The American Poultry Association has a detailed process for recognizing a breed. Since publication of the last edition of the Standard in 1998, several species and breeds have been recognized: Appleyard and Saxony Heavy Ducks, Welsh Harlequin Medium Ducks, Guineafowl in Pearl, like this one photographed at Yellow House Farm in New Hampshire by Robert Gibson, Lavender and White.
Birds of the breed applying for recognition must be shown at APA shows at least twice each year for two years. At least two hens, two pullets, two cocks and two cockerels must be shown on each occasion.
Judges then submit their opinions of the breed and a qualifying meet is held. No fewer than 50 birds must be shown at the meet. Judges expect the birds to resemble each other closely, to establish the breed type.
Marans are currently under consideration. The American Marans Club, logo on the left, is organizing efforts to get the breed recognized. Varieties like Cuckoo, one of the most common Marans varieties, tend to be less similar to each other than solid colors like white. Marans are also raised in Black Copper, Black-tailed Buff, Gold Salmon, Silver Black, Splash, Blue, Wheaten and Birchen.