The original ‘speckled hen’.
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.