best egg laying hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pearl is my roo, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Pearl is my roo

    Pearl is my roo In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2013
    viola wi
    Me and my family are planing on ordering 15 or 20 chicks in the spring
    we are looking for a cold weather bird but one that can still lay a lot of eggs.
    Is there any breed like that?

  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Red and/or Black Sex links. Hatcheries have all sorts of names for them. Red Stars, Black Stars, Cinnamon Queens... whatever they're called, they'll lay lots and lots of large brown eggs all through the winter.

    We find the Red Sex Links (RSL) to be particularly sweet and pretty birds.

    If you want white eggs, then production white Leghorns are a good choice as long as you use supplementary light and watch for frostbite on combs. They are a lot flightier than RSL, though.
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I'm in aggreence with the Red Sex Links, though for really good winter layers - I suggest heritage breeds like the Plymouth Rock (White or Barred being the best of the layers in that breed), Delawares, Chantecler, or even Black Australorps.

    The Red Sex Links are great hybrids. I love their temperaments and their eggs are plentiful. They lay early, but burn out quicker than the heritage breeds - which is something to think about.
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Barred Rocks (any Rocks, really), Wyandottes, and Delawares are all awesome birds, too. None of them lay as well as the Red Sex Link, but they are all neat birds in their own right. If you're ordering 12 birds, get several kinds!

  5. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I have had very terrible luck with Wyandottes, and so have many people I've talked to. I just don't like their productivity. I find them comparable to a BO.

    I've had to cull all three of my pullets for weakness. Just were not thrifty birds.

    But I do agree, none of these breeds lay as well or as big as the RSL. Only thing I could compare them to is a leghorn. Though leghorns aren't nearly as friendly!
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Strange that you've had such bad luck with Wyandottes. We only have one right now, but she's a big hardy bird. No idea how well she's laying, though. My husband just likes the looks of them, so we always have at least one.

    I have had terrible luck with buff Orpingtons. Those birds seemed to NEVER lay any eggs.

    After lots of experimenting, we've come down to these birds in our layer flock (we sell eggs, so egg numbers and size are very important to us):
    Red Sex Links
    white Leghorns

    We keep a few other random birds. Always a Buttercup because I think they're cute. Always a Wyandotte or three because my husband likes them. Some Tetra Tints right now because I got a super good deal on them as young pullets. Some farm-bred mixes that were hatched at a local elementary school and were given back to us. But as for the backbone of the flock, the ladies I rely on to pay the feed bill, it's the RSL, EEs and Leghorns. The EEs don't lay so well, but the colored eggs sell the cartons!
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I've crossed RSL to barred Plymouth Rock and had really great results. Bigger birds, but with laying capabilities like the RSL.

    They sure are neat.

    And the EEs do sell the eggs here as well. Everyone LOVES the blue and green eggs!

  8. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Songster

    Mar 20, 2012
    Buff orpingtons are friendly, cold hardy, and lay very well!
    1 person likes this.
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    They are the first two, but the last they are not.

  10. karlamaria

    karlamaria Songster 7 Years

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    Love my two buffs but there not good egg layers, there broody non stop ! Good mama,but not good layers for us. We get them to lay 4 months maybe a year. The rest is non stop broody. We love rhode island reds, and astrolorps as the best egg layers, we get an egg a day from these birds even in winter. My brahma also lays almost every day, taking only one day a week off. Copper maran, layed several times and stopped for the fall and winter.

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