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Barred Plymouth Rock vs French Cuckoo Marans

In February, when we replaced our initial flock’s rooster (for the second time), we searched locally for one that was being re-homed. Knowing that roosters are difficult to re-home, I was sure someone would have a good young rooster available for cheap or free. I was right. I met a very nice couple just less than 10 minutes away. They sold us one of their extra roosters (the one we affectionately call Barry). They told us he was a Barred Rock, and at first glance and lack of deeper knowledge – we accepted it at face value. I named him Barry because he’s beautiful, and he was a Barred Rock – so a B name fit.

I was scrolling through Facebook this afternoon while sitting in our chicken run, enjoying time with our birds, and came across a post of someone asking whether their pullet was a Barred Rock or Cuckoo Marans. Never having researched Marans, I had no idea the info-bomb I had just stumbled onto…

In the comments, someone shared that the OP’s photo showed a Barred Rock pullet because it had yellow legs and beak and that Cuckoo Marans have white/pink legs and white beak. I looked up from my phone and eyed our rooster standing just a few feet away and saw his white/pink legs and white beak, and it hit me – he’s not a Barred Rock! Haha! I then went on a searching-spree and yes, he’s a French Cuckoo Marans! With this new information, I wanted to share with you the difference between the two breeds, as far as the roosters go. Some of the traits are shared between hens and roosters but I am focusing on roosters in this post.

The Details

Barred Plymouth Rock

  • Larger than Cuckoo Marans
  • White “barring” all over their plumage
  • Clean, yellow legs
  • transfers genes for light to medium-brown eggs
  • Sweet-natured, gentle, calm
  • Family-friendly and adaptable
  • Quieter than Cuckoo Marans

French Cuckoo Marans

  • Smaller than Barred Rock
  • Darker, irregularly barred feathers with a slate-colored pattern
  • Pinkish-gray legs
  • transfers genes for chocolate-brown eggs
  • More talkative and vocal than a Barred Rock
  • Social and active, requiring larger free-ranging environments
  • Can be more flighty and playful

Here’s our beautiful boy Barry the French Cuckoo Marans enjoying the shade lying next to my feet. Photo courtesy of my mom.


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