Beautiful chickens that lay loads of eggs are a joy to have around the yard. Entering the spotlight is the Mystic Marans, a hybrid between a Copper Marans rooster and Barred Rock hen. These stunning birds have quickly become a favorite among those who live in the suburbs, especially since they supply massive amounts of large eggs. Considering adding some new hens to the flock? This complete breed guide will cover everything you need to know about the Mystic Marans chicken.
Mystic Marans Breed Overview
Take a look at some characteristics of this hybrid chicken:
|Feather Color||Deep brown or copper with speckles|
|Disposition||Docile, quiet, and active|
|Maturation||18-24 weeks old|
|Egg Production||200-250 eggs per year|
|Egg Color and Size||Large, dark brown eggs|
History of the Mystic Marans Chicken
The Mystic Marans was developed in the Czech Republic by crossing Black Copper Marans roosters with Barred Rock hens. The goal when creating this hybrid was to get extra large eggs in the rich chocolate color of a standard Marans, which have low egg production rates despite a high appetite. The Mystic Marans goes by other names, including the Dominant Copper, Midnight Majesty Marans, Noir Marans, or Rustic Rambler.
Since they are a recent hybrid, they do not have the same amount of history as heritage breeds. Furthermore, hybrid chickens are not recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Therefore, there is no breed standard to consider when judging the appearance of these finely feathered fowls.
A Look at the Lineage of Mystic Marans Chickens
To better understand the traits of the Mystic Marans, let’s take a look at the parents:
About Copper Marans
Interestingly, the Black Copper Marans (also referred to as Copper Marans) breed has not been around for a long time. It was first introduced to the world in the early 1900s. The original poule de Marans comes from the La Rochelle region in France, where they were called “swamp chickens.” Marans came about when landrace birds mated with barnyard hens from other breeds, as well as gamecocks from Indonesia and India. Later on Marans were refined by introducing Brahmas, Croad Langshan, Coucou de Rennes, Coucou de Malines, and Gatinaise breeds into the bloodline.
Yet, because of the bloodlines, Marans plumage was all over the place. The Black Copper Marans was only recently accepted by the APA in 2011, but it has been a known color among the Poultry Club of Great Britain since 1935.
Black Copper Marans average around 6-8 pounds, with roosters being heavier than the hens. They are lovely birds with either clean or sparsely feathered legs, orange eyes, slate or pink feet, and a red comb, ear lobes, face, and wattles. Their plumage can be defined as black-breasted red with copper-colored feathers on the neck, back, and hackles.
About Barred Rocks
The Barred Rock (also known as a Barred Plymouth Rock) is one of the oldest breeds in America, with records of these chickens dating back to the 1800s. During WWII, the Barred Rock became a popular broiler breed, but they are now considered a heritage breed. Barred Rock chickens are known for their barred pattern feathers that are dark gray or black and white. They are broad, deep-bodied chickens that carry a lot of weight. You can expect around 4 eggs a week from these hens, as well as a decent amount of meat for the table.
Appearance of the Mystic Marans Chicken
Mystic Marans chickens are very beautiful to see in person. As chicks, they are predominantly covered in black down, but the males will have white spots on their heads. Female chicks sometimes have white spots on them, though these dots will not appear on the crown. As they start to grow, the chicks will either have feathers on their legs or not. Some copper markings — attributed to the Black Copper Marans — will show up on the breast, but the hens are usually almost completely black.
On occasion, the Mystic Marans has a smattering of lacing on their feathers and an iridescent sheen that is either green or purple (or both). Hens and roosters have red wattles and single combs. Their faces are a lighter shade of red that may lean closer to pink, and they have bright orange eyes. Their earlobes are typically black.
Temperament and Personality of the Mystic Marans Chicken
Generally, the temperament of these dual purpose fowl is cut straight down the middle between the hen and rooster that created the eggs. In other words, you can expect a docile chicken that is friendly to those around it. This breed is rather active throughout the day and tends to take well to foraging for food. Though the Mystic Marans enjoy free ranging, they will also adapt to being confined to a chicken run. This is why they are a popular choice for both small and large yards.
