|HISTORY OF THE MARANS HEN||GLOSSARY||THE DIFFERENT VARIETIES||
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The Marans Club of France
was declared by the official newspaper on September 24th
1929, the associatioon known as "Marans Club of
France" covers the whole national territory
including the french overseas deprtments. But the other
countries of the european communauty as well as other
nations can join the club.
One of the main goals, right from the start of the work of the MCF in 1929, was to ensure the geographical expansion of the Marans.
Today, we can consider that this choice was a great importance in the current acknowledgement of the extraordinary expansion of this breed in our country and abroad.
The purposes of the MCF :
° to facilitate and to intensify the expansion of the breed
° to defend the "extra reddish brown egg" and its color which is the main characteristic of the breed
colorimetric range of the shades has
been decided on and put into service by The Marans Club of France
to promote the traditional farming
to develop and encourage the "variety selection" in every fields : morphology, laying, fecundity, eggs, flesh quality, hatching respecting the official standard decided on by the association and by the commission of the standard of the ANJA (poultry judge national association) affiliated to the SCAF.
The MCF has accompagnated the history of the Marans breed since the origins. It has allowed us to keep invaluable accounts about this breed. On that head, we can admit that, contrary to some breeds, we have a noticeable knowledge of the Marans history thanks to the oldness of its specialized club.
The archives and the deliberation register of The Marans Club of France have allowed us to draw this condensed historic.
1929 : Creation of the MCF
On September 12th 1929, The Marans Club of France was created at the hotel of the direction of the agricultural services in Charente which is situated above La Rochelle. The management committee is made up of :
Mr Roux Vice-Chairman
Mr Jouineaux Vice-Chairman
Mrs Rousseau, Mrs Very, Voilet and Warocquiez Secretary
1931 : 53 subscriber members
The temporary standards were approved on April 2nd 1931.
From 1931 to 1939:
Bouyer remained chairman of the MCF. There were some
modifications amongst the members of the management committee. An
issue of the "Aviculteur Français" on June 1st
1931 was used as a propaganda medium for the Marans. 5000 copies
were published and it was financed by the agricultural offices of
the two departments (Charente and Charente Maritime).
The MCF took part in agricultural meetings exhibition in Lille (80 Marans were presented), in Paris, in Nantes, in Lyon, in La Rochelle, …
Regulation of the competition of the "nicest egg" was adopted.
Subjects had to be rung from 1933.
Debates about the "feathered feet" or the "smooth feet".
More homogeneity of the breed is searched in each variety. The MCF took part in the poultry farming exhibition in La Rochelle from the 7th to the 11th of April.
The frontpage of the newspaper called Rustica (number 21 of May 26th 1940) was dedicated to the "Marandaise".
Second world war
Serre asked the poultry farmers not to renew the mistakes of the
good "Formally, we sacrified the breeds of Barbezieux, La Fleche, Le Mans, Creve Cœur, which have made the French and food famous and renowned the world over, to welcome new comers from AmericaBresse, . Are we going, today, to sacrifice our Gatinaises, Faverolles, Marans, Gournays and so many others on the attar devoted to the workship of Anglobreeds-Saxon ?"
1946: "The Marans club took up again its activity interrupted by the war years".
Mr Deraze is chairman. Mr Petit is vice-chairman and Mr Bachelier is secretary. amongst the people who were present at the meetings, there were Mr P. Harel (President of the poultry society Aunis Saintonge) and Mr Picard (Director of the agricultural services).
priorities were :
- to recruit a lot of members
- to make the breed known
- to select the "Marans subjects according to the color and the size of the egg", which will improve the quality of the egg.
Quoting from the register : "the constant improvement and selection of this wonderful regional breed whose qualities of grood layer and the exceptional beauty of its reddish brown eggs must offer it in the days to come the first place in the poultry national livestock.
people Quoting again from the register : "The Marans club warn the amateurs of this poss. against a press tending to make admit that to have reddish brown eggs is sufficient to have Marans poultriesvery . There is a standard of this breed which is clearly defined".
On October 24th 1946, Mr Picard, who was the Director of the agricultural services in Charente Maritime declared :
"For one year, we have vainly been trying, thanks to articles in the newspapers, to find in our area serious poultry farmers of the Marans breed, and we must admit that we have found noon because there is no such people. We can find poultry farmers of sundry hens laying reddish-brown eggs and some poultry farmers who own pure breed subjects but who have never been selected… To sum up, there is no real Marans lineage in the area."
Mr Pierre Harel deplored the bad sanitary state of the animals presented in the exhibitions. He asked the breeding stock to show more rigour and care in their farmings.
