good egg layers/free range breeds advice please

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ninny, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. ninny

    ninny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    IL side of the QCA
    we are starting a egg business this spring and i was wondering on breed choices. i am gonna order of couple of a bunch of different breeds to see which ones do best on our farm. the requirements are:

    need to free range
    need to have a colorful pattern to use as camo
    be good in winter
    good layers

    i want to have a rainbow egg baskets. so i want blue, green, white, brown and dark brown eggs.

    plus any good advice on starting this business
    thanks
     
  2. SEX LINKS!
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    126
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Just guessing here, but when you say start an egg business I assume you mean to sell fresh eggs, not to sell eggs for hatching?
    If you want to sell fresh eggs, you might want to think about sticking with white and brown eggs. People are funny about food. The vast majority of people are used to white and/or brown eggs and may have some qualms about eating a blue or green egg. Sure most of us BYC'ers know there's absolutely nothing wrong with blue eggs, but the general population doesn't. That's just my opinion.
    As for what breeds, check out Henderson's Chart on chicken breeds. I'll hunt down the link for ya.
    ETA: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  4. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Easter Eggers are great in the winter small pea comb, wonderful free rangers, and lay the blue/green/olive eggs...which SELL very well at our farm. They are not recognized by the Poultry Association...but what a wonderful bird for laying and keeping...very KIND and easily tamed and not flighty at all.

    It's fun choosing....and when you start getting eggs...so exciting to see people's expressions! [​IMG]
     
  5. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    339
    1
    141
    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    MY RIR's are great foragers
     
  6. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    8,792
    35
    308
    Jan 1, 2008
    WestCentralWisconsin
    So you would want some EEs or/and Ameracaunas for blue/green eggs. You would have to research you sources to find what color they lay. You would probably want more than two of each kind.(they have some kind of small comb)

    Dark brown eggs you could get Marans or Welsummers. There is another one but I cant think what the name is.

    I think Sexlinks lay brown eggs and lay a lot. I dont know how they free range.(lays winter and summer)

    Light brown leghorns are nice for white eggs.(lays winter and summer)

    The rosecombed breeds are better for winter in that they cant freeze their combs, and the ones above dont have rosecombs. I dont know how that would affect you, how the climate is. My birds are cooped all winter in the shed because I live in subzero weather in the winter.

    Then there are the rosecomb brown leghorns(white eggs) and the rosecomb Rhode Island reds.(brown eggs)

    Wyandottes are also rosecombed (lt brown eggs) they come in many colors
     
  7. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    My Black Australorp girls are very quiet and calm, and although they're too young to lay just yet, they are supposed to be very good layers of brown eggs.
     
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Barred rocks, RIR's and sex links - all excellent.
     
  9. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Golden spangled hamburgs, golden lakenvelders, brown leghorns, red caps, are all excellent egg layers and foragers. They are smaller than the dual purpose breeds, so they will eat less and take up less room.

    However, they all lay white eggs.

    But for the white portion of your flock, they would all be good.

    For the brown, good colors for camo are barnvelders, black australorps, partridge rocks, speckled sussex, welsummers, and partridge wyandottes. Welsummers lay a dark terra cotta egg.

    The brown-red and black ameracaunas/easter eggers would be good and lay blue eggs.

    RI and NH reds would camo well if you have a good covering of fallen leaves.
     
  10. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

    10,060
    202
    361
    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    My chickens all free range. They coop up at night.
    I have many different breeds for the egg colors that are requested around our area.
    Most people are chomping at the bit waiting for my EE's to start laying. I already have a client list of people wanting fresh eggs and my banty Cochins are trying to keep up.
    I have Welsummers for the dark eggs and hope to acquire some Barnevelders for a different shade of dark brown eggs.
    I also have black Jersey Giants for the larger brown egg. We have Wyandottes, Barred and Partridge Rocks and Buff Orps. There are breeds that we wanted for eye candy as well as the colored eggs. The Salmon Faverolles have been real clowns to watch grow up and the black sex links I wanted for earlier and more consistent laying. We do not have any white layers because they don't sell very well around here. But if they had I would have gone with the Leghorns.
    Research all breeds to find out if you would like them. It took me 2 months of every day researching to find what I liked and I am still wanting more! And still doing research.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by