Best laying hens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Sylverfly, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    So what breeds of chicken lay best in an area with super cold winters and pretty hot summers. Yes I can do research online on breeds but I was looking more for peoples experience with egg production and different breeds. My first grouping of chickens layed fantastic but my current group (different breeds) lay terrible. So I’m looking for some first hand accounts from people who have had chickens longer then me on what breeds they’ve had success with. If you could guess at eggs layed a week in summer and winter that would be even better. Thanks
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The best laying hens are the commercial hens strains. The commercial operators livelihood depends on top laying chickens and the industry supports them by selective breeding the very best layers, along with the lowest feed appetites.

    Thus, the commercial Leghorn varieties for white eggs, and the various red/brown/gold/black sex links produced by the same commercial breeding programs. These hens will lay well over 320 eggs a year. Yes, in winter or summer, otherwise, the grocery stores and food service industry would not be supplied consistently.

    All the major hatcheries will gladly sell you chicks in small amounts. They also sell them by the thousands and thousands to the egg farmers.

    Nothing can come close to these selective, commercial strains.

    As for traditional hens, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Australorps and others lay "well", but that means 200-250 eggs a year.
  3. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    may i ask of what breeds this 'terrible' laying flock of yours consists?


    btw, fred knows what he's talking about [​IMG]
  4. smchickfarm

    smchickfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    my Welsummers are great layers!!! I also had Light Sussex and they were great layers too! Do slack off a little in the winter, but never stopped completely.

  5. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    I have these breeds.
    1 Buttercup
    3 Black Minorca
    3 Ancona
    3 Black sexlink
    10 EE

    Out of 20 hens I was getting 1 to 2 eggs a day no white eggs just green mostly and brown occasionally. I’ve just started getting 4-5 eggs a day now and they are mostly green and about 1 brown and 1 white egg a day. Before I had 20 hens and in the middle of winter I was getting 10-18 eggs a day. Nothing has changed just the breeds.
  6. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    When that happened with mine, they were eating the eggs.

    There was no evidence - no yolk on faces, no shell pieces. Went on for weeks before I found out. It was winter - I thought the cold and lack of light reduced egg output.

    One day when I was out there and three hens were standing over a hen in the nestbox. I thought they were waiting in line even though there were 4 other nest boxes. No, they were waiting for her to lay her egg. When she got off the egg, she turned around and they descended on it and ate it all up, including the shell. Nothing left. then they cleaned the yold off each others faces.

    To test, take an egg out and roll it across the floor. See if they fall on it like vultures. Has to be when they are hungry, not full on the mornings worth of eggs. When they get full they leave a few for you!
  7. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    I don’t think anyone is eating eggs because I have one EE who lays her egg on the ground occasionally and no one bothers it. If it’s a broken egg then they are on it like crazy. So maybe I’m getting soft shelled eggs and they are eating them, I don’t know.Thanks, I'll have to watch one from lay to finish I guess. I kind of think I just got drawn a terrible hand in the game of genetics when it comes to laying. Well that or I’m to easy on my hens and they know I won’t do anything to them and so they’ve all gone on vacation.
  8. Higins00

    Higins00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    They best breed I have ever had is a Agway (feed store) mix. It's their speical agway breed of a White rock and Rhode island red. They are the only chickens that lay all summer and ALL winter. The ameraucan's are great they took a month off but started laying great after that.
  9. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Quote:My chickens will gladly peck and eventually eat an egg if it rolls across the floor, but won't touch them in the nestbox...I think most chickens will peck at eggs on occasion if they are not in the box...but this is strictly my experience.

    OP, far and away my best laying hen has been a barred rock (who I believe to be crossed with dominique rather than purebred). I live in NC so our winter was pretty harsh this year, and except for her moulting period of 2 weeks, she has consistently layed 5+ a week and 6+ in the summer.

    I have since hatched 5 BR chicks that will be my laying flock this fall.
  10. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I have a Blue Andalusian hen and she lays very well, about 5-6 eggs a week from her. My Golden Buff hen..OMGoodness I don't know what'd do with out her! She lays huge, not medium sized eggs but mean like Turkey sized eggs! I don't know how she get's them out but by 'golle she does! I love her to peices.

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