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Best year-round egg layer for Northern climates (western Canada)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katiemdenne, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. katiemdenne

    katiemdenne In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2012
    Campbell River
    I am wanting a chicken breed that lays a lot of eggs. We started a australorp flock last spring (of 20 hens), and they completely stopped producing eggs for nearly two months this winter. We live on Vancouver Island, which is relatively mild in temperature, but we do have dark winters. I was considering getting some leghorns, but I am concerned about their flightiness and read they don't lay through winters.... I am also considering rhode island reds. We prefer a docile bird and large eggs. My husband thinks that ordering chicks from a hatchery will give us better layers than ordering chicks from a breeder. What do you think? So to summarize....

    What is the best egg laying breed all year round, including the dark winters?

    Do hatchery hens produce more eggs than breeder hens?

  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    If you add artificial daylight many breeds will do well in the winter. By just adding a light on a timer you will up your hens production rate. BR, RIR, Sexlinks, Comets, Leghorns and Austrlops are all good.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Makomd

    Makomd Songster

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    I would generally agree with your husband, unless someone has been breeding particularly for production. I have several breeders birds and a some hatchery birds (Barred Rock, Black sex links, and comets) the breeders include Sussex vareities, Leghorns, RIR, Ameraucana, etc, though they will lay with some regularity, my hatchery birds lay just like summer birds with added light. Now I do give my birds a couple of months in the late fall and early winter no additional light and let them finish their molts and expect no eggs, but sometimes they will surprise me.

    ADDED: I will add my leghorns came from a breeder and they came to laying age late last year, they have been horrible layers this winter, I hope all are not this bad maybe 2-5 eggs a week out of 6 birds, not even making up for their feed at this point. Hoping they improve in milder weather.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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