Best heritage breeds for laying

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dekel18042, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just tweaking this thread a bit. If you were going with a heritage breed based on laying ability, which have you found to be the best layers? Number of eggs? Size of eggs?
    Although I have only a few I love my buckeyes.
    My Jersey Giants were great in the egg department, extra large, almost jumbo, lots and a pinkish brown. Don't have any now but many of my mixes are descended from my original JG's and are 1/2 or 1/4 JG.
    I would also like to get a few speckled Sussex, astralorpes, and Delawares. Two or three of each would be fine to see how I like them.
    I know several people with Delawares who are pleased with them, Some of my mixes are 1/4 and 1/8 Delaware, and I know some have started laying before their four month hatch date/
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hard to beat the Mediterranean breeds. Of course, they are white egg layers for the most part and that may or may not suit your preferences.
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could use a white egg layer for contrast to my colored eggs.[​IMG] Seems many of the white egg layers have large combs. What lays white eggs and is cold hardy and has a smaller comb? Astrawhites?. I would have added one or two to last years order but they sold out within a day or two and weren't available on my shipment date.
    Although I can and do raise my own, I may put together a very small order of breeds I want to try.
     
  4. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Australorp lays almost like clockwork. I'm very pleased with my speckled Sussex, so much so I've order more next year. I have a variety of heritage breeds and extras.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Not familiar with the Astrawhite. Is it 1/2 Australorpe? If so, I doubt that it would lay a white egg. You might look at Rose Comb Brown Leghorn. There are a number of rose combed leghorns that might meet your purpose. Remember though, that they are flighty, and some folks recommend not keeping the Mediterranean birds with Non-Med. birds b/c they can be aggressive. I haven't found my RCBL to be aggressive at all.

    Let me ask you a question? Sounds like you want to settle on a heritage breed? Just my opinion, but it's impossible to get all of the criteria for the perfect bird wrapped up in one feathered package. Is there a reason you don't want a mixed flock? The back bone of my flock is made up of EE, RCBL, Dominiques, and Silver Laced Wyandotte with some home bred black sex links thrown in. (Some of which are pea combed, and lay a large dark green/blue egg). My long range plan is to breed green egg laying, small combed birds, which hopefully will be auto-sexing.
     
  6. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    The ss eggs are pictured on the left, the Austra in the middle, and my black sex link on the right. Bear in mind the two black hens are two months older than the ss's. They don't let me down. At least 5 days a week.
     
  7. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have buff orpingtons , they are excellent layers.
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The Mediterranean breeds are more athletic and better able to keep from becoming a foxes' feast. Personally I have never understood the fascination with brown eggs or any egg of another color.

    All chicken eggs are white until about an hour before they are laid.

    Then the two membranes that actually come into contact with the enable portion of the egg are also white regardless of the shell color, and the inside portion of the eggshells are all white.

    Finally the Mediterranean hens forage better and lay more eggs the same size as the big butted hens and they do it on less feed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  9. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the astrawhites are half astralorpe and white leghorn. From what I hear they're eggs are slightly tinted, but I won't find out as they are already sold out for 2015. The speckled Sussex eggs are pretty.
    I'm with a bunch of you. I like hardy birds with smaller combs who bear the extremes in temperature well. And I'm trying to add more color to my egg basket so I can't stick with one breed. Plus I have many favorites.
    Now I'm getting pinkish brown, chocolate, bluish, greenish, mint green, pale olive, and what I call a steel green (almost a greyish green (3/4 EE, 1/4 Delaware)
    I still have a few in the 6-8 month range who aren't laying yet
    [​IMG] but when they kick in I should get a lighter brown, almost tan or cream. Then I can decide where I want to go from there.
     
  10. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some white egg layers with smaller combs are Hamburgs and Rosecomb Leghorns. Mine are very active birds and excellent layers. The Hamburgs are small birds (almost bantam sized) and lay small eggs. The Leghorns lay fairly large eggs, especially compared to their body size.
     

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