best laying hybrid

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by luckydux, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ARKANSAWWW!!
    Many threads on what the best layer is but Im only looking at red or black sex-links and possibly the leghorns. Egg color is irrelevant to me.

    To be specific, I would love to hear from people who have raised both colors of sex links.
    I currently have a flock of 40 production reds and they lay well but egg size is not comparable to the golden comets of the past. I'm wanting to add 2 more flocks of around 50 birds each and would love some real world feedback. I'm debating a flock of leghorns and black links just so I can have a very informed opinion so im looking for any info that could sway me otherwise.
    Thanks for ANY advice
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Don't know if you have seen them, but some of the big breeders have performance charts out, ie this is a really comprehensive one from the Hendrix co ... they give #s on all their hybrids and it also seems to rank white, red, black, though a lot closer than I would have guessed. http://www.isapoultry.com/en/products/
    I've never had large flocks of at the same time, but with small #'s (5-25) of birds from the same big hatcheries (McMurray, Meyer, Ideal etc) pretty consistently the Leghorns have generally done slightly better or about the same than the RSL, and they both were better than the BSL... the BSL usually are bigger birds and don't seem to have as many reproductive problems and are a steadier temperament, but they don't lay as well # wise and the eggs aren't as big.
     
  3. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree, I would rank: Leghorns, RSL, and then BSL for egg production. In my personal experience, Leghorns have more prolapse, RSL have more internal laying, and BSL are fairly healthy but are really no better at laying than a Delaware or Production Red.
     
  4. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im glad you mentioned the Delaware. I was hesitant to include them in my choices but im not real sure why. They are top 3 on my farm in the laying category and top 2 for an all around great strain.
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one RSL and two BSL's. They're all 2+ years old, the RSL being the oldest. In my case - and I'm thinking other cases will be different - the RSL is and has been the best layer of the bunch. She has gone more than 30 days without missing a day of laying and her eggs are in the extra-large size range. The RSL is a small, ratty looking chicken that even continued to lay through molting, although she had a very minor molt.

    One of my BSL girls seems to have a laying "issue". She will take spells where she doesn't lay and then acts egg-bound, fluffed up and standing funny. Then she'll lay two soft-shelled eggs hours apart and will be fine for a while. She's hasn't had any of these "spells" in the last few months so I hope she's over whatever was bothering her. Sex links are prone to having laying issues so I'm guessing that's what's going on.

    Sex links usually lay for a few years then production drops [although it hasn't yet for my girls]. For that reason, I added two barred rocks, one buff rock, one Easter Egger and one Delaware last spring. The EE is a consistent layer, laying about 5 days before taking a break. The Delaware and Barred Rocks are steady layers, too, although their eggs haven't come to full size yet. The buff rock was my last to begin laying and isn't the power-house that the other girls are.

    Temperaments of my birds: The RSL is a great gal and doesn't bully the other girls. The two BSL's are big mean bullies to everyone. The EE'er is easy going. The Delaware is very skittish and is afraid of everyone and everything. The buff is almost too friendly. The barred rocks are smart, foxy, and I'm sure would be driving our car if they had thumbs. Other people may have different experiences with these breeds.

    Know up front that sex links will lay like crazy for a few years before production drops and then you've got hens that aren't putting out nearly as many eggs as before. I wasn't aware of that going in.
     
  6. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info! Real world experience is great to know.
    Thanks for the chart kelsie!

    If others have similar or even have conflicting data I'd love to hear it
     
  7. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:not a hybrid per say but its a highly productive line, is the Hyline Silver Brown hen line, they can produce up to 335 eggs per year, outlaying the Hyline white leghorns, which are about the most productive breed out there so thats outstanding...
     
  8. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im not familiar at all with those. Have you ever raised them or personally know anyone who has?
     
  9. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ive been searching a few different hatcherys and see that cackle has brown and gold sex links as well as red and black. Anyone have experience with either of those?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    The Classic red sex link layer is a Rhode Island Red over a Light Sussex hen. I suggest one of Jan Childs ( Cornerstone Farms website) Light Sussex hens covered by one of the heritage Rhode Island Reds from the Mohawk line. Mohawk was a bird. He was so perfect and preponent the famous strain as named after him.
    Why? because Jan got her Light Sussex from Emily Robertson who is using population Genetics to restore top quality utility virtues in her strain. In other words, they have great diversity lay like crazy, make great eating and win at shows. The Mohawk strain is arguably the finest strain ever to emerge from the Rhode island red breed you can find out who owns the strain I their flocks by contacting breeders on the Heritage Large Fowl Thread Phase II thread.
    Course this is only if you want to create the classic cross with birds reminiscent of that era. If you just want plain red sex links just use anything. The birds above should give you the heritage that made the red sex link famous in the old days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014

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