Going to show off my ignorance!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Dancing, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Dancing

    Dancing Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2009
    Prescott, KS
    I would LOVE some opinions and advice on some chickens.

    My hubby and I have had 12 chickens for about 3 years now. They are just your basic white chickens. (sorry, I haven't a CLUE what kind) They have been great egg layers giving us HUGE (almost duck size) eggs even though the chickens seem to small for that size egg.

    So, I want to increase my "flock" and am building a whole new coop in a whole new location where I can view it from the house. I want more "fancy" chickens. What kind I have only a semi-clue. I know I want two Polish. They are a childhood memory of mine (my mother called them hippy chickens). MAYBE a couple of silkies. These would be my "purty" chickens.

    But for the rest, I would like to get some good egg layers. What type of chicken would be my better bet? I know that white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs. Both taste the same to me but these weird people around me I sell my surplus eggs want brown eggs (they INSIST they are better).

    Also, would these other chickens be ok in with my "purty" chickens? I can do separate coops and yards if necessary but it would be easier to have them all together.

    I don't want to seem totally stupid but yea, I guess I'm pretty clueless.

    I live in SE Kansas and it does get pretty cold in the winter so I need "hardy" chickens. We do have the ability to heat the coop but that doesn't help them when they are outside.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    "Brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs."
    Uhhhhhh, not true. There are MANY examples to prove this wrong, but I immediately thought of my Golden Lakenelder who lays white eggs.

    What most folks say is brown earlobes = brown eggs, white earlobes = white eggs. Chicken earlobes, not yours. <*snort*> Now, find those earlobes... (Yes, chickens have "ear lobes.")

    Your skinny white big egg layers sound like White Leghorns. I have some of those and am very pleased to have them in my flock.

    For all around great layers of brown eggs, you can't go wrong with Plymouth Rocks, the most common of which is Barred (often referred to as Barred Rocks). NICE looking, personable hens! BR roos are usually great, too.

    And no, there is absolutely no difference between the nutrition in white eggs and that of brown eggs. They just make folks think "oooh, farm eggs, better than those white eggs I get in the store!." Well, yes, they are, but not all "farm eggs" are brown. [​IMG]
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    My very best brown egg layers have been Black Sex Links (cross between a RIR and Barred Rock).

    My current girl who is over two years old still gives me 3 eggs a week... There was a time once when she laid every day for 93 days straight.

    ...and as Linda said, Barred Rocks are also awesome layers.
  4. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    The color of the bird has nothing to do with the color of the eggs. You'll need to look at the earlobes - white earlobes mean white eggs, red earlobes mean brown or blue/green eggs.

    If you're going to have Polish and cochins, you'll need to make sure the "laying" breed you're looking for either -

    A) Doesn't live with them, or
    B) Is docile enough to live with them.

    Polish are sometimes low in the pecking order and picked on due to the crests. So, the only layers I would allow to be with them are Plymouth rocks, and I'd be selective on their temperament. I've known too many bird-aggressive BSL's in my day to have them in a mixed flock with polish or cochins. In fact, it would just be better to keep your "pretty" chickens completely separate from your laying chickens (regular white hens, or probably Leghorns, included). They tend to be flighty, restless, and chicken-aggressive - or even cannibalistic toward the more docile breeds.

    Polish aren't particularly hardy. They do have problems with the crests freezing, apparently. (I wouldn't know as my girls have a heat lamp). I'd just watch them to make sure they do okay, give them scratch before bed.
  5. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    I agree, sounds like you have white leghorns.

    Why can't your "purty" chickens also be your brown egg layers? I tend to prefer brown egg layers because they tend to also be "dual purpose" breeds, and for some reason, I tend to prefer their temperament and their looks. They don't seem to be as flighty, and who doesn't love a big, fluffy hen strutting across the yard?


    Back to front, left of screen to right of screen, easter egger, blue laced red wyandotte, salmon faverolle, speckled sussex, and blue laced red wyandotte. Most of these girls are brown egg layers, and might I add, beautiful (in my very biased oppinion) too.

    I also tend to agree that leghorns can be down right rude and even mean to more docile breeds (like most of the breeds I tend to choose), but it can also depend on the temperament of the individual chicken. I tend away from barred rocks, just because they seem to be rather bossy demanding birds, but that may translate (in your case) to a bird that can stand up to what I am betting are your white leghorns. Do they have large, flopped over combs?

    By the way, I also have two young polish in my flock, and they do wonderful in the flock dynamic. I also have buff orpingtons, black copper marans, a cinnamon queen, a bantam frizzled cochin, a seabright, and a couple of d'uccle in the mix, and they all do wonderfully (and are very lovely to look at) as a group.

  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    As for the Barred Rocks, I've found them to be bossy too in a mixed flock. I don't care for them because of this. My others are mainly Orps. I thought of the breeds mentioned above too but don't have personal experience with most of them.
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Hmmm, my Barred Rocks aren't bossy at all. I have a few different breeds, and they all do well when together.


  8. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Quote:Mine aren't bossy (I'm looking at you, RIRs) but they're rude, unfriendly and don't have as good production as some of my other ladies.
    My australorps probably have the highest egg/week rate, but the speckled sussex hens I got this spring have high numbers too, and they're super friendly and rather cute.
  9. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    My BR is bossy, but she is also the oldest and highest ranking in my flock and doesn't "pick" on the others as much as say my andalusian does. The BR (Pauline) merely "reminds" the others of their place on occasion... [​IMG]
  10. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    Earlobe color is not linked to eggshell color!
    Historically white eggers often have white earlobes, true, but there are exceptions to the rule.
    Genetically the colors are not related.

    Oeg have red earlobes and lay white eggs for example.
    Vorwerk lay a light brown egg and have white earlobes.

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