Another first for us in 2016, in addition to our plan to add sheep to our smallholding, are our Cuckoo Marans chickens. Cuckoo Marans are a traditional english breed that are best known for their distinctive barred feathers and for laying dark brown eggs that are a particular favourite of Ian Flemming’s James Bond.
As well as being good layers Cuckoo Marans also produce great flavoured meat with an excellent texture, making them a true dual-purpose breed.
We started our flock by hatching out three chicks from eggs supplied by a registered member of The Marans Club of Great Britain, quickly adding six young birds from a prize winning poultry breeder in Derbyshire. We could have brought in mature ‘point of lay’ chickens to kickstart things but we prefer to raise poultry from as young an age as we can. By taking a little extra time we get the benefit of knowing exactly how the birds have been reared during their early life, which has a significant effect on their health and temperament as adults.
We expect to have eating eggs available for sale locally from August 2016, followed by small numbers of birds and fertile hatching eggs from Spring 2017 onwards. If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on their availability then please contact us.