Birth of the idea of a cooperative MACC (Marandais Agricultural Cooperative Center) established in Dompierre and whose purpose is the following.
1) to give its members specially selected products of the Marans breed which are necessary for their farming.
2) the implementation of the study and selecting means of the Marans breed.
The creation of the standards was brought up but postponed.
Mr Bachelier Vice-Chairman
Mr Harel Pierre Vice-Chairman
The CECAM was working on 4 varieties : silver cuckoo, golden cuckoo, white, Brown-red.
Mr Bouet Secretary, Treasurer
The "black" variety known as "without collaret" was admitted in the standards.
1950Official scale of the egg color.
Schedule of the exhibitions : Lille, Rennes, Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Niort, La Roche-sur-Yon, Nantes .
Schedule of the exhibitions : Caen, Vichy, Strasbourg, Poitiers
of the exhibitions : Nantes, Metz, Loches, Toulouse, Paris, Niort,
La Roche-sur-Yon, Thouars, Nice.
Reference of a "golden book of the Marans" relating the lineage of the elite subjects of the Marans (which cannot be found in the archives).
Mr Picard, who was the director of the agricultural services, said : "we can't be more specific about the standard until further notice, and as long as the genetic work hasn't been finished. So the temporary standards remained in force.
Making up of an address book provided to everyone asking information.
Mr Cordier, Mr Pellereau, Mrs Clochard Vice-Chairman
Mr Bachelier Treasurer secretary (because Mr Bouet has passed away)
The center of Lagord (C.E.C.A.M.) was still existing in 1959, but not for a long time because the Marans of the center was not quite up to the mark notably due to the color of the eggs and the sanitary state.
The Marans was coveted by the industrial field.
There was a lively debate concerning the maintenance of the standards. Mr Cordier asserted that "it was essential to crossbreed the Marans with other better good layer breeds, while keeping the initial goal : to preserve the reddish-brown egg".
During the extraordinary general meeting on July 30th 1959, it has been decided to create, within the Marans club, two groups :
A : manufacturers (farmers owning at least 300
purebred breeding stock or 50 cocks for crossing improving the
laying and the flesh).
Group B : amateurs, farm breeding (for domestic use).
Mrs Clochard, who was Vice-Chairman, was strongly opposed to this and believed that the interests of the farm breeding were damaged because this lattet hasn't been informed of the statute change and she wanted the general assembly to be cancelled. But it was refused.
Clochard has been suspended from the office of Vice-Chairman.
The group A was set up.
The farmers of industrial crossbreeding with Marans were called for joining the club.
Edition of postcards illustring white Marans and cuckoo Marans.
of a color postcard (a egg board).
Creation of a category of "productors of extra reddish-brown egg" of the Marans and of its crossings.
Due to the important lack of photographic documentation, all the members of the MCF were called to take photos of subjects or breeds.
1963 13 members
Bachelier was Chairman (due to Mr Liet's death).
On the occasion of the general assembly on June 1st 1963, every present farmer declared that his production wasn't sufficient to meet the demands and that the selling of the products was not a problem.
Mr Meuraud, who represented the direction of the agricultural services of Charente Maritime underlined that "without the care brought by the group B (amateurs) and the prizes it won during the exhibitions, the knowledge of the Marans breed would be little propagated, … but that on the other hand, if the production of the group A (manufacturers) didn't exist to meet the demand, the group B would become a charming ceremonial group.
Signac resigned. He wrote in a letter that he wanted that only
the selecting farmer of the pure bred Marans could be admitted in
Standard : "the tarsus are tolerated grey and darker for the silver-black variety".
The principe of breeding homologation was abolished unanimously.
The demand of extra reddish-brown eggs increased.
up of road signs on.
The 137 and 138 national road : "Marans, capital of the hen which lays extra reddish-brown eggs".
There was a longhty agricultural correspondence between the chairman, Mr Bachelier, and Mrs Germaine Joliot, amateur farmer of Brown-red in Bellefontaine. Mrs Joliot did a very valuable work. She received the agricultural merit at the age of 100 and was still a member of the MCF whichwas restructured after 1991. Her written testemonces and her personal archives about the MCF would be very useful from 1991.
1966Edition of postcards (Marans, capital of the reddish-brown egg)
general assembly on April 30th 1966
Mr Bougrain-Dubourg Chairman
Mr Cordier Vice-Chairman
Mr Boussiron Vice-Chairman
Mr Priouzeau Treasurer
Mr Priouzeau Secretary
It was noticed that :
1. The white variety was clearly
2. The silver-black variety was not easily determined due to its standards.
If the selection and the promotion of the Marans have encountered so many difficulties, it was partly due to the dissensions generated by a standard with changes always announced but never carried out. The laws to pass on some characteristics of the Marans were not developed enough yet, so that this work, done without marks, favoured conflicts and divisions.
