, as for the Crele pattern, i.e. as for the Silver Cuckoo except all silver/white areas are red / gold, the Cuckoo pattern even more indistinct on the hen
The WHITE VARIETY
Cock and Hen : Pure white plumage, but the cock’s hackles, lancets and shoulders’ feathers may show some straw colour highlights.
The WHEATEN VARIETY
Cock : Golden-red to brown-red head, lancets and hackles, red wing covers; the large wings covers form a black wing bar . The black primaries are edged with brown;
The secondaries have internal black edged and external brown edges, which forms a brown wing bay. The upper breast is black and its lowest parts blackish.
Hen : Head and hackles are golden-red to brown; some black spots are permissible. Back, rump and wing covers are wheaten coloured.
The feathers fluff is light and the edges may be lighter. The tail feathers and the flights are black, edged with brown. The breast and the abdomen are cream.
The under colour is whitish.
The COLUMBIAN VARIETY
(also called Light or Ermine )
Cock and Hen : White plumage, black laced hackles; flights and main tail feathers are black, blended with white. Down is white.
The BLACK VARIETY
Cock and Hen : The whole plumage is black, green gloss is not required, dusky shank permitted in both sexes
The BLACK-TAILED BUFF VARIETY
Cock : The whole plumage is a bright strong gold to reddish tone. The head and the hackles are light gold colour as well as the lancets, which are slightly darker.
Some black spots are possible at the hackles’ extremity. Shoulders and wings’ covers are darker, and mahogany-red deeply coloured. Primary flights; black with
external half edged with brown.
Secondary flights; brown with internal half edged with black. Tail black, with some brown edges. Under colour a “salmon/buff”. White-pink shanks.
Hen : The whole plumage is a plain a bright strong gold ,not a pale buff or fawn/buff colour. The slight difference between the hackles and the shoulders is less
contrasted than in the cock. The head and hackles are golden-fawn coloured with black lacing on the bottom feathers, which are more marked than those of cock.
Black tail with main tail feathers edged with brown. Flights, shank, and under colour as same as the cock.
The SILVER BLACK VARIETY (BIRCHEN)
In all respects identical to the Brown Red except they are Silver where the former is copper coloured, dusky shank permitted in both sexes.
There is no tolerance for gold tints; adornment should be pure silver white.
Cock : Plumage, black dressed with silver, chest black or slightly marked with white, black wingbow and wing triangle.
Hen : Plumage black neck hackle with silver lacings, chest black or slightly marked with white, but not laced.
Other colours - This group are currently under assessment by the French Standards Committee
Some varieties to be approved might be assessed as long as they make reference to specific varieties as far as genetics and colours are concerned.
Golden-blue and Silver-blue Varieties
Golden-salmon and Silver-salmon Variety
Lack of size; white or yellow ear-lobes; light-coloured or black eyes; tarsi without feathers, black or yellow; triangular body frame;
horizontal or leaning forward body. Cock weighing less than 3 kg; Hen weighing less than 2.2 kg.
Columbian variety: (Light)
washed off colours, double edging (white edged with black). Golden highlights.
green or fawn feathers. No lighter hackles for the cock. Golden hackles and lancets.
Cock : breast spotted with brown or no brown wing bays.
Hen: washed off back colours. Faded colours on the back. Under-coloured smokey.
Cock : brown wing bay; any other colour than black on the flights; straw- coloured hackles.
Hen : brown spots on the body.
white or buff coloured feathers.
Black-tailed buff variety :
Cock : black spots on the breast, smokey under colour.
Hen : Too light or washed off colours. Irregular plumage.
THE MARANS BANTAM
Same standards and varieties as for standard fowl.
Half the size of the large fowl.
Rings’ diameter: - cock: 16 mm; hen : 14 mm
Eggs to be hatched: 40 grams , dark-brown shell.
Weights Cock: 1.1 kilo Hen : 0.9 kilo
Note: The English selection of Marans (i.e.without feathered tarsi or feet) is not recognised in Europe.
A link to some old pictures of historic Marans fowl Click this link
For interesting details on genetics of French Varieties Click Here
An Excellent page on French Marans genetics and how to breed