friendly good long term egg layers...

kalimero

Chirping
8 Years
May 14, 2012
5
0
60
Hi!

This is my first post on this forum tho I have read different posts and got information about different available breeds.
This will also be the first time for me to keep chicken. I have quite a lot of land so the chicken will be free-range...

I want the chicken primarily for their egg laying ability, but since we operate a petting farm, we need them to be as "friendly" as possible - no overly aggressive birds...
But the eggs would be primarily for are familys consumption, so we do not necesarilly need hens that will lay 5 egg per week - we would much rather have hens that lay less per week, but lay longer (even after a few yrs, even tho their production rates are lower than)

In addition, since reading posts on this forum, I would love to have different colored eggs :)
So...I have compiled a list of chicken breeds that I like and I think would be OK, but I need your input/suggestions on wether I should exchange some breed for another etc...

Oh, and I live in EU, so I can't really have chickens like buckeye etc (only the ones that are available anywhere in eu)...

SO, here is my list:

Brown eggs: (the most extensive list, since those are the normal eggs :) One or more of those breeds/hybrids - which do you think are best regarding friendliness/longterm productivity?

Amrock (they are supposed to be very friendly)
Bielefelder
Australorp
sussex
possibly wynadotes
ISA Brown

Dark brown
Marans
wellsummer (oe report says friendly, other flighty?
barnevelder
Which one of these is the most "friendly"

White
Friesian
Ancona

Tinted/Pink/
Salmon faverolles
Croad langshan

green
shetland hen
also I know abour mixing brownXaraucana (blue) = green

blue
Araucana (UK style)
cream legbar


I intentionally tried to avoid commercial hybrids as I read that they are not good longterm producers (that is they are out after max 2-3 yrs). I don't know if that is true of all commercial hybrids? Tho I know ISA Browns are also a commercial strain..Anyone knows about their longterm productivity?

Ok, so that is about it :) I would appreciate any feedback/suggestions... as to what do you think about longterm productivity of these breeds and their suitability for free range petting farm...

Thanks;)
 
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
253
336
Forks, WA
I don't know very well what is common and not in your country but my advise is to go with the least popular breeds, as the more popular means more likely they're bred strictly for production, which waters down both longevity and also good temperament. After that, go for what you like, looks-wise, and after that, ask around. Look for breeders and ask them how the breeds are.

So for example over here, Araucanas are pretty darn rare but I would never part with them because they're neat looking, always friendly to people, always laying beautiful eggs (I get tired of brown) are super dual purpose birds, and best of all, their temperament, wildtype behavior, and body shape allow them to escape death from predators much easier. Plus their broodiness allows self sufficiency of getting chicks without an incubator every year.

I don't know about your country though. They're very different.

And then of course I also highly recommend Marans (french type and NOT Cuckoo) From what I recall even in your country, Cuckoos are over-bred for Production. But outside that, they're another great bird and they lay very big eggs.

Love Langshans and Faverolles too. At least, the thought of them. Never personally had 'em.


In the US I'd stay away from Australorps, ISA Browns due to their exceeding popularity.


Oh yeah -
welcome-byc.gif
 
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3riverschick

Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
8,453
3,319
512
Hi!

This is my first post on this forum tho I have read different posts and got information about different available breeds.
This will also be the first time for me to keep chicken. I have quite a lot of land so the chicken will be free-range...

I want the chicken primarily for their egg laying ability, but since we operate a petting farm, we need them to be as "friendly" as possible - no overly aggressive birds...

Oh, and I live in EU, so I can't really have chickens like buckeye etc (only the ones that are available anywhere in eu)...

SO, here is my list:

Brown eggs: (the most extensive list, since those are the normal eggs :) One or more of those breeds/hybrids - which do you think are best regarding friendliness/longterm productivity?

sussex ( Friendy and excellent foragers {especially the Speckled Sussex}. lay nice brown eggs. The breed is a wonderful winter layer, especially if you get birds hatched in March. . Excellent eating).

Dark brown
Marans ( hens friendly, lay lovely chocolate eggs. Roosters have no spurs. I think the temperment of the males depends on how they were socialized as youngsters. No problem with female temperments. Also gourment eating.)


Thanks;)
Best Regards,
Karen in western Pennsylvania, USA
 
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
253
336
Forks, WA
Marans roosters do in fact have spurs. Temperament in most cases is genetic when it comes to aggression.
 

kalimero

Chirping
8 Years
May 14, 2012
5
0
60
OK, thanks :)

So no isa Browns and Cuckoo Marans for us than...
Yes, araucana is quite rare here too (both types) and finding one with blue eggs (as opposed to greenish) is going to be a bit of a chalenge...Because even champion lines here have greenish eggs, but I want blue :(

Oh - does anyone have any idea of a calm(ish) white egg layer? Cause anconas and fresians are said to be a bit flighty and there is supposadly a breed with white eggs that isn't flighty...

Anyone have an idea how I would go around finding a good strain of each breed? Like I don't necesarilly want show quality if that means not good egg color and production, nor do I want a strain that had a problem with being egg bound or dying to soon...
So i shouold be looking utility strains or not? (eggs and their color being more important to me than the standard look of the chicken, tho of course I want chicken to look good :) )

Thanks
 

kera!

Songster
9 Years
Jan 1, 2011
435
5
111
Navajo County
If You want to have some of all I have rainbow of layers and after 18 months I know what I would get again and what I wouldnt. I think it depends on where you live what you feed and really what your overall goal of keeping chickens is..I have a cuckoo marans and I love her I would get a marans again she lays 5 eggs everyweek and was one of my first layers and lays jumbo dark brown eggs, I love my white leghorn she is sweet and lays 27 days a month. I would reccomend americaunas ( easter eggers) they are sweet and lay all colors of eggs.. Maybe a rainbow pack from Murray Mcmuarray would be a start for you!
 

AWis

In the Brooder
Feb 24, 2017
8
2
11
Hi,

I have the same question, but I'm in US (not UK), and I'm asking because my RIR's stopped laying @ 2 years old (about 6 months ago). It may be because they got stressed because I left them for my son to take care of for a while and one got locked out of the coop and eaten by a possum, which did seem to upset them, and then of course thee Florida summer has been very hot ... But I was just at Tractor Supply and they have a bunch of chicks, ISA Browns, RIRs, White Leghorns, California Whites, Asians, and Barred Rocks, and I was tempted, but ... I don't want chickens who lay every day and are exhausted @ 2 years, like my RIRs. (BTW, I had 3 and two were enormous and laid huge dark brown eggs and one was what I'd call "normal" chicken size and laid medium-large pinkish light brown eggs - and she's the one who started laying earliest and stopped laying first.)

So should I just pass up the Tractor Supply choices and look for some a little more exotic? As for friendliness, mine started being friendly when they started laying, and have become more skittish around the time they stopped.

And I'd just ask one more time, any specific breeds that will make good pets and will lay for a longer period of time, less frequently, rather than exhausting their ability so young?
 

SOHC-FTW

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 11, 2016
12,642
21,280
836
BFyougottapurddymouth
What you most likely had was a production red not a true Heritage RIR which their is alot of differences and most are just fooled by the LFS/tsc or hatchery. Any breed meant for egg production will likely slow down a good amount at 2-3years.
 

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