3. The silver-cuckoo variety was more and more asked for. As an archived mail testified to, a batch of one cock and ten pullets of the silver-cuckoo variety coming from Mr Boussiron's farmins, has been sent, at Mrs De Gaulle's request, France first Lady, to the farmyard in Colombey les deux Eglises.
4. The demand of Marans cocks
intended to provide crossing stocks, is higher and higher.
Exhibition in London : 40 Marans subjects were exhibited.
The official sovietic mission is in visit in France, which Mr Bougrain is specially in charge with to organise the program of the visit notably in Marans. "Letting people hope for future exchanges for everyone".
Période de 1967 à 1991
deliberation register stopped on April 30th
Over this date, we could only find in the archives mails from farmers sent to the registered office and which attested the life of the association. Where are the cotisations ?
A mail dating back to July 1968, dealt with 175 chickens from Moscow laying more than 220 eggs per hen, was sent to the president Patrice Bougrain-Dubourg in order to make regenerative crossings with the Marans. These crossings turned out to be totally negative : there were catastrophes at the level of the egg color and the darkening of the eyes color.
During all that time, numerous mails indicating the still important interest from the great Marans farmers have allowed the president of the MCF to draw a list including the address of the sympathizers and of the farmer looking for breeding stock.
At this time, the silver-black Marans rarely received the highest award in the exhibitions (GPH or GPE)
In the 80s and 90s, there were a lot of contacts between Mr Bougrain-Dubourg and notably passionate farmers coming from the north of France which were able to convince him of the need to bring back the club to life by getting in touch with all these people interested by the Marans.
January 19th, on Mr Bougrain-Dubourg 's
proposal, the MCF assembly met in Ohis (02) and elected :
Mr Deprez Serge Chairman
Mr Liedts Michel Treasurer
In accordance with the statutes, the registered office of the association was moved to : 12, rue de l'Eglise in Ohis (02500), which was the new president's domicile. The MCF new team was convinced of the legitimacy and strength of the values such as identity, land, respect of animal, but also of the knowledge of genetic laws which are applied to rigorous method of selection.
These values could only become established on a serious and a long term work by reconstructing the scattered founders, by pursuing precise historical research, by getting closer to the best specialists (notably in genetics), by renewing the dialogue with the SCAF, by making up a documentation and by getting down to work.
Mr André Dussud, who has been president of the French poultry farming central society reinforced our idea to modify the standard and these changes have always been announced in a recurrent way in the MCF day book since 1929 but have never been carried out because some discoveries about genetics but which have never been exploited.
Obviously, there was no question of disrupting everything but rather to clarify some essential points which put the farmers in a hopeless situation and harmed the reputation of the Brown-red variety and of those which were to become the fawn with black tail and the wheat varieties.
The new team had then understood that the exploitation of the Marans (breed which was extinct in the professional farming's), would go through the recruiting of the highest possible number of small farmers who would keep and improve the founders.
Indeed, from 1963, Mr Meuraud, who was representing the direction of the agricultural services of Charente Maritime, has already declared that only the care brought by the group B of the MCF (amateurs farmers) and the prizes it receives during the exhibitions, ensure the spreading of the Marans.
Just as we found again the addresses of those numerous farmers throughout France and even notably in Belgium and who were writing to the registered office of the MCF in Lanoue, a bulletin dummy issue in November 1991, was sent in order to make possible their gathering.
From that moment on, 120 farmers answered present at roll call joining the club and so permitted the foundations of the MCF revival.
The MCF was revived by the subscriptions finally paid by the members. At this time, there were 140 members.
First French championship in Rochefort sur Mer. The bulletin issue 1 was published in May 1992 with the list of the MCF members paying their subscription, of the farm bred varieties and the list of the regional chief representatives.
A first French championship took place again in Rochefort sur Mer to show the determination of the leader team to revive the birthplace of the Marans. But it would also be "a turning championship" that is to say that it will take place every year in a different area since the Marans is present throughout the territori, and even beyond.
The MCF logo was brought up into date corresponding to what has always existed, that is to say insisting on the exceptional color of the egg and the Marans look.
MCF stamp and a sticker reinforced the identity of the
A service of official ring supping was created.
The MCF studied and launched upon research about the silver-cuckoo variety which was for a long time the most widespread variety.
The MCF team would like to get in touch with the Marans Club again.
150 members French championship in Cambrai
A shade card of the eggs was established (important tool to set the marks).
