THE IDEAL SILHOUETTE OF THE MARANS

Translated from the French by
Katherine Anderson.

Coq Marans Noir-cuivré bien typé

 

With the examination of the official standard, certain essential descriptions in general relate to the shape of the body as well as the neck and the nape of the neck, the back, the chest, the shanks, the abdomen and even the beak.

All of these elements contribute to the precise outline of the desirable type.

These various points of the standard are of such great importance in the Marans to justify a particularly thorough description which

embodies the true silhouette to be sought in the Marans.

This represents an undeniable signature of the breed, like the color of its eggs or the feathering of its shanks.

This silhouette in particular, makes clear the overall expression of traits coming from the types of chickens present at the time in the successive stages of the creation of the original Marans (crossings of English Games or Asian hens, for example).

 

The principal characteristics of the ideal type of the Marans
can be defined by the following four points:

  1. the shape of the body
  2. the shape of the tail
  3. the shape of the beak
  4. size and posture of the shanks

Finally, the presentation of the various serious and
intolerable defects in the required type of the breed are added.

 


 

THE SHAPE OF THE BODY

On the whole, the body, in the cock and in the hen, must always show itself as rather powerful.
But, at the same time, this concept in the Marans covers several desired characteristics that should be known:

The plumage, which is never to be loose or puffing out but rather tight in the Marans, makes it possible to avoid any impression of undesirable heaviness in selecting for the ideal type.

On the whole, these characteristics simply give the appearance of a rustic, solid farm hen.The slightly inclined back gives the ideal type a minimum length to the shape of the body which overall must fit into a rectangle.In cocks, the back is presented as a little flat, a little long, and a little sloped to the rear.The hens, however, have a more horizontal back than that of the cocks but should never be too short.

The drawings shown here make it possible to visualize these various elements:

In the Marans, this required silhouette must symbolize one of the
undeniable characteristics constituting the “signature” of the breed.

 

 

THE SHAPE OF THE TAIL

Good Marans (cocks and hens) should always have a short tail, tilted 45° compared to a horizontal line, but is still acceptable until 60° maximum. It is the 45° slope which is required in the standard.
Beyond 60°, the tail then appears much
too vertical and the back is very often too short, and the bird then lacks the minimum mass necessary for a good Marans.

To describe good tails in the Marans it is advisable to join together two essential characteristics, which are:

-         main tail feathers well closed and shorter than average.

-         sickles shorter than average.

Concernant les poules, la queue est large à la base (s'accordant bien naturellement avec un corps que l'on souhaite plein), mais surtout elle doit se présenter assez courte et fine par la présence de rectrices serrées et non pas ouverte en éventail.
Il peut encore se présenter le type de "queue fendue" qui est un défaut grave.

 

THE SHAPE OF THE BEAK

The beaks also present a typified form that tends to point toward the ancestral Game breeds or, to a lesser extent, the shape of the beaks of raptors.
The beaks must be, as indicated in the standard, strong and slightly hooked, i.e. having the cambered or higher arched mandible giving them the required impression of power and combativeness which is typical among the true Games.
 

 

THE POSTURE AND SIZE OF THE SHANKS

It is rather important to maintain the stocks of Marans with an average height rather than the tall type, which is due in particular to the presence of shanks that are too long.
A hazard of rather long shanks is the appearance of other serious defects that are sometimes linked to them, i.e.

The size of the shanks assessed in the standard as below the average of some breeds indeed makes it possible to reinforce this impression of strength and rusticity of the silhouette suitable for the Marans.
In addition, this desired conformation of the shanks goes hand in hand with a position of the legs quite widely set and well placed below a deep and broad body.

 

SERIOUS DEFECTS TO AVOID

Admittedly strong and robust, the body of the Marans should never present a cubic conformation with a very short back, which is correlated with this shape.
The shape of the body should not be shown reversed or plunging in front.
The chest should not fall or drop down. The flat, tilted line of the back especially should not form the curved “boat” style sought in other breeds such as the Barnevelder, for example.

The geometrical shape of the body should not fit in a triangle whose peak is positioned at the level of the shanks. Indeed, this form is characteristic of the subjects known as “shallow,” i.e. that it covers a clear insufficiency in the volume of the abdomen on one hand and the chest on the other. Moreover, the triangular shape is often related to the presence of an incorrect short back, if not “boat” shaped.

The appearance of the Marans should not be high on the legs, which can thus give to the whole an undesirable image of possible fragility in the skeleton.

The tail of the cocks never shows the presence of large, curved, flowing sickles such as the Bresse, Gauloise, or Leghorn which require these. Beyond 60° the too-straight tails, called vertical tails, are often too long and are thus incorrect but especially “squirrel” tails (more than 90°), constitute an intolerable and very serious defect. They seem moreover often correlated with insufficient shape or robustness of the body, and sometimes associated with a plunging body or a too-short back.

 

Translated from French by: Katherine Anderson, MC USA.


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