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Which breed lays the longest?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Which heavy/standard breeds lay the longest?
I was disappointed to learn that chickens' "productive life" is so brief.


Edited by Carrie Lynn - 12/7/10 at 9:47am
1 Papillon, 2 mill rescue Shih-Tzus, 1 Bantam Leghorn, 1 Australorp & 2 BR.
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1 Papillon, 2 mill rescue Shih-Tzus, 1 Bantam Leghorn, 1 Australorp & 2 BR.
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post #2 of 7

All commercial hatchery chickens. They are breed for egg laying. Standard breed birds three to four years. bob

post #3 of 7

I don't know that you can really name a breed that lays the longest.  Obviously the production strains of birds have a shorter laying life simply because they've been bred to lay a lot over a relatively short length of time.  I think on the heavier breeds a lot has to do with how they've been raised.  If they're kept under lights all winter and not allowed a vacation from laying that will shorten the length of time that they will continue to lay.  There's going to be a lot of variables that happen in each individual breed that will determine how long they lay.

I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
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I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
Reply
post #4 of 7

Your right Kathy. I have a fellow in Illinois who has my old Mawhawk Rhode Island Reds and he had hens hatching chicks up to 8 years old. He bought a five year old cock bird I sold to a kid in Texas and crossed them onto these old girls and it the jackpot. So Standard breed chickens can but rare as so many breeders breed from pullets and ckls each year. I use to breed from old hens. bob

post #5 of 7

Longevity is based on several factors.  I heard someone on byc say they had a hen 18 years old.  I have a friend who has 11-13 year old hens who still give random eggs.  I have seen it in my own flocks at 10+ years of age as well and currently have 8 year old hens who are still laying occasionally.   

The determinant factor is how fast you use up your hens egg supply.  It is my understanding a hen is born with her full lifetime egg potential.  If you put lights on them all winter and push them to lay year round, they will run out of eggs faster.  If you let them lay on a natural cycle over their lifetime, they can provide eggs for a very long time.  Health and diet are also key factors that can impact laying.

I guess how one raises their birds is based on what they want out of them.  If you want a producer, you can push for eggs and just have to replace hens more often.  If you want a pet that provides some eating eggs, let them be natural and in a healthy environment with a proper diet, they can live and lay fairly long.

Breeds: Lavender, Buff, Black and White Orpington & Tufted Rumpless Araucana (lavender, white and nonstandard colors)

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Breeds: Lavender, Buff, Black and White Orpington & Tufted Rumpless Araucana (lavender, white and nonstandard colors)

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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Blosl 

All commercial hatchery chickens. They are breed for egg laying. Standard breed birds three to four years. bob


Actually I would object to this in saying all non hatchery/commercial chickens. Such stock is actually bred to lay a LOT during their first year or two, then either fizzle out or experience egg bound issues.

The longest known breeds I've heard of are heritage breeds and old types like the Quechua. I'm sure Gamefowl may also fall under that. Any of the more "natural" or old breeds, ones not bred for production or other such similar traits, are more likely to lead out a more healthy, long life.

I've heard of a Quechua hen who's currently 20 years old and still lays.

Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Illia 

I've heard of a Quechua hen who's currently 20 years old and still lays.


Is it this one?

~ Randall
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~ Randall
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