The standard, which was changed after fruitful contacts Marlene Le Goff, agricultural judge, and Jean-Claude Periquet’s will to consult the specialized clubs, was permanently adopted and ratified by the standard commission.
The MCF carried on with the research about the Brown-red variety and wrote an essential article about the wheat-colored Marans which shed light on years of obscurantism.
The second French championship of the Marans and its eggs took place in Cambrai as well as the general meeting of the MCF.
Mr Deprez Serge
Mrs Le Goff Marylène Vice-Chairman
Mr Le Goff Joseph Vice-Chairman
Mr Maufroy Bernard Vice-Chairman
Mr Liedts Michel Treasurer
190 members French championship in Avignon.
MCF supplemented its research about the wheat variety and added the fawn with black tail variety.
André Dussud notified us of a study concerning the Marans in the newspaper "La vie à la campagne" of 1931 in which were published the eldest known photos of the Marans.
210 members French Championship in Toulouse.
Publication of a "special white Marans" issue, variety which has been reformed for many years by Mr Jean Veret or even by Mr Etienne Coti.
The MCF was present again in the agricultural exhibition in Paris. Some chicks were demanded, sometimes in thousands in France, Africa and in the French overseas departments, but couldn't be provided.
After the "white Marans" the MCF finished its study about this variety by publishing an article dedicated to the "bantam Marans".
Honour prizes, and even exhibition great prizes, were again awarded to the Marans in various exhibitions.
250 members French Championship in Nevers.
Professional farmers were interested again in the Marans and contacted the MCF.
265 members French Championship in Colmar
ring service was managed with the ut most rigour by the treasurer
The setting up of the regional representatives went on.
309 members and 6100 official rings were distributed. French Championship in Chatellerault.
"National poultries" : 200 Marans subjects were exhibited.
The MCF work began to be acknowledged by the various official agricultural authorities.
During the general meeting, the statutes were recognized as being in accordance with the 1901 law. Election of a board of directors made up of 12 members.
The vice-president of the department council of Charente Jean Harel, and the vice-president of the department council of Poitou Charente, Mr Louis Mallet, who were both farmers and members, noticing the smooth running of the MCF, would like to combine the regional authorities with the future of the Marans. The idea of an European championship in Marans in 2000 was carried unanimously.
They decided to write a book dedicated to the Marans and to print a poster and some postcards.
From this moment on, a large part of the purposes that the MCF team has laid down since 1991 were likely to be carried out since the means used would be, this time, economic, cultural and qualitative means.
Birth of the German Marans club in September 1998 which respected the principles and standard, and wished to work in close collaboration with the MCF.
380 members and 12000 official rings were delivered to the members.French Championship in La Roche sur Foron.
was a 90-subject exhibition for the one and only coppery-black
Marans and an exceptional presentation of the extra reddish-brown
The ideas which were floated in Chatellerault began to take shape.
To reinforce the qualitative step which was necessary for the rebirth of the quality of the poultry craft industry, both in the birth place and on the whole national territory, some study committees were set up with the Poitiers research institute on the food processing quality, with the support and effective action of the Charente Maritime department, of the Poitou Charente area and the president of the Aunis Saintonge poultry society.
The chamber of agriculture and the town of Marans with its major Mr Bouchereau, get involved in this project and wish that by 2002, according to Jean Harel's idea the Marans academy would be created.
A public notice of the Marans European championship of 2000 was made in collaboration with all the partners. It case widespread to the MCF members at the agricultural exhibition and in the areas.
In 2000 and the future... European Championship in Marans.
At the end of 2000, there were more than 400 members. So the MCF was the largest French club specialized in a purebred fawn.
The national press was interested in the Marans phenomenon through numerous articles added to the archives of the MCF.
The 2000 championship, which has reached a record high with more than 400 Marans (great success for the breed) was a turning point for the MCF with the distribution of the book, postcards and a large exhibition board.
The MCF reaffirmed, as for the selection of the Marans, the absolute refusal of any crossing and the respect of the phenotype, while preserving the egg ang plumage color.
It informed and encourage its farmers to work in order to obtain a more and more important genetic variety and so to fight against the possible harmful effects of consanguinity.
The MCF members, through the academy project, wanted, over the preservation of the race, to support its revival and its reimplantation while making sure of their control on this development. So it was out of the question for them to start a productivist or unreasonable step.
The present internet site of the MCF
was born with the new millennium on January 1st 2001. It allowed
the MCF to receive regular messages from France, Europe, Canada
or the United States.
It contributed towards in increase of the number of the members and the honest and exhaustive piece of information to the Marans amateurs in France and beyond our borders.
Increase of the members number of the MCF since 1991:
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