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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the 412 chicks, Aug 7, 2009.
Hands down what is the best laying hen?
Production reds/white/blacks. That's what they're bred to do.
I agree. Here is a good site for choosing breeds that are excellent layers.
No such thing.
A well bred yard scrub may outlay the "best" layer of the experts.
In general there are some breeds that do very well. The Leghorn is the top layer commercially, although they are not always well suited to the yard life.
The RIR and Australorp are often touted as the best, but the sex-link crosses give them a run for their money. With all of today's advances, I would say the hybrids/sex-links offer the best chance of success for the average chickeneer. But you have to re-buy them each time to maintain their peak. They do not breed true and their egg laying will diminish in each succeeding pairing.
What is best, though, is to avoid the "egg-a-day" standard of measurement. That is an ideal and like any ideal, it traps you into an unreal expectation. Since egg laying is seasonal and fraught with variables, it is best to reckon a bird's output on an annual basis.
Anything above 200 eggs per year is very good. More than 250, and you have a blue ribbon winner. For the record, the best ever recorded was an Australorp hen from Oz. She recorded 364 eggs in 364 days. That record has never been bested, that I know of.
t was also the result of extremely careful breeding and selection to that end. Her name was simply te number she was tagged with during the experiment: "21," I believe.