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Cuckoo Maran Vs. Barred Rock

Telling the difference between types of hens can be challenging, even if you want hens for meat or laying eggs. Knowing the difference can make things easier. Comparing Cuckoo Maran chickens to Barred Rock birds helps considerably.

The reason for this is both breeds have single combs, and while Marans aren’t over-friendly, Plymouth Rocks are usually pretty tame. In our guide, you can learn all the differences between Cuckoo Maran hens and Barred rocks.

By the end, you’ll see the differences and possibly pick up the difference between barred rock rooster and hen compared to the others. You may also find out what do barred rock eggs look like compared to those of the Cuckoo Maran Hens? (Read Do Chickens Drown In The Rain)

Cuckoo Maran Vs Barred Rock

What Are Cuckoo Marans?

In the mid-1800s, Marans, France, produced the Cuckoo Maran chicken breed. It’s now a rare breed that has gained appeal in the U.S. on farms and backyards because of its gentle temperament and ability to lay dark brown eggs. Cuckoo Marans seem like Barred Plymouth Rock chickens but have different feather patterns.

Cuckoo Marans’ beauty rests in their personalities, not their features. When let to roam, Cuckoo Maran chicks become energetic and love foraging.

This breed gets along with other chickens, though the roosters are fierce. Despite being a rare breed, Cuckoo Marans chickens are perfect for meat production. Roosters can weigh 8 pounds, while hens average 7 pounds.

What Distinguishes Chicken Feather Patterns

Any expert poultry breeder can tell you that the color of a bird’s feathers and tiny differences in the patterns can happen when new feathers come back after molting. Birds, particularly domestic poultry, have a variety of feathers that each play a role in survival, functioning, and health.

Heredity and genetics influence feather color and patterns, some of which are sex-linked. Several readers requested an article on the genetics behind barred, cuckoo, splash, and mottled patterns.

Barred and Cuckoo Chicken Feather Patterns

Beautiful chickens with horizontal black and white stripes, or “bars,” encircling their bodies can be identified as having a barred or cuckoo pattern. In the U.K., such breeds include Barred Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, and Scott’s Greys.

The dominant and sex-linked barring gene. This indicates that it is joined to the chromosome for the male sex. Only one gene is required for this chicken feather pattern to predominate the plumage because the barring gene is dominant.

Male barred birds have one or two B genes, depending on whether they are purebred or hybrids, while female barred birds only have one B gene.

Although both roosters have barred or cuckoo plumage, roosters with two barring genes (B.B.) frequently exhibit more distinct, sharper barring than those with only one barring gene (B).

A chicken crossed with other breeds can be confusing as if you cross two blue fowl, you’ll end up with chicks that are 50% blue, 25% black chicks and the remainder have the splash pattern. (Read Do Owl Decoys Work)

Cuckoo Feather Patterns

Since “barred” and “cuckoo” share the same genetic ancestry, what precisely separates them? The phrase “barred” refers to plumage in the United States with clear, identifiable bars or lines.

The name “cuckoo” frequently describes patterns that are less clear-cut and prominent and may be a little foggy or have uneven edges to the barring on the feathers. One excellent example is the difference between Dominiques and Barred Rocks, which have more diffused, less distinct lines.

Even in the world of poultry, national and regional words may change. For example, the term “cuckoo” is used in other parts of the world to refer to general barring. Are barring and cuckoo only available in patterns that are black and white? Barred birds currently come in a variety of distinct color patterns.

The Lemon Cuckoo chicken feather pattern, a long-extinct breed from the lower Rhineland of Germany and the Netherlands, is one stunning illustration.

Beautiful tangerine-yellow stripes alternate with white stripes in the color pattern. The chocolate gene in poultry is similarly sex-linked but recessive; therefore, this pattern has intriguing twists for breeders. Another pattern is chocolate barring.

Splash and Mottled Chicken Feather Patterns

Mottled and splash plumage are genetically distinct from barred and cuckoo. Mottled birds have white patches on the tips of darker feathers, blocking out pigmentation. On top of white plumage, splash feathering is composed of sporadic black, grey, and blackish splotches.

Andalusians, Jersey Giants, Orpington, and Cochins have these genes in their genomes.

feather pattern

Cuckoo Maran Vs. Barred Rock: Differences

Because they have the same color and feather pattern, which gives their plumage spots or barring, a Cuckoo Maran hen and Barred Rock flock may be confused for one another.

However, they cannot be compared due to the distinct differences in the origins, looks, egg production, and temperaments of Cuckoo Maran and Barred Rock chickens.

Here’s everything to know.


The French port city of Marans is where the cuckoo Marans first appeared. The Cuckoo Marans are a product of cross-breeding local chickens with other chicken breeds imported from Asia in the nineteenth century.

Numerous other varieties are produced by it, including Black Copper Marans, Black Tailed Buff Marans, and more.

The classic American chicken breed known as the barred rock, on the other hand, has been raised in the United States since 1849, when they were first noted in Boston. (Read Can Pigs Eat Watermelon Rind)


Chickens come in a variety of sizes, from bantam to large.

If you looked closely, you could see a tiny size difference between the Cuckoo Marans and Barred Rocks.

The usual weight of mature Cuckoo Marans is:

  • Hens: 7 lbs.
  • Roosters: 8 lbs.

Barred Rock mature weight:

  • Hens: 7.5 lbs.
  • Roosters: 9.5 lbs.

Physical Features

There are at least 14 different Cuckoo Marans, yet some essential qualities are shared by these dual p [purpose Cuckoo Marans:

  • White skin and feet.
  • Thrive in any weather.
  • Tough and resistant to illness.
  • 20–24-week maturation time.
  • Suitable for meat, eggs, or company.

Barred Rocks are regarded as dual-purpose chickens and have more distinguishing traits:

  • Yellow legs and Yellow feet.
  • Great cold resistance.
  • Fast maturity from as young as 12 weeks.
  • They have a dual purpose, yet mainly raised as meat birds.

egg production

Egg Production

Cuckoo Marans are hens that are good layers and are recognized for producing extra-large, chocolate-brown eggs or even dark eggs with speckles. They are pretty sought-after by breeders who desire chickens that lay speckled eggs!

Although it can take them 6 to 9 months to start laying, cuckoo Marans can deposit between 160 and 180 eggs annually.

Smaller, medium-sized brown eggs are laid by a barred rocks bird. However, a Barred Rocks hen can produce more eggs annually than Cuckoo Marans, between 180 and 200. Additionally, Barred Rocks lay earlier, at around five months of age.


Although perhaps the different types of birds, like Cuckoo Marans and Barred Rocks, are ideal for any backyard farm, they have a few minor temperamental quirks that make them among various owner types.

To begin with, Cuckoo Maran roosters and hen are more talkative and noisier than other chickens and highly social. Barred Rocks are more manageable and quieter, family-friendly, and very adaptable birds. (Learn How To Tell If Zucchini Is Bad)

Cuckoo Maran Rooster Vs. Barred Rock Rooster

Cuckoo Maran roosters differ from Barred Rock roosters in the same way that the hens do. Barred Rock roosters tend to stay one color, with white “barring” all over their plumage, and they are notably larger than Cuckoo Maran roosters.

The hackle feathers and top of the body of a Cuckoo Maran rooster, on the other hand, occasionally take on a distinctly dark hue.

Cuckoo Maran Vs Barred Rock (1)