Best breed for laying longevity as opposed to weekly production?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Timmo, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Timmo

    Timmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    I'm pretty sure some breeds 'turn off' earlier than others. I guess I'm asking if there is a breed that is known to lay longer than others? The amount of eggs per week is less important to me than the number of years a hen will lay.

    I'm thinking of building a large chicken run between 2 long vegetable greenhouses to save on the cost of fencing, and to produce compostable waste for the veggies. A nice combination.

    I'd rather have more hens making fewer eggs and more compost over a longer time, than fewer hens making more eggs and less compost that I would have to replace in a couple years or so.....Does that make sense? I'd like to avoid culling non-productive birds as much as possible.

    I know birds like Orpingtons lay fewer eggs a week than RIRs, does that translate into more years of egglaying?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I was wondering out loud today on the way to the feed store, what would a RIR X Leghorn looklike...
    or visa versa Leghorn X RIR. They are both good on production. We had some leghorns that layed for 4 or 5 years when I was a kid.
     
  3. Timmo

    Timmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Is 4-5 years normal for today's leghorns? That isn't bad. I've read that they last 2 years, but that may just be production house standards.
     
  4. Queen Scoot

    Queen Scoot Crochet Chieftess

    May 27, 2008
    HOOKERVILLE!!!
    when my girls start laying good(they are production reds) i plan on hatching some eggs my rooster is a brown leg horn...
     
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I dont' have leghorns but from what I hear they are "layers" so not a choice for longevity so expect to have them lay for 2-3 yrs. . Your dual purpose birds are your choice if you want them around for years. Take a look here, great site.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  6. Timmo

    Timmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Thanks for the link s6bee, lots of great info. I knew the dorkings were ancient, but I didn't realize the leghorns were from Roman times as well. I didn't see anything about laying longevity though, if I missed it please let me know.

    If the layer breeds burn out quickly and the DP breeds don't, is there a DP breed that stands out as an especially long lived layer?

    Does anyone have a really old flock that still has good layers in it?
     
  7. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    My last flock of RIRs started phasing out at about 5 years and my last hen, my HennyPenny, laid an egg a day for 7 1/2 years, rarely missing even one day. She passed away at age 8 1/2.

    HTH
     
  8. Timmo

    Timmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5-7 years from RIRs? They're heavy layers, too. Excellent.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  9. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I should have mentioned these were heritage RIRs, not hatchery RIRs. I'm not sure hatchery RIRs will give you the same longevity.

    HTH
     
  10. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    My RIR have massively slowed at 4 yrs. My leghorn is still going everyday though. These are hatchery birds. A friend hatched out a RIR Leghorn cross from us once. It turned out to be a roo though. [​IMG] can't help
     

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