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Good egg-laying breed for a newb?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by csforest, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. csforest

    csforest Hatching

    Jan 2, 2013
    Woodinville, WA
    We are new to the world of owning chickens, so we know nothing about them. We'd like to start out simple. We just want 3-4 hens that are good for laying eggs. No roosters, no breeding, no raising chicks. Because we're new to owning chickens we'd like to start with a hardy breed that easy to care for, not delicate or fussy or otherwise difficult. We're not interested in fancy feathers and colors. We'd like chickens that have a friendly nature so they're easy to work with and aren't flighty or aggressive. I'm guessing a plain old leghorn or Rhode Island red would be a good starter breed?

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    What color eggs do you want?
  3. csforest

    csforest Hatching

    Jan 2, 2013
    Woodinville, WA
    Oh, I don't think it matters. I mean, it has nothing to do with the quality and flavor of the egg, does it? We just want tasty fresh eggs and chickens that can tolerate our learning curve. :)
  4. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Songster

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    Welcome to the club [​IMG] - we just started in October with originally 4 chicks but lost one early on. The three we currently have are a Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger and supposedly Australorp but likely a muttt. We were looking for the same qualities you are except we did want different colored eggs to add excitement for our grandson. I was told the RIR and Autralorp were hearty and heat tolerant. we live in AZ so summers are brutal. So far, ours are thriving and provided hours of entertainment that I never imagined. Every time I start to question if I know what I'm doing, my daughter reminds me that chickens have lived in lots of environments quite successfully for eons. They are the simplest and funniest pets we have ever owned. Enjoy.
  5. 15shenyl

    15shenyl Chirping

    Jul 14, 2012
    Yakima Washington
    I have Salmon Faverolles. They are ment for warm or cool weather. They lay all through winter. Very nice birds. I get 5-7 eggs a day, I have 7 pullets. More of 6 or 7 in the summer, sence it's winter I'm getting 4 or 5. They have 5 toes with slight feathered feet. They are always happy to see me and love to sit on my lap. Mine lay a brown to a creem/pink egg, some are sometimes spotted. They have tufts and a beard. I love my Faverolles and would suggest them to everyone.
  6. KingR0o5t3r

    KingR0o5t3r Songster

    Dec 2, 2012
    Vail AZ
    I would say that leghorns or barred rock fit all those qualities extremely well except that they aren't as cuddly and friendly as other breeds. Rhode island reds or red sexlinks are probably your best bet cause they're very cheap, don't eat much, friendly, hardy, eggcelent layers and easy.
  7. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

    May 7, 2012
    Sonoma County, CA
    Sounds like hatchery pullets are what you're looking for. They are usually sexed after hatching, healthy, and bred for egg production. They have less tendency to go broody. Barred Rocks are very friendly and easy to deal with. They will lay large light brown eggs. Any of the sexlink hybrids are a good choice, mellow and super layers of very large brown eggs.

    I got one each of nine different breeds of hatchery chicks from the feed store. Enjoyed raising them and think it helped make them tamer. It is also fun being able to tell them apart, which would be harder if you get all of one breed. In addition to the Barred Rock and Gold sexlink, I would also recommend New Hampshire, Black Australorp, Buff Orpington, and Easter Egger (EEs are often sold as Ameraucana). All are calm and docile and excellent layers, and they are very attractive as well.

    I would not recommend Leghorns. While good layers, they are a bit more aggressive and flighty (meaning they can fly over a 6 ft fence - mine did!). I did not get hatchery RIRs, as I read that they can be a bit aggressive also, but have no personal experience. (These are also called production reds, as they have little resemblance to the true heritage Rhode Island Reds, which are dark rust colored .)

    If you don't want to raise chicks, check at local feed stores for older pullets. They will cost a bit more of course, but you don't have to mess with chicks. If you purchase from a local breeder, you will want older pullets, as breeders generally don't sex chicks after hatching.

    Have fun researching! Another tip is to build coop/run larger than what most people recommend. This will give your hens a stress free environment (happy chickens = more eggs) and will allow you to get more chickens than you originally thought you wanted. (And you will want more; they are addictive! BYC calls it Chicken Math.)

    Good luck and keep us posted! [​IMG]

  8. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Hmm... my opinion based on your description would be Orpingtons. They are friendly, fairly feed efficient, good layers of medium to large brown eggs and are great for beginners.
  9. KingR0o5t3r

    KingR0o5t3r Songster

    Dec 2, 2012
    Vail AZ
    Both of the above posts are absolutely true except that I've had very nice Rhode island reds. Buff orps are beautiful, and I recommend them too. I also recommend getting a variety of breeds and EEs are fun with colored eggs, and they are good layers. Also I have a sweet black australorp rooster. Not any hens yet but I've heard they're good layers with good temperament
  10. iluvmypeepslol2

    iluvmypeepslol2 In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2013
    If you ask me, Easter-Eggers R EXCELLENT! Easter-Eggers are medium to small sized, they' r e aslo great rainbow colored layers. They lay about every day and r awsome with kids.[​IMG]

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