PUBLISHED: 14:31 22 December 2010 | UPDATED: 12:22 15 July 2015
The original 'speckled hen'.
Classification: Heavy, soft feather
Size: Large fowl and bantam
Egg colour: Dark brown
Temperament: Active, aloof
This breed from the French village of Marans is famous for its glossy dark brown eggs, which are very desirable. Unfortunately exhibition lines tend to lose the egg colour in favour of show markings, while a line of good brown egg layers will show too many faults in type to be successfully exhibited. Active but wary birds, they respond well to calm handling but never become fully hand-tame. Colours are black, cuckoo, golden cuckoo, and silver cuckoo.