Best winter layer breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Blondi27, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Blondi27

    Blondi27 Songster

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    I live in north idaho and i currently have 5 hens. I have a GLW, 2 EE, a white leghorn and a midnight majesty Maran. With the change of the season and daylight hours,my glw and leghorn are the only 2 that are laying. I knew they might slow down in production, but I didn’t think that they would completely stop. 2 of them were just recently sick before we had a really random cold spell. They are both better now, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m looking into getting 4 or 5 more hens next year and I want to pick some breeds that have been good winter layers without supplemental lighting. Would love to hear your suggestions! Tia!
     
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  2. NatJ

    NatJ Chirping

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    Some years ago, I had some chanteclers from Ideal Poultry that laid all winter (one each of buff and partridge colors.) I was in northern Virginia, and did not provide any artifical light--but the entire front of the coop was wire mesh, so they did get plenty of light when the sun was up.

    At the same time, I had two bantam easter eggers, also from Ideal Poultry, and they did not lay at all during the winter.
     
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  3. TwoShepherds

    TwoShepherds Songster

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    I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say that I was wondering the same thing and was searching through a bunch of old winter-egg laying threads just this morning, but haven't been able to satisfy my curiosity yet. Several of the breeds in my small-ish flock are described as "good winter layers" in their breed descriptions online. I'm inclined to think that's hyperbole to increase sales, but I would like to be wrong. At any rate, I'm following your thread to see what folks say.
     
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  4. Brahmachicken240

    Brahmachicken240 Crossing the Road

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    Brahmas are great winter layers. they're a very cold hardy breed too!
    69D2A6E2-137F-4570-8945-A3936F51A320.jpeg
     
  5. Blondi27

    Blondi27 Songster

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    Same here! I bought chickens that were supposed to be “cold hardy”, which made me think they would also be good winter layers. I read some things online and apparently, “cold hardy” breeds doesn’t necessarily mean they are good winter layers, but they are good at withstanding colder temperatures then other breeds. So I guess cold hardy and good winter layers aren’t the same thing .:confused:
     
  6. Blondi27

    Blondi27 Songster

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    I’ve read about them being excellent winter layers! They don’t lay a lot of eggs, but they DO LAY in the winter from what I’ve read. Do you use supplemental lighting? Btw, your hen is absolutely stunning!!!!! What color is that? I’ve never seen her coloring before.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    In the following two charts you'll find suggestions for winter layers. However I want to add that most breeds that start laying by August in the Northern hemisphere will lay right through their first winter, then all breeds will molt their second and subsequent autumns and during that time won't lay eggs. How quickly they recover from molt is the key to winter laying. I find that each year they take a longer winter break but most will start laying again after winter solstice as days get longer in relation to dark period. That's how it works. I haven't found that temperature or any other weather condition has any impact on production. They are in an ovulation cycle or they aren't.

    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    While Brahmas and Cochins may be OK winter layers due to their cold hardiness but IMO, the key is finding the most productive breeds. Those aren't. As you've discovered, Leghorns are very productive even though they are more heat hardy than cold hardy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  8. Brahmachicken240

    Brahmachicken240 Crossing the Road

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    They’re okay egg layers, I usually get 5 eggs a week from each hen. I don’t use supplemental lighting. She’s a blue buff columbian Brahma. :)
     
  9. Blondi27

    Blondi27 Songster

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    Is she a hatchery bird or from a breeder? Do the Brahmas lay just as good if their from a breeder?
     
  10. Blondi27

    Blondi27 Songster

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    :barnie
    So my leghorn started laying in July and my Wyandotte started laying in August. My other three hens started laying in September and one the beginning of October, so maybe that’s why those particular hens aren’t laying.:barnie
     

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