California Greys shelf life.

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
Looking into some of the Cali Greys for Ample egg production, but really dont know any specs on the breed, other than they lay large white eggs @ outstanding rates, and is considered a dual purpose breed. Have read they are suited for runs and have a less flighty personality than strait leghorns. Since they are a production breed, how many yrs of good laying can be expected from this breed? Also what hatchery did any of you order from? Read in an older thread about "Privvet" having a good strain of greys. Thanks.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
I picked my 2 Cal Greys up at a feed store locally (Coastal), so I can't say as to which hatchery they came from. I have heard Privett has lines from the original Dryden birds, which would be a good thing. (I live in the region where the original lines were created on OSU campus).

I can say I have been very, very impressed with production, temperament, and longevity. Much less flighty than Leghorns. More productive than Barred Rocks.

I purchased them as chicks January 2015, and placed them under a broody hen who had hatched just one chick to keep that one company. They took to fostering well (after replacing one chick who wandered away).

Sadly I lost one hen to a raccoon this winter (why is it always your best layers????), so I just have the one left.

She is still laying strong going on now to 2 1/2 years of age. I know as she is my only white layer, so its pretty obvious when she's not laying.

She actually has become quite endearing coming to greet me. Both were very pleasant birds. Their genetics were good as I used them under my Barnevelder rooster and they produced black sex links for me. I still have a daughter that is a nice layer of tinted eggs (Barney adding some brown) from that Cal Grey/Barney match.

I'm keeping my Cal Grey girl for more BSL's, and next spring will likely pick up some more.

I've had excellent luck with the two I've had.
LofMc

EDITED to add: I don't know that I'd call them a true dual purpose bird, at least mine. They are lighter than a Barred Rock, more like the Leghorn body type without the crazy comb or plumy tail. You'd get some meat, but not really the quantity of a true dual purpose like an Orpington (poor layers in my experience) or a Buckeye (honestly a good dual purpose choice).
 
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Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
450
251
Texas
Looking into some of the Cali Greys for Ample egg production, but really dont know any specs on the breed, other than they lay large white eggs @ outstanding rates, and is considered a dual purpose breed. Have read they are suited for runs and have a less flighty personality than strait leghorns. Since they are a production breed, how many yrs of good laying can be expected from this breed? Also what hatchery did any of you order from? Read in an older thread about "Privvet" having a good strain of greys. Thanks.


California Greys are on the small side to be called a dual-purpose breed. But they are excellent layers of large white eggs and they are calmer than Leghorns. I would suggest a breed like a White Plymouth Rock is you want a dual-purpose breed.

You should get several good years out of California Greys.

My suggestion is to keep rotating the hens, meaning each year you remove a couple older hens and add a couple young hens. It is also a good idea to replace the rooster every few years if you are allowing chicks to hatch out. This allows new genetics to be brought into the flock.

Privett Hatchery in New Mexico does sell California Greys.
 

dekel18042

Songster
Jul 18, 2013
2,195
305
241
Pennsylvania
I love my California greys. Privvet is supposed to be the only hatchery that has them, but I got mine from an excellent feed store (Has many rare and unusual breeds, orders only) two years ago. I wouldn't call them a dual purpose bird as they are on the small side but are excellent layers (My best layers in fact) of large white eggs, rarely skipping a day, and are excellent foragers (They do fly well if this is a concern.)
I don't have a CG rooster but bred mine to my Amerauana rooster to get sex link production blue egg layers (Progeny will lay the color egg of the rooster in my case.)
I did this for the first time last year and was thrilled with the results. The offspring can't be told from black Ameraucana hens (The cockerels are barred.), and they lay large blue eggs.
As I'm writing this I have a hatch hatching now. #7 SBEL is out. Some of the others are Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers, but I am thrilled with the breed and will be adding more, especially since I can make sex link blue egg layers with them.
My Pet Chicken is doing something similar, but looking at their pictures I would guess they are using leghorns for the white egg laying half of the formula and are charging $28,00 plus shipping per day old chick.
 

gootziecat

Crowing
13 Years
Nov 27, 2007
1,479
155
301
Dover TN
I got CGs and Calif whites from Privett a couple of years ago. The CGs were great birds. I didn't keep them but they had a nice temperament compared to Leghorns and were feed efficient. There was no downside while I had them. But personally, I preferred the California whites I had gotten the year before from Hoover , so I didn't keep the CGs nor the Calf whites from Privett.
 

driver

Songster
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
104
172
171
I have one California Grey. I got her from my neighbor, who ordered a bunch from somewhere, but I don't know where. I got her in April, 2011, which I know since I started this thread about her: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/injured-pullet-do-you-think-shell-make-it.488981/

She laid like a champ until last year, so 5 years. Her production declined in 2016. She stopped for the winter, and has not laid a single egg yet this year. I think she's done. I'll keep her around as long as she gets along with my new pullets (6 weeks old). So far she has had a few supervised visits to their run and has only made some threatening gestures towards them without actually touching them.
 

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