Can I justify a LAYING flock of EEs?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jmc, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    I have 18 plus to provide eggs for--or at least most of our eggs.

    I realize that EEs are not 'egg machines'. But for those WITH TRUE EXPERIENCE with them, could one have a laying flock of 15 to 20 EEs and get a pretty good turn out from them?

    I hear they are good (maybe quite good) as layers.

    I realize I could just try it and see what happens, and drop them after a year or two.


  2. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    They lay reasonably well.

    If you are strictly in it for the eggs, think leghorn, or sexlink.
  3. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    no not just in it for the eggs. and leghorns are out of the running, and maybe sex links too.

    want an easy to handle, lovely flock of birds that will provide us with a good amount of eggs.

    also want to breed whatever i get
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  4. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    JMC, carefully research what others are saying about their EEs from various hatcheries. There seems to be a wide variety of what you can expect, some seem to be quite prolific and people swear by them, others ... not so much. [​IMG]

    With some research, though, I'm sure they could work for you.
  5. LeBlackbird

    LeBlackbird Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    SE Pennsylvania
    My EEs layed pretty well [​IMG] something like 5 eggs per week! (I had 2 hens, one I knew rarely lays. She was a cross beak) They kept a good rate until they hit 5-6 years old...

  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I have 3 EE's that lay everyday until they molt -they have LOOng molts but otherwise, great birds
  7. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Some of my EE's were the only ones that layed through the winter.
  8. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    We have about [​IMG] 8 EE's, they are probably the most consistant layers throughout the year. The only ones that tend to pass them in all but winter, are our Black Australorps.
  9. phasianidae

    phasianidae Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    My EEs from Welp Hatchery lay very well.

  10. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Sure, you can justify anything if you try hard enough. But it sounds to me like EE may or may not be what you're looking for. If you're looking to breed whatever you get, keep in mind that EE are a "mixed bag" and do not breed true. Meaning that the chicks from an EE to EE mating may not resemble their parents at all. They also don't have a standard to breed to, which may not seem like much if you're not looking to show, but a written standard gives you a tangible goal and guidelines for your breeding program.

    Research your hatcheries, some hatcheries seem to have EE that lay very well and others not so much. I have 3 from MPC (they drop ship from McMurray I think, though I don't remember for sure) and while I would get them again I do have to admit to a fair share of disappointment with mine. One of them was my first to start laying at 24 weeks and has laid a large green egg consistently from the beginning. They've always been at least 1 1/2 oz, usually 1 3/4 oz, and this week they have all been 2 oz. Now that she's past her first two weeks of laying, she lays every day for 6-7 days in a row then takes one day off and picks right back up again. If you had a whole flock of EE like her you would be set. Another of my EE developed a cross beak as a very young chick. From what I read on BYC when researching this deformity it seems that EE may be somewhat more prone to this than many of the other popular hatchery breeds as almost all of the stories I found here were either EE or silkies. I need to be sure to provide enough feeders and keep them deep enough to make sure she can even eat and we still aren't sure how well she'll manage to produce eggs with her deformity limiting the amount of food she can get. She started laying on Thursday, at 30.5 weeks, small pale olive green eggs and laid one Thursday and one Friday. None today, but we'll see how it goes. So far, my guess would be that she will probably be a reliable layer provided she is able to consume enough food to support egg production and life at the same time. Then there's Merna, my favorite, who started laying at 28 weeks, has only laid 5 eggs and all but one of them has been very abnormal. Most of them have a weird membrane over the egg, and at least one of them was so thin-shelled it was little more than a membrane over the yolk and white. Two of them were laid from the roost, one in the run, and one on the floor of the coop. If you had a whole flock like her, you'd probably swear off chickens all together. It could just be my bad luck that two of the three chicks I chose to keep (we had to order more chicks than we needed to meet the minimum order and they sent an extra) were duds. But based on my very limited experience I would be hesitant to suggest them to someone who is looking for serious egg production and not just some pretty birds for the back yard that have the added bonus of laying a few eggs.

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