Keep in mind that Marans chickens do tend to get a little lazy when they are in a run all the time. You may consider letting them free range once in a while to ensure that they stay happy and healthy.
Egg Production and Broodiness
The Mystic Marans hen is a prolific egg-layer. A single Mystic Marans can provide you with 200-250 eggs per year on average. However, there are some that claim these chickens will lay closer to 300 eggs in the right conditions. Their chocolate brown eggs are either large or extra-large. The main draw is that these chickens produce the unusual brown eggs more often than their standard Marans parents, meaning you can fill entire cartons with these eggs to sell (and make a profit on the novelty).
Mystic Marans hens go broody very infrequently. Do not count on them to sit on their eggs for long.
One thing to keep in mind when discussing Mystic Marans eggs is that they do not breed true. Any chick that hatches from a Mystic Marans egg will be something else that is closer to a Barred Plymouth Rock or Black Copper Marans. As such, they can be difficult to obtain.
Caring for Your Mystic Marans
The Mystic Marans chicken is considered quite hardy and suitable for most environments. Yet, they are still animals with needs that must be addressed. First off, these are large birds, and so you have to ensure they have plenty of space both in and out of the coop. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when caring for this hybrid breed:
Every breed of chicken needs a coop to keep them safe from predators, temperature fluctuations, and weather patterns. Being that the Mystic Marans is on the larger side, you will need at least 4 square feet of space for each chicken in the flock. If you already have a flock and would like to bring in Mystic Marans, consider adding some extra perches and nesting boxes. These birds like roosting between 2-4 feet off the ground, as well as having some space to themselves when laying an egg or two.
Mystic Marans are naturally active and love to move around an open space. Make sure you provide them with enough space to walk around. Keeping these chickens stimulated is important to their health. Luckily, you do not have to worry about making the fencing too high, as this hybrid chicken will rarely fly high enough to call for such measures.
Whenever you get Mystic Marans chicks, be sure to provide them with plenty of protein (around 18-24% for the first couple of weeks). Your chicks will need a mash until about 6 weeks of age, when you can switch over to a pellet mash (around 16% protein). Once your pullets reach 18-20 weeks, they will either have hit maturity or be very close. You can expect egg production to kick in at any time.
Since these chickens lay a lot of eggs, they will need protein and calcium to continuously provide you with eggs. Unlike standard Marans chickens, the Mystic Marans hybrid does not require as much feed. Again, they can also be given time to free range for their own snacks. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also provide these chickens with the nutrients they need to lay eggs and stay meaty.
As with any breed of chicken, your Mystic Marans need plenty of fresh water. A one gallon chick waterer is recommended for up to 25 chicks. Never use open pans or dishes when watering younger chicks. If possible, elevate the water just enough that adult chickens cannot step in it directly and make a mud puddle. Switch out the water regularly to prevent bacterial growth from droppings and other contaminants.
Health and Safety
As mentioned earlier, Mystic Marans chickens are cold and heat tolerant. Compared to some other hybrid chickens, they also have few known health problems. The biggest factor on their health and safety is whether they are allowed to roam. When put in smaller chicken runs, Mystic Marans will get a little lazy, causing them to put on excess weight that will impact their health.
These are observant birds, and so they will remain vigilant when roaming. Still, you should ensure that their coop and roaming area is as secure as possible.
If the Mystic Marans in your flock have feathered feet and legs, you will need to periodically clean them off. Sometimes, chickens with feathered feet end up with conditions like bumblefoot or scaly leg mites. While these conditions are rarely fatal, they must be treated as soon as possible to prevent your chickens from getting sick.
Final Thoughts on Mystic Marans Chickens
Is the Mystic Marans chicken right for you? Hopefully, after reading this complete breed guide, you have your answer. The Mystic Marans is a gorgeous bird with dark feathering that lays around 250 dark brown eggs per year. You cannot go wrong with the quiet and gentle disposition of this hybrid. The only time they may be a problem is when they are too large for the coop or need their feet cleaned or healed.
What do you think? Will you be adding a Mystic Marans or two to your flock?
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.