Marans chickens originated in Marans in Western France. The correct spelling has an ‘s’ on the end of the name wether it is single or plural. They are a dual purpose breed that are especially prized for their dark brown eggs but also have good meat qualities. Marans eggs should be an extra large size. Marans are quiet and docile, however they are active foragers and can free range even on rough terrain. Marans chickens were accepted into the American Poultry Association in 2011. English standards call for clean legs, while the french standard calls for feathered legs. The presence of feathered shanks (legs) is expressed by a dominant gene. Therefore a bird with 2 dominant genes will throw all feather legged offspring, while a bird with one dominant can throw both. A bird that is clean legged will always throw clean shanked offspring when it is bred with another clean shanked bird. The american standard models that of the French calling for feathered shanks. Standard weights are 8 lbs for a rooster and 6 1/2 lbs for a hen. Note: Even if a bird is a perfect show quality example of a marans if it eggs are lighter than a #4 on the marans egg scale the bird is not a marans.