This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy for details.
French Marans Chickens | Dark Brown Egg Layers

French Marans Chickens | Dark Brown Egg Layers

French  Marans lay some of the darkest brown eggs in the chicken kingdom. They look like chocolate! But they are also a fascinating breed, eggs notwithstanding. French Marans chickens are the official "dark chocolate brown egg" layers of the chicken world. They lay those super deep dark brown eggs that you might have seen gracing Instagram on various backyard chicken keepers accounts. But did you know that the French breed of chicken called the Marans (named after the French town  of Marans where they  originated) lays some of the darkest eggs of any chicken breed?

Olive Egger Chickens

Olive Egger chickens, a cross between a Marans and an Ameraucana, lay gorgeous olive green eggs, as their name implies. If you have been following the blog you know that I back in 2012 I  hatched my very first chicks. It was such an amazing experience. To think that an egg hatches into a living, breathing chick in just 21 days and then that golf-ball sized chick grows to be a robin-sized pullet over the next 21 days or so is just amazing. 

Poultry Egg Identification Chart | Chicken Duck Goose Quail Turkey Emu

Duck, chicken, quail, turkey and goose eggs are other interesting, less common options to regular chicken eggs. Most of you reading this probably raise chickens. And most of you, like I, probably thought that chickens only laid brown or white eggs before you started raising your own flock and discovering breeds like the blue egg-laying Ameraucana or the chocolate brown egg-laying Marans.

What Kind of Chickens Should I Raise? Help Choosing a Breed

What kind of chickens should I raise? There is no one best breed. Choosing a breed or breeds comes down to your ultimate goals for your flock. I get asked all the time what is the 'best' breed for a new chicken keeper. Well, that's a tough question to answer because there really IS no one best breed. There are best-laying breeds, best-looking breeds (although beauty IS in the eye of the beholder), most cold-hardy , most heat-tolerant , prettiest egg layers , best foragers, best breeds for kids ...and the list goes on.

Top 10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

If egg production is your primary goal from your backyard chickens, then you can't go wrong with any of these breeds that are known for their egg laying prowess. I think most of us raise chickens for several reasons. Of course fresh eggs are a part of it, but some choose breeds that lay different color eggs , some choose family-friendly breeds .  Others are interested in breeds that will do well in hot climates , or those that thrive in cold climates . 

Let's Hatch Chicks! A Day-by-Day Egg Hatching Tutorial

A day-by-day egg hatching tutorial teaching how to hatch chicken eggs in an incubator. Ever since starting to raise chickens, I had in the back of my head to try hatching eggs one day.  I have had a few broody hens each spring and figured that was the way I would go.  But then  Brinsea  agreed to donate a Mini Advance incubator to me and in return I agreed to chronicle the hatch via Facebook and here on the blog.

Vodka Lemon Peel Chicken Coop Cleaner

Use cheap vodka as the base for your all natural chicken coop cleaner and get the cleaning power of bleach without the harmful chemicals. My latest all natural chicken-keeping concoction takes its inspiration  from the James Bond franchise: Vodka (Shaken not Stirred) Natural Coop Cleaner. Yup. Vodka. Turns out that vodka is a wonderful natural cleaner.

Choosing Chicken Breeds for your Backyard

Choosing from the more than one hundred chicken breeds can be confusing, but it will help to ask yourself these simple questions. Choosing which breeds of chickens you want to raise can be overwhelming, since there are more than one hundred different breed to choose from.  Do you want good layers? Friendly hens? Different colored eggs?  Let me help guide you through the process.

What Makes Blue Eggs Blue?

Chicken eggs come in various colors including white, brown and different shades of blue. But have you ever wondered what makes a egg blue? Our first batch of chickens we started with back in 2009 all laid brown eggs. I had grown up eating brown eggs from my grandparent's and our own chickens, so that was my normal. It wasn't until I was watching Martha Stewart's show one day  in early 2010 and she had her chickens on the episode that I saw first hand that some chickens lay BLUE EGGS!

Welcome to my Farm | New Chicks and Ducklings!

Whew! This week we had a lot of excitement going on here on our farm! Not only did we welcome new baby chicks and duckings, but we had a really special visitor.

Which Chicken Breeds Lay Colored Eggs?

