This breed was developed in France in the mid 1800’s in the town for which it bears its name, Marans. They had made their way to England in the early 1900’s and quickly became very popular for their very dark (chocolate) brown eggs – a trait they are still known for today. These beautiful birds were first exhibited in 1929 in Paris by the Poultry Breeders Society of France and since then have gradually made themselves popular in various countries around the world. We carry the CUCKOO variety of Maran which resembles the Barred Rock in color by displaying feathers which are all crossed throughout with irregular dark and light slate colored bars. Maran’s lay the darkest eggs of any breed we carry and are a nice dual purpose bird for both eggs and meat.
The “Easter Egg Chicken”, This unusual breed gets its name from the Indian tribe of Chile where they were first discovered. Araucanas lay beautiful colored eggs of blue-green shades from turquoise to deep olive. These natural Easter Eggs will amaze your friends and make a great “show and tell” project for school. Adults are of medium size with pea combs and our breeding stock is selected for their ability to produce colored eggs. They exhibit a wonderful combination of colors and color patterns and 10 or 20 of these birds make an absolutely beautiful laying flock that is extremely hardy and will be the talk of the town. Baby chicks come in all colors, plain and fancy, just like the adults. This is a unique breed and great fun to have when the colored eggs start coming. Our Araucanas are recommended for egg laying color and ability and not for exhibition.
Rhode Island Red
This is one of the most famous and all time popular breeds of truly American chickens. Developed in the early part of this century in the state of the same name, they have maintained their reputation as a dual purpose fowl through the years. Outstanding for production qualities, they have led the contests for brown egg layers time after time. No other heavy breed lays more or better eggs than the Rhode Island Reds. Our “production” strain is keeping up the fine reputation of this old favorite. Baby chicks are a rusty red color and the mature birds are a variety of mahogany red.
McMurray Hatchery looks to be quite the place for chickens. Martha did a big chicken special a couple of years ago and she got all her baby chicks from Mc Murray. The photos and descriptions are from their web site and there are dozens of other beautiful birds to choose from.
They have a few books listed that look pretty good. One called “Building Chicken Coops”, that sounds like it will get the job done. Another one I am sure I have to have is “Hens in the garden, Eggs in the kitchen”. One thing I do know, is that “coop eggs” are better. Taste better, look better, better…
So, super excited about chickens. Coop design begins next week!! Photos and lessons learned along the way will be shared.