Egg laying bantam breeds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by currychick, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. currychick

    currychick Hatching

    Mar 16, 2012
    Curry County, OR
    I've found quite a few dated threads regarding best egg laying bantam breeds but nothing really gave strong detail. I currently have a few bantam Wyandotte and Silkies. The Silkies are an experiment to see how they do in my extremely wet winters and hopefully I can use the two hens to brood guinea eggs.
    I got the Wyandotte bantams as the largest bantam I could find. The other option is Buff Orpington in the same bantam weight class. I harvested the extra males that came in my straight run order and at 20 weeks they dressed out as perfect little 1.75-2lb roasters; fat and flavorful. Definitely going to fit the bill as a good dual purpose bantam to put little roasters on the table (perfect 2 serving size.)
    I notice though that they are one of only a couple of bantams that Cackle Hatchery estimated an annual average lay for - @ Good 150+/year. A standard Wyandotte is more in the neighborhood of 240/year.
    So I'm wondering are all bantam breeds about 2/3rd as many eggs a year? Are there any bantam breeds that would be over 200-240/year?
    I have dual-purpose ducks, so the lower lay isn't a deal breaker. My ducks are decent winter layers. Just wondering if there is a much better egg layer bantam that might be comparable to standard at least in terms of egg numbers. Given I will encourage broodiness for my meat production, a couple of high producing egg layers might complement my motley flock. Otherwise I will stick with the Wyandotte bantams and need a few more.

  2. ChickenGrass

    ChickenGrass Songster

    Aug 16, 2015
    Republic of Ireland
    Hi there and :welcome
    I would suggest bantam Sussex, Rhode Island Red or Orpington bantams.
    The Sussex and orpingtons are good broodys and all three breeds lay a good amount of eggs.
    About 180-220 a year maybe a bit more.
    It also depends on the strain you get.
    Some good show strains lay less eggs than utility strains.
    My coronationed Sussex bantams are a show strain and I get about 140 eggs a year.
    Some strains of bantam Orpington lay 80 eggs a year!
    So I would suggest you try to get a utility strain as oppose to a show strain.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  3. currychick

    currychick Hatching

    Mar 16, 2012
    Curry County, OR
    I see you are in Ireland; my next question was going to be to ask for a hatchery recommendation in the US. Most lists I've seen list the potential of the Orpington bantams about the same as the Wyandottes, so maybe I can try to breed for more eggs. I was just disappointed when I saw the egg laying of the bantams compared to the standard size (although I am incredibly satisfied with them as little roasting birds.)

    Maybe someone will pipe up with a utility strain hatchery recommendation.

    thank you.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    My only personal experience with bantams is the Cochins. And comparing them to their large fowl counterparts as far as laying isn't really much of a bar as large Cochins aren't stellar layers either [​IMG].

    I'm wondering, though, if bantam Cornish would fit your bill? They're pretty available in the US. Not sure how they do for laying, but they'd hit the broody and meat niche you're looking for.

    I don't think you're going to find a bantam that lays at that production rate. Even the Reds or Rocks, I'd be surprised. They just haven't had the years of production breeding behind them like their large fowl counterparts. Not in the States, anyway.

  5. currychick

    currychick Hatching

    Mar 16, 2012
    Curry County, OR
  6. Wyatt0224

    Wyatt0224 Chirping

    Mar 1, 2016
    Westminster, Maryland
    Another hatchery you could try is Murray Mcmurray. Any bantam that lays around or over 200 eggs a year is quite a bit. I have two silkies and one layer everyday and the other layers maybe once or twice a week.

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