FCF Hatchery

     Here at Frasier Creek Farm we specialize in the Marans breed of chicken.  We maintain and are actively working with several distinct colors and breeding lines of this wonderful breed.

     If you are just getting started with Marans chickens, you'll quickly learn that although the birds are no more or less difficult to raise than other breeds - the genetics behind their unique traits can be a real challenge for breeders to maintain over multiple generations.   In some regards, finding the 'perfect marans' -- one that lays superlatively dark eggs and shows outstanding qualities in the other traits (e.g., plumage, body shape, eye color, etc) is a hunt for the holy grail (and once you have it - it can be hard to hang on to)!

     In general, our lines are from stock that has primarily been bred for egg-color - the trait of preference for many backyard chicken fanciers.  

     That is not to say that our birds are not show quality -- indeed they are (well, some of them).  The challenge has been that selecting for adult conformation has repeatedly been met with a reduction in the egg pigment, resulting in beautiful marans that unfortunately have lighter eggs.  I think you'll see from our website that the FCF, BD and LP lines of marans all produce beautifully dark eggs -- but because this is the primary trait on which these lines are built, the hens and cockerell can occasionally show undesirable traits (a.k.a., allelles) that have been reduced or even eliminated in lines chosen primarily for adult conformation.  

     What does this mean for you?  Well, it means that if you're looking for marans that will likely lay dark eggs or you are seeking to start your own breeding flock that will likewise be bred for dark eggs -- these birds are ideal.  If on the other hand, you wish to use these birds to create a line of marans for show, then you'll want to order a large number of eggs/chicks - and plan on culling any birds displaying undesirable traits (such as mossy feathering, poor posture, dark eyes, etc).  As already said, our lines do produce some spectacular hens and cockerels - however these are less common than you'd find from lines that lack the dark eggs -- it's a trade off.  One of our goals (and that of the other breeders that select for dark eggs) is to continually work on the adult conformation traits, but do so without reducing the egg color we love so much.

     We are working on producing some pages with photographs that depict the typical levels of variation you can expect in the egg color and chick attributes from each of our lines.  These will help you decide on which lines and how many individuals to order.  Remember, the marans breed (especially in the United States) is still quite young and genetically quite diverse. Because of this, you should expect there to be variation in both the egg color and the apperance of the adult birds that result from our eggs/chicks, and unless you're buying one of our proven adult hen or cockerels (which are quite costly) the best way to ensure you get outstanding marans in your own flock is to raise a number to select from (which is what we do here at Frasier Creek Farm!).