Buff Brahmas help???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Rasuka, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Hello,
    I am new to this Forum so I did not know weather
    to post my questions in the "Chicken Behaviors & Egg Laying"
    or this one.
    But here is my question.
    I have used google to find just how well the
    Buff Brahma lay eggs.
    I saw somebody say that they stop laying eggs after they molt.
    This is really true?
    I really wanted the Buff Brahma but I don't want to buy it
    and find out that it stops laying eggs after the molting stage.
    This is the picture of the type of Buff Brahma that I am very interested in buying.
    All credits of the picture(s) goes to MyPetChicken.com

    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Buff-Brahma-p1048.aspx

    This is also the place I wanted to buy from.
    Please help~

    Thank you so much for reading!

    -RasuKA
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  2. juliechick

    juliechick Transplanted Hillbilly

    3,149
    53
    233
    Jun 27, 2008
    Southeast AR
    They probably meant that the birds will stop laying during the molt. All chickens do that. There's no reason they should stop altogether after just a year of laying. That said, I think Brahmas would most likely not be great layers as they aren't bred for that specifically.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,123
    3,323
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know where you saw that, but you should not believe everything you read in books or on the internet, including this forum. That's probably why you are asking.

    While Brahmas are not bad as far as laying eggs, they are not necessarily the best. They lay pretty well but not as often as some breeds or crosses. But they are big birds, very big. That means they use a fair amount of what they eat to maintain their body, instead of more of what they eat going into egg production like the smaller Leghorns. So if you are going to be buying most of what they eat, your feed to egg conversion is not going to be great. If you let then forage for most of their food, that is a different issue. Still, nothing really wrong with Brahma as a breed.

    Hens will normally lay real well until their first adult molt. Then they stop laying and use the food they eat to grow new feathers. Once those feathers are grown, they go back to laying eggs. After the first adult molt, the rate is usually about the same as before the first adult molt, but the eggs are usually bigger. But after the second adult molt and each other adult molt, production will drop, on average maybe 15% to 20% each time. You can find individual hens that don't follow the averages, but if you have enough for averages to mean anything, this is what you will usually see.
     
  4. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you both for your replies!
    I knew Brahmas weren't the best for laying eggs, but I wanted to make sure.
    Some people were saying "Oh they are great for that!"
    Then some were saying the opposite and I was getting a tad bit confused.
    I was thinking of getting at least 4 great egg layers and just have one Brahma as a pet.
    I really don't know if this is a good idea or not.
    This would be my first time raising Chickens so I was taring through sites trying to find
    how to treat them well and make them happy.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,123
    3,323
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What traits and characteristics your chickens have depends a whole lot on the traits that they have been bred for. Not all hatcheries and not all breeders are the same. If someone selectively breeds Brahmas for good egg laying then they will lay pretty well. If egg laying is not a trait that is bred for, they may be pretty poor egg layers. But this is true for any breed, not just Brahmas.

    I've gotten chickens of the same breed from different hatcheries/ They look different and they act different. That is no shock. Different people have been selecting the breeding flock. The breeding goals and abilities of different breeders can vary even more.

    If you get a Brahma from a hatchery, odds are pretty good she will lay pretty well. That's not because all hatcheries are in an underhanded conspiracy to take over the world and change it as we know it by selectively breeding for good egg laying. Different hatcheries have different business plans, but they are generally into mass producing chicks. Most select their breeders from the birds they hatch. A hen that lays a lot of eggs will tend to have her chicks selected as breeders. Over time, the egg laying ability of the flock improves, often above "breed average". Many will actively remove hens from their flocks that don't lay well, so the egg laying ability again improves over time. They may be directly or indirectly selecting for good egg laying qualities.

    If you buy from a breeder, you really need to know what that specific breeder is breeding for. If you can find one that lines up with your goals and knows what they are doing, you can often get a superior chicken. But many are not breeding for egg laying ability.

    Your plan with one Brahma with four others should work well. But don't be too surprised if you try that and find that your Brahma hangs right in there laying with the others. I've had hens that by tendencies should not have been that great at egg laying, yet they outperformed some that they should not have. It is an individual thing
     
  6. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you so much for your information!
    You really helped me out. I wanted to ask around
    to make sure I wasn't going to be making a mistake I'm
    going to regret. Since I'm probably going to get my
    chicks online. I wouldn't know what those people breed them for.
    I could e-mail the owners and ask them.
    The place I wanted to get from is the same place
    as the link above.

    mypetchicken.com

    I was looking into maybe the Australorps.
    I was wondering if 4 would be enough for egg laying.
    My family and I eat eggs on a daily
    basis and we cook a lot of cakes, brownies, and cookies.
    Even if they cannot supply enough so that we won't have to go the stores to buy.
    I was thinking they would still reduce the dollars we spend on eggs at the stores.

