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Breed Selection. Backyard Flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Backyard Bob, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
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    Hello, I am looking into starting up a flock of laying hens. I have had chickens before, but we gave them away because we were moving. We are all settled in, and are looking into getting more chickens.

    What I need help with:

    I am looking for a breed that lays nearly an egg a day, but does not eat much. These chickens will be allowed to run in a large run, with lots of bugs and acorns ect. Also, preferably able to stay in a 5' tall fence.

    Can you help me out?

    Thanks,
    -Backyard Bob [​IMG]
     
  2. kristy1980

    kristy1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had Orpingtons, Rhode Island reds, sex links, Barrod rocks and white leg horns. The leg horns are the best in my opinion laying everyday.
     
  3. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for getting back to me! Are Leghorns good fliers? Do they eat a lot?

    Thanks for your time!
     
  4. kristy1980

    kristy1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    They are small chickens so no they don't eat a lot. They can clear a 4 ft fence when scared. Lol But they are excellent layers.
     
  5. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, sorry for all these questions! I just want to make sure I am making the most economical choice! Would they most likely stay in a 5' tall fence? And if they had a 50' x 25' run would they be satisfied for 15 hens and a rooster or two? How much room would I need for them to be able to eat enough acorns and bugs ect without having to feed them?

    Thanks for your time! :)
     
  6. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking Leghorns or RIRs?
     
  7. ve

    ve Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think get mixture of both, or even add some Easter eggers for color in the egg basket. All these breeds lay well. Your run will be big enough, but of 6' instead of 5. I have 2 runs with 6' around and 5 between them. No body never got out of pen, but some times I have birds visiting other pen.
     
  8. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WALDOBORO MAINE
    white leghorns are what you want if you want eggs everyday. I have raised them for a couple years. they are a flighty bird if they get scared I had mine in a 5ft high fence and the fly right over when spooked. this year im going to get some black sexlinks and see how they do.
     
  9. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thank you! Would a mix if White Leghorns and RIRs be good?
     
  10. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens do not eat acorns and if you want a bird to lay lots of eggs you will have to feed the birds. If your 15 birds will forage, they need acres of land to forage on and still not produce the number of eggs you want. I do not know where you live but in Missouri the 15 birds would have a very hard time in the winter foraging for food.

    With 15 birds, the 50 ft by 25 ft run would be bare after a while. You are going to have to feed the birds.

    You have to think of egg production and a hen like a factory. Lets say the factory makes cakes. If you limit the amount of flower a factory has to make the cakes you limit the number of cakes the factory can make. If a factory can produce 3 cakes a minute, and uses 3 lbs of flower to make the cakes; what would happen if the factory was only allowed to use 1 pound of flour a minute? The cake production would fall to 1 cake a minute. The same is true for chickens; if a hen has all the food she wants to eat- she can average 4 eggs a week over a year. If you limit the food intake by the chicken- she has less nutrients she can put into the eggs. The proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals that are in the egg have to come from the chickens body. A hen is not going to take nutrients from her body and put them into an egg if it means she is going to harm her own body. She would be taking nutrients from her body and placing them into the egg- she has to replace the nutrients from the food she eats. The shell on an egg is actually made from nutrients she takes out of her skeleton. Each time a hen lays an egg she removes nutrients from her bones. The nutrients have to be replaced from the food she eats. If the nutrients are not replaced she stops laying eggs.

    It is simple extra food in = eggs. Little food in = no eggs. A bird has to have extra nutrients to lay eggs, much of the food she eats is used to maintain her own body.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013

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