Have you seen photos of colored chicken eggs and wondered what breed of chicken lays which color egg? Here is your answer! When we first decided to try raising chickens, the breeds we chose were based solely on what types of chicks the local feed store had that spring. We just said "we'll take two of whatever you have" and ended up coming home with two Buff Orpingtons, two Silver Laced Wyandottes and two Rhode Island Reds. Cute chicks, beautiful chickens, wonderful layers...and they all laid brown eggs.  Which was fine with me.

Dealing with the Death of a Pet Chicken

Losing a pet is hard - and losing a backyard chicken is no different. So how to deal with that loss? If you raise chickens long enough, you will end up losing one - and I suppose eventually all - to old age, if nothing else. But realistically, old age won't be the cause of their demise. Shockingly, your loss will be quick, unexpected and heartbreaking.

How Can I Protect my Chickens from Hawks?

Protecting a backyard chicken flock from hawks can be a bit of a challenge if you don't know these simple, effective tips. Of all the various predators that will go after your chickens, the aerial type are often the most challenging. Short of a completely enclosed pen or run, the truth is that your chickens (and ducks) are vulnerable to predator attacks if they free range. And raptors are just one predator to watch out for.

Why Don't Chickens Lay Eggs in the Winter?

Chickens generally don't lay eggs in the winter because there's not enough sunlight to stimulate the ovary to release a yolk. New chicken keepers usually start with baby chicks in the spring. The excitement of the chicks growing into adults, then that first egg in late summer or early fall is undeniable. And the eggs keep coming all through that first winter, right into the following spring and summer. But that next fall, all of sudden egg production drops and the hens stop laying eggs. What's up with that? They laid through their first winter.

Quiz: What Kind of Chicken Keeper Are You?

There are as many reasons and ways to raise chickens as there are breeds. What kind of chicken keeper are you? There are as many kinds of chicken keepers as there are breeds of chickens. And often the breeds you choose to keep can be a clue as to the type of chicken keeper you are. Read these fun, tongue-in-cheek profiles to figure out which kind of chicken keeper you are. Or maybe you already know....

What Breeds of Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?

Several breeds of chickens lay blue eggs including Ameraucanas, Araucanas, Cream Legbars, and Easter Eggers. Most chicken breeds lay brown or white eggs, but there are several kinds of chickens that lay blue eggs.  And ever since Martha Stewart appeared on television several years ago holding a basket of blue eggs laid by her chickens, the demand for the blue egg laying breeds has skyrocketed.

Scaly Leg Mites | Natural Treatment for Chickens

Here's a simple, effective, natural treatment for scaly leg mites on backyard chickens. Mites come in all shapes and sizes. Some feed on the host's blood, others, like scaly leg mites, burrow up under the scales on a chicken's legs.   Like other types of mites, scaly leg mites can be successfully treating in a natural way that won't be harmful to your chickens.

Why Does my Chicken Egg Look Weird?

Comprehensive collection of eggshell problems to help diagnose what's wrong with your chickens including soft-shelled, speckled, ridged or bumpy eggs. I get asked fairly often (and sent all kinds of crazy photos via email!) about all kinds of eggshell issues: over-sized eggs, undersized eggs, bumps, ridges, tiny spots, speckles,soft shells.  You name it. If you raise chickens, you'll eventually see all kinds of eggs that look weird. Most are nothing to worry about.

7 Simple Ways to Prevent Frostbite in Backyard Chickens

Frostbite in backyard chickens can be a problem in chicken coops in the winter, but using these simple tips you shouldn't have to worry  about it. Frostbite can occur in the cold months in your chicken flock if you're not careful.   Although usually not life-threatening, it can be painful for the chicken and also in extreme cases lead to infection and/or loss of the frostbitten appendage (usually combs, wattles, toes or feet).  

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing Chicks

Here are 7 important questions to ask yourself before choosing chicks for your backyard flock. Each spring I attend various feed store Chick Days events, helping people pick out their chicks, teaching them how to raise them and answering any questions they have. Early education really is the key to a successful, healthy flock, so I'm really excited to be involved in this event as part of being a spokesperson for backyard chickens, and be able to get even more people started out raising their chickens naturally for the best start in life.