    My cousin has three White Leghorns that are breed for egg laying,
    but they tend to fly into their neighbor's yard.
    I didn't wanted to take a chance on that and get angry neighbors.
    That's reason why I looked into the
    Australorps was because they are easily fenced off.
    I'm really new to this so I want to get it down as much
    as I can for a newbie before I think about building a coop and placing and order.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,123
    3,323
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My Pet Chicken is probably a good source for you. My understanding is that they don't hatch their own but drop ship. That means they buy their chicks from other hatcheries and I'm not sure which hatcheries they use. They are a reputable company. I assume you've checked into it. They advertise you might be able to get as few as 3 chicks in a shipment, but be careful. Depending on how major your post office is, their minimum number to you might be 5 or even 8. One advantage to MPC is that they do not include packing peanuts. Those are extra chicks, usually roosters, included to help keep the others warm during shipping. MPC includes a heater and does not ship those extra roosters. Others may let you order a small number of chicks, but many often include packing peanuts which can be a problem if you are not expecting them. MPC may be more expensive but at least you only get what you order.

    A lot of people are surprised at how many eggs they get and how they add up. I've had Australorp and I'd expect you to like them. My wife thinks the young ones look like vultures when they are a few weeks old, just growing in their feathers and learning to perch. But they develop into nice looking chickens and those black feathers have a very nice green sheen when they are in the sunlight.

    Including the one Brahma and four Australorp, you will probably get 3 to 5 eggs a day in season. They will probably lay through the winter their first year, but after that expect them to molt in the fall and quit laying while they grow new feathers. When they first start, the eggs will be pretty small, but they do get bigger.

    I don't know how MPC does their costing, whether you have to pay extra if you mix the breeds, and I don't know what breeds they offer. If there is no extra cost, I'd suggest you consider mixing colors. Maybe red and yellow, black and white. For red, maybe a Speckled Sussex or Partridge Rock. Your Buff Brahma works for yellow. Black is the Australorp. For white, maybe a Delaware or White Rock. Then for a pattern and to get to your five, I'd think about a Gold or Silver Laced Wyandotte or maybe a Barred Rock. There are plenty of other options for colors that would work. I really like the looks of a mixed flock like that. I've done mine that way and have no problems with them getting along. But this is definitely a personal preference type of thing and I don't know about the cost with MPC. You might enjoy being able to tell them apart at a glance. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with your plan. This is just my way of having a bit more fun.

    You will get frustrated. Things will not go exactly as planned. But I enjoy the adventure. It's worth it to me.
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Everything Ridgerunner has said is spot on (as usual). I, too, prefer a mixed flock - although it's sure pretty to see a big flock of all one breed, sometimes; I just wouldn't want to keep a single-breed flock because I like a lot of color, too.

    I've ordered from MyPetChicken before and was very happy with the company and the birds I received. Howevr, I ordered a Layers Special of 25 chicks of MPC's choice. VERY happy with Customer Service and the order I received. MPC is also the only source for sexed bantams, and I may order some this year. (Not that I don't want roosters, it's that I already HAVE plenty of roosters and don't need to add to those numbers.)

    I have a bantam buff Brahma rooster I just love, a bantam dark Brahma hen who has brooded and hatched mixed chicks, and she's a sweetie. She is also a greets mother! Her 4 chicks grew larger than her and that was fun to watch! I also have two buff Brahma pullets, two dark Brahma pullets and a buff cockerel, all large fowl. (I got these all from a breeder, not MPC, though.). Really nice birds! They aren't yet old enough to lay - Brahmas mature more slowly than smaller breeds.

    Australorps are lovely birds and really good layers.
     
  9. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me!
    You guys have really helped me a lot.
    I thank you for taking your own time in giving me advice!
    I have other family to consider about, other wise I would really love
    mixing colors and breeds just for the enjoyment to my eyes.
    However they would probably think it would be too troublesome.

    I typed in my ZIPcode in the MPC and it came out as:
    Large Fowl Chicks: 3
    Bantam Chicks: 5
    Mixed Order: 4

    I have sent them an e-mail yesterday asking them
    if they allow a customer to order
    4 Autralorps and 1 Buff Brahma.
    I haven't gotten a reply yet.
    Because my city limit is 5 chickens.
    So I wouldn't want roosters, if I do get some I might have to find a home for them.
    But if they send a hearter with the chicks does anyone know how much it would cost?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I believe a warm-pack is part of the shipping cost, as it is their usuall practice. And, yes, you can mix breeds; it's no problem to order 4 Australorps and a buff Brahma.

    But here's what I do pretty frequently: I fill out an online order for what I want and go through the process all the way up to JUST before submitting the payment information. ;). That way I see the cost of my order, shipping included.

    I often have checkers in my shopping cart at the web-site, because I ...... Just like to dream even when I'm not actually ordering chicks for real! :D

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by