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Egg laying longjevity

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leigti, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2015
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    I plan to add some new chickens in the spring. I want egg layers that are hearty in the winter, but also lay for a longer period of time. I mean for a number of years. As opposed to Lane very heavily for a year or two and then stopping. I would be willing to tolerate slightly less egg production in exchange for longjevity. Any suggestions?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    In my experience, pretty much all dual purpose/production breeds lay through their first year. Around 18 months they molt and take a break for the winter. I hear folks say their birds start laying again after this molt, but mine never do until spring. I don't use a light, just let them take the time off. So I don't expect my older hens to lay through the winter after that first year, no matter the breed. I add new chicks each spring ( in an ideal world, not so much this year) so I have a steady supply of eggs.
     
  3. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Walla Walla WA
    OK, I don't have artificial light or heat for my birds either. They are about 18 months old right now and one is molting the other hasn't multiple yet so I'm getting about four eggs a week from the one chicken. I figure the other will start molding about the time this one stops. I chose no heat or light mostly because I don't have electrical outlets outside but also since I don't plan on eating my birds when they're done laying eggs I figured they would lay longer over all without the artificial light. I can't decide rather to get baby chicks in the spring or pay more and get 15 to 20 month old birds now. Any suggestions? What about breeds?
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I've had hatchery production type birds still laying at 7 years old. I don't usually keep them that long, but it has happened. Probably only 3 eggs a week or so, but something. I've never had a bird "burn out" or quit laying altogether in the spring and summer. Folks say the sex links and such will do that, but it's not been my experience. Mine always lay some. Is it enough eggs to justify their feed? That's something you've got to decide for yourself.

    If you can get birds that are a month old now (not sure if that's what you mean), I'd go with that. They'll hit point of lay in March or so and you'll be flooded with eggs all summer [​IMG]

    My breeds are all over the place. I go mostly with standard dual purpose breeds. I like barred Rocks a lot. Sex links are great for egg production and they don't eat a ton. I like colorful birds, so I haven't had Australorps or any of the white breeds. Production reds are good for the most part. I've had Wyandottes of various colors, speckled Sussex, partridge Rocks, they're not as good a layer as the first breeds IMO but they're decent enough and sure eye candy for the flock!
     
  5. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2015
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    Thanks, it sounds like you have a lot of the types of chickens that I plan to get. I found an interesting app called Cluck-ulator that gives an estimation of how many eggs a chicken will lay the older they get. It's very interesting. Just for fun I put in five years old and different breeds and it is amazing the differences.
     

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