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The Marans are an old heritage breed.  They were developed in the marshy areas of France. They are a dual purpose bird - my roosters dress out at an averaged 4 to 6 lbs. They are prized for their dark chocolate brown eggs, laying about 275 - 300 eggs per year.  The brown color in Marans' eggs is the result of a layer of pigment deposited over a finished egg as it passes through the oviduct.  You can even scrub the dark coating off the eggs whereas with other eggs the tan pigment is built in to the shell calcium.  The egg color is graded on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the darkest.  The minimum acceptable color for a Marans egg is a 4#.  A pullet might lay a amazing 7# to 9# because of being delayed in the oviduct and as a result being spray-painted extra long.  Our hens have been proven to be able to lay #4 eggs or darker.  Our line comes direct from Bev Davis - the originator of the Wheaten strain.

The French version is feather legged; the English is clean legged.

There are 9 recognized colors in the French Standard: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian.

The Blue Wheaten variety is not yet recognized in the Standard.  We are working on genetics with the breed - as there is a problem producing Blue Wheaten roosters.  We have two Blue Wheaten boys at the moment:)
Here is one of my Blue Wheaten roosters and some Wheaten hens:
Here is a Splash hen:
The Wheaten line carries feathered shanks and amber eyes.  They are a strikingly beautiful bird.
 
 
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We made country fried steak tonight!  It is certainly one of my favorite dishes!  So, I thought I'd share it.  This is so delicious and also easy to make!  It is said to have originated in Texas.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 4-8 cube steaks (if you can’t find cube steak, just have your butcher run a few round steaks through the cube machine or take them home and pound them with a meat mallet on both sides)
  • 1 cup (or more) Lard, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • dash of nutmeg or cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 cups milk - preferrably real milk:)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Whisk eggs in mixing bowl and set aside.  Sift flour, garlic salt and pepper on a plate.
Then dredge the steaks in flour (really thoroughly), dunk them in the beaten eggs and coat them in flour again.  Be sure you can't see any meat showing.
Get out your skillet and put the oil in. Heat oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.  The temp. might seem silly but you want a crispy outer crust on the steaks not a oily soggy one.

Fry the steaks until honey-golden on each side.
Set steaks aside on a paper-lined plate.  And now about the gravy.  Now you have lard and crunchy bits in the pan.  Turn pan heat to medium or medium-low.  Scrap the flour mixture leftovers into the pan (there should be about 3 tablespoons).  Use a whisk or a fork to incorporate the flour into the oil.  Keep this whisking while you add the milk in a little at a time.  It should be thick enough to coat the edges of your pan and whisk.  If it’s too thick, just add some more milk and stir.  Feel free to add some extra salt and pepper.
Now serve up the steaks with gravy on top!  Enjoy!

Yummo!