We’ve recently hatched some Cuckoo Marans. The eggs were bought via Ebay. Now Ebay as most of you will know, sells almost everything you can think of, including hatching eggs. These eggs were from a game outfit down in the south-west of England, Fosseway Game in Gloucestershire. We’d spent ages trying to source Large Cuckoo Marans, the sort that the French called ‘dual purpose’ (egg and meat), although our aim was to have them as pets.
These birds now are a little older, around 10 to 11 weeks old and thriving. Luckily (so far) they have escaped the Mycoplasma that has afflicted many of our other birds recently. If you have watched the video above you will have noticed a white, much smaller bird. We popped this one into the incubator as well, any guesses?
Below you can see these birds at around 11 weeks, coming along nicely. We are no expert at sexing chicks, some are easier than others, but as far as these are concerned we seem to have 3 male and 3 females. It will all be apparent when we hear the first crows. That said, some people say that as a general rule if you look at the backs of any growing chicks, those with bare backs i.e. little or no feathering will be the males, whereas the females will have broadly well feathered backs by comparison.
We let them out of their run each day, for most of the day. They usually only come back to feed and water themselves. Our small wooded area nearby is their favourite haunt, this is also one of the favourites of the Lohmann Browns their nearby neighbours. They still having a lot of growing to do to reach their full size, it will be interesting to see if they are indeed ‘large’ marans as it said on the packet!
Some weeks later……If the males are anything to go my they are indeed large birds, as you can see for yourself below.
We now have to decide whether or not to keep them all. Marans have a tendency to produce a surfeit of males from their hatches, and so it was in our case. Two females versus three males, but the males have turned out to be truly magnificent.