Well, I'm still not a fan of red hens but they really do make great egg-layers! My friend's broody Buff Orp was kinda mean - I think it goes with being broody but she was also top of the pecking order. We have been having so much fun with our Silkies the past 5 years and have had to re-home so many bully heritage/dual purpose birds that we're kinda thinking to stay with Silkies. For a broody breed they still lay a lot of eggs up to 4-5/week at 1.25 oz consistently. And we don't have to deal with the political flock drama of the LF heritage breeds. We love our Ameraucana and our friend loves her EEs because they are non-combative flockmates but not really good layers after their pullet year. Surprisingly our 5-yr-old Silkies have out-produced our 2-yr-old Ameraucana!
@chick rookie Yep, I know flock politics happen. It's just that over the 5 years of having different breeds I realized I never needed to go through meaner heritage breeds to have good egg layers. The Silkies have out-produced my LF. The only LF we had that out-produced any other breed was the White Leghorn but they get assertive to downright cannibalistic and sometimes as young as a year old and I don't need aggressive breeds in my flock of gentles. Hey, Silkies works for us! Our Blue Wheaten Ameraucana continues to be a dud for eggs (3 eggs only this year) but we keep her for her non-combative spirit - She's such a klutz when she lays eggs it's probably better she isn't laying. She's so hyper to get out of the nestbox that the egg gets damaged by her big feet and, no, no one is pecking at her eggs - she's just a klutz kicking the egg. Our new Breda pullet is a hoot. She loves to test the waters for her place in the pecking order but the matriarch Silkie keeps her in her place. So far I'm lovin' the Breda - her eggs are about 1.5 oz but the breeder said they'll eventually go up in weight. All my hens are laying except for the free-loading Ameraucana - ugh! The Ameraucanas, Araucanas, EEs, and CCLs with the blue egg gene have been reporting inconsistent to poor layers so no more blue egg-layers for me - they're great as pullet layers and then drop considerably their 2nd year. I understand the Russian Orloffs have the same reputation.