BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Excellent layers vs good layers with and without supplement lighting
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Excellent layers vs good layers with and without supplement lighting - Page 2

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi, yes, I am on Bainbridge Island.  Thanks for chiming in.  This will be my first go at chicks and they are from Privett Hatchery which supplies all the local feed store chick sources.  I am going to get twelve to start things off.  4 of each, Blue, Silver and Golden just for variety and hope that this creates an even and balanced dispositioned flock.  My first flock was a mixed breed group and I got them when they were about 3 or 4 months old so that is my only reference from experience.  This is going to be a great learning experience I suppose.  If it doesn't work out I will rehome them and start over probably with a produce bird like Red/Black Star or RIR perhaps.  I just figured that the Wyandottes would be more interesting since they are so beautiful.  Since I am raising these from chicks and I am retired, I am home a lot and can give them some individual attention, I am hoping they become friendly and stay docile once pecking order is established.  They are not crowded and will be hand fed live meal worms or scratch every day in addition to organic pellet feed as staple.  Don't quite know what to expect for egg production since the reviews and experience on different threads at this website are pretty much all over the map.  Lots say great dependable layers and continue laying through winter.  Others report the opposite, and say they are either mean or flighty and so so layers with poor production in winter.  I suppose with substitute lighting they can be forced to lay through the short days, but I am more inclined to not force winter laying as I don't want to burn them out prematurely.  

 

I appreciate any one else who can offer their experience with this breed or anything else.  Thanks

post #12 of 16

Breed doesn't always show a consistent behavior.......

......much can depend on specific genetic lines as well as environment, management style and flock dynamic.

Tho many birds bred for plumage, both hatchery stock and show stock, often have production take a back seat.

 

Most birds will lay thru their first winter without light, subsequent years they rarely lay thru winter without supplemental lighting...even high production birds.

 

Keep reading, you'll learn a LOT your first year.....have fun!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #13 of 16

I had a different experience than the others here. I had gold and silver laced birds from MMM. They were decent enough layers, probably 5 eggs a week during that first peak laying year. No behavioral issues, they fit in nicely with my mixed breed flock. They are heavier than my Rocks, Wellies and sex links, so they do eat a touch more for less egg production. That was fine as I eat my excess cockerels, though. And they're total eye candy :).  That lacing is just beautiful!

 

I don't think supplemental lighting is going to get a bird to lay more than they're designed to lay. I have a Brahma who is currently under lights and lays about 4 eggs a week. The Aussies in the same pen hit about 6 a week. That's just genetics and I don't see it changing. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty from BI View Post

OMG, that is the worst report on Wyandottes I have heard yet.  You mentioned blizzards.  I assume you live somewhere with extreme winters.  I live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle.  I wonder if my birds will produce through the winter without lights since it is very mild here or if egg reduction or stopping lay is just a response to the shorter days.  If necessary, I could add some light although I am reluctant to do so.  I don't want to burn them out prematurely.  I love the look of the Wyandottes and it is a hobby for me so I want interesting birds, although eggs are important also.  I over built my coop and run so that I could have up to about 15 to 18 birds pretty comfortably although I will never need that many.  I am thinking that if I have maybe 12 birds, I should get enough eggs to cover my needs and have some to donate to neighbors or local charity group.  

If you have Wyandottes and live in the Pacific Northwest or somewhere with similar weather, please contribute your experience.  I am now a bit concerned with having just Wyandottes.  One of the reasons I chose them is because they are supposed to be excellent cold weather birds and good layers (200-250) a  year which I assumed was without extra lighting. 

Well, I'm actually in Colorado, so I would technically get a wee bit MORE light than you, but miniscule lol wink.png

Blizzards, yes, harsh winter will take a toll on egg production for sure; they need that energy to stay warm. That's why I choose cold tolerant breeds. I expect cold tolerant excellent layer to BE a cold hardy excellent layer, not take the winter off wink.png

The BRs have no issues, neither did the EEs or even Anconas, who actually braved the coldest weather roosting in trees. One Red Star even molted, and she still managed to lay for 2 months out of winter. The Wyandottes came highly recommended as far as cold tolerance, so I tried them out.

My view is definitely biased though lol; they are mean, so I automatically don't like them and may be being overly harsh on them. They are beautiful for sure, though. Great meat bird, so it kinda makes up for the enormous amount of feed I feel like I wasted on them.

I'm sorry lol, I know I'm being very critical of the poor girls; they really did try their best. Like donrae, I agree each breed is just destined to lay a certain number of eggs and light may help, but in the long run, I don't use light because they actually NEED that downtime to recoup energy to maintain health or they can't even lay to begin with. The genetic potential is already set for them, so I'm just trying to maximize it without forcing it.

I really have never had to use supplemental lighting to keep up good production and I don't want to start just because of some Wyandottes wink.png
Edited by shortgrass - 2/11/16 at 2:12am
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortgrass View Post
 
I really have never had to use supplemental lighting to keep up good production and I don't want to start just because of some Wyandottes wink.png

So your older birds (older than 18 months) lay all winter?

Or do you always have some pullets to lay over winter?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

So your older birds (older than 18 months) lay all winter?
Or do you always have some pullets to lay over winter?

Yeah, but I only ever had BRs or BOs, never tried any new breeds until we had this new feed store move in with bins full of all these new breeds I'd never heard of lol wink.png

And of course, every year there are replacement pullets; that's what this bunch of 12 was, my replacers. Between one molting and 2 going broody, plus the 4 dud Wyandottes, my egg production dropped dramatically compared to the norm. Same cycle, different breeds. I had 2 older hens molt, but that was it, still got plenty from my old BRs, and the new ones laid consistent too.

I just got bored looking at BRs all the time lol; the new additions gave me good eye candy and some curiosity to try even more breeds big_smile.png
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Excellent layers vs good layers with and without supplement lighting