Buckeye Chickens

mountain gma

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 3, 2008
Canton in Western NC
A year ago May 18th I got 25 Buckeye chicks to raise. My goal was lots of eggs for me and the family. I chose Buckeyes because they are listed as an endangered breed and I thought - why not? I've been disappointed to say the least. Due to my inexperience and bull-headedness I have only five hens left and the egg laying is sporadic. I get one or two eggs a day out of five fat hens who eat a lot. I'm now raising Plymouth Barr Rock, Buff Rock and Amauracaunas. These are reported to be better layers and I really hope this is true. My conclusion is that some species or breeds don't need to be perpetuated just for the sake of having them around. Buckeye lovers are going to jump my hide for that one but it's my opinion. When my Buckeye hens stop laying altogether I'm done with them and will have a big pot of Buckeye stew. I'm considering including a couple or more of Black Orpington that are supposed to be good egg layers. Comments please? P.S. I just burned a pot of brown rice because of this post and my absent-mindedness. Thank god for smoke alarms.



12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
Started with 25 now have 5 ???? How many of the remaining ones are roosters?

If you start with 25 leghorns, and wind up with 5 you still will not be getting many eggs. Sounds like operator error.

Did you do any research before you chose Buckeyes? They are not listed as an egg a day breed, but as a duel purpose breed, meaning big enough to eat, and able to provide you with eggs.

Dirt Road

11 Years
Nov 9, 2008
Southern Idaho
mountain gma; I'm pretty much on your side with this issue. Almost all of the heritage breeds that are endangered or threatened became so because new breeds were developed which were better suited for utility. Before anyone has a heart attack, I do NOT want to see any of the heritage breeds vanish. The problem comes in large part from people who get too enthusiastic in trying to promote the breed. If everyone who got a few heritage birds understood that they are not as good at production as newer breeds, or that they will grow slower than newer varieties it would be better for the birds and the owners. I just went through this myself. Got some heritage, rare, endangered birds because some were representing them to be the next best thing to sliced bread. Truth is they are rare because most folks don't have the patience to deal with the lousy reproduction of the little buggars. The most vocal promoters are nearly always those who have some for sale. If you had 5 leghorns, you would likely be getting a lot more than 1 or 2 eggs a day. I do agree with the earlier post, do more research before deciding on a variety. Or, just experiment with different ones till you find what you like.



11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
We have a pen of five Buckeye hens ranging from 3 to 1 year old. We get 3 eggs a day on average. Some days 2, some days 4--I think they are decent layers and are sweet hennies.

Our young Buckeyes out lay our Ameraucanas, and lay a bigger nicer egg. Hopefully your Rocks will step up for you.

If the hens are over weight, it's really going to cut the amount of eggs they produce, irregardless of breed.


10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
Now I find this out.
Also I've been reading that the roosters are very aggressive. I guess I can look at the bight side. Out of two dozen eggs all I got were eight chicks.


Rest in Peace 1949-2012
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
Southern Ohio
I have some in bantam, tame as can be, not aggressive.

Sure there are lot better layer, but if that all we bred for we would all have leghorns!!


10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
What happened to the other chicks out of 25?

Buckeyes usually produce more eggs a day then that. They are by no means an egg a day per bird type category but I know from my Buckeyes and also researching about the breed that it generally would be more then 1 or 2 eggs a day for 5 hens. Maybe they are too fat? Lacking something in their diet? I'm averaging about 4- 5 eggs a week from my Buckeyes.

We all have different issues for keeping chickens and some people primarily want them for egg production and as many eggs as possible at that. I kept some of the hybrid super layers in the past and will never do it again. I enjoy getting eggs but that is not my main reason for keeping chickens. I primarily keep heritage breeds and generally average 5 eggs easy per hen a week.


12 Years
Jun 1, 2007
South Western NY
Rather than blame it on the breed, a more accurate statement might be that your particular line isn't proving to be good layers, and that assumes you are giving good care. There can be a night and day difference between one person's line of buckeyes and another's.


8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to defend the humble Buckeye. I only have one Buckeye hen, but she lays almost every day for me. Just sayin'!

punky rooster

9 Years
Jul 21, 2010
Quote:I know this is an old thread but a few thing I want to clear up.

I have two laying hens, both are laying nearly every day. You just got to remember that they will NOT lay as many eggs as the leghorn. Leghorns are an egg laying breed, so you can's really compare them. Buckeyes are a dual purpose breed, around 200 eggs a year and produces a good sized meat bird. Never as good a meat bird as the CornishX and not as good a layer as the leghorn, right in between. I would describe them as a perfect bird for the homestead.

I had one aggressive Buckeye rooster. He was a poor, poor quality Buckeye. I have a Buckeye male from an old line. He has the best personality, he is a very nice bird.

Randy, A couple things could have been a problem. Fertility, incubator temp or humidity. I am not good at hatching eggs, but the last batch I had 18 eggs. 11 Of those were not fertile, the other 7 as grew to day 18, and all of them hatched.

Mcspin, X2.

Buckeyes are also very strong from the start. I hatched out BR and Buckeyes, the first three were all to hatch Buckeyes. They were also the most vigorous.
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