Most chickens start of laying smallish sized eggs and their eggs get larger as they become more experienced layers. Marans eggs are the same except for a few differences:
1) They change colors. When a Marans pullet starts laying she will lay very dark brown eggs. As the laying season progresses her eggs get lighter. After a molt or seasonal break, her eggs start out dark brown again. She will repeat this cycle throughout her lifetime however they will lighten up a bit after the first year or two. They'll still follow the pattern of darker in the spring and lighter by fall though they'll never again get as dark as that first year.
2) The color can be wiped off of a Marans egg. Isn't that odd? If you try to clean a Marans egg and wipe too hard, the color will come right off!
3) The color is on the egg shell, it is not the color of the egg shell. It's a wet mucous like coating which dries quickly after the egg is laid.
4) Some eggs are speckled, some are not.
5) The color of a Marans egg is hereditary. If the parent stock lay very dark eggs, the offspring will also. The reverse is also true.
6) They can be a little harder to hatch. Humidity is a very touchy thing with these eggs, more so then other brown eggs. Slightly higher humidity seems to help them hatch better but too high and the chicks don't make it. Hens seem to get a better hatch rate then incubators with these eggs.
and the big bad secret no one wants to tell you....
7) They taste the same as any other farm fresh egg. OMG I admitted it! lol I can't even count how many people have told me "I've heard Marans eggs are the best tasting eggs in the world" Now, that's just silly! I mean, compared to store bought eggs then yeah...sure, Marans eggs are better. If you compare them to my other free range chickens though, you can't tell the difference.
on second thought.......we should probably just keep that last one between us. Especially if Mr Bond asks!