American chicken history. How do the heritage breeds now lay so frequently?

Silexian

Songster
Jul 1, 2020
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Northeast Missouri
I agree with diet having a lot to do with the increased egg production from 100 years ago. Considering that most people were subsistence farmers back then. Struggling to keep themselves and their livestock fed. Chickens and hogs were popular choices, because they could survive on low quality grain, scraps and what they could forage for themselves. I remember my parents, which are in their nineties. Telling me how they would check the distance between an older hen’s pelvic bones. To see if she was laying or not. When they decided to make chicken and dumplings or soup.
 

MysteryChicken

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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59,610
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East, Tawas Michigan
I agree with diet having a lot to do with the increased egg production from 100 years ago. Considering that most people were subsistence farmers back then. Struggling to keep themselves and their livestock fed. Chickens and hogs were popular choices, because they could survive on low quality grain, scraps and what they could forage for themselves. I remember my parents, which are in their nineties. Telling me how they would check the distance between an older hen’s pelvic bones. To see if she was laying or not. When they decided to make chicken and dumplings or soup.
Malays are poor layers, no matter what diet you feed them. So, I'm thinking that selective breeding is more of the reason for more eggs.
 

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