Good Layers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mapa, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. mapa

    mapa Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Oct 5, 2008
    Mc Gill, Nevada
    I am looking for breeds of chickens that are the best layers. I have Red Stars - and I'm finding that they only lay MAX 1-2 years. They are dependable, laying daily - but I would like to replace the gals who stopped laying with hens that will lay more than 1-2 years. Any suggestions?
     
  2. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    mapa it really depends on if you are looking for large numbers of eggs or consistant production. It looks like most of the standard breeds will lay 4-5 years although the numbers may drop off a bit after the third year. For larger numbers of large brown eggs you can' go wrong with the Black Australorps. They lay good through the winter and are friendly and easy to handle too. Other folks will have some favorites that will fit your goals also.

    Larry
     
  3. myfivegirls

    myfivegirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    777
    88
    206
    Jan 12, 2009
    Delhi, NY
    I guess it depends on the size of the egg you want and how productive of a layer they are. I have Red Star pullets now, and my original chickens were Red Stars. I know two other people who raise them, too, and they get great results. I haven't and the two other people haven't kept them longer than 2 1/2 years (until they molt), as you said.
    But, all chickens molt around 2+ years old and stop laying during that time. All chickens will continue to lay eggs after they have regrown their new feathers, but they're not as productive as before.
    So, I guess if you're looking for a chicken that lays daily, without stopping for several months to molt, and that will continue to lay daily for over 2 1/2 years, I don't think you'll find one. All chickens have that resting period of not laying any eggs during their "first" big molt, and I even gave up after 2 months of waiting for one hen to start laying again.
    As far as one that continues to lay pretty well after molting, someone else will have to answer that.
     
  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I've had hatchery stock delawares, RIR, RIW, speckled sussex, EE's. I have always ended up replacing my flock after the first molt because they layed poorly during their second winter. And our winters are nothing to get excited about. We do get snow and below 0 temps at night, but most of our days are sunny and I provide extra light in the coop to lengthen the days.

    So this year I am trying ISA browns from Townline Hatchery. They say that sex links are pretty much done after 18 months, but then that's all I was getting out of hatchery stock breeds anyway.

    I'm also trying an increased protein diet to see if that helps during the winter. Most of the feed stores here carry Layena only. I fond one with a local brand and they make a gamebird feed that is 21% protein. I've only been feeding it for a few days so I think it's too soon to tell. But we have gone up from 10 eggs per day to 14 eggs per day...hmmmmmm.
     
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    57
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    I've heard Barred Plymouth Rocks from Ideal and Cackle are very good long term layers. [​IMG] Haven't had any myself, just what I've read on BYC. I'm planning to get some next spring!
     
  6. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X2
    That is exactly what I was going to say.
    I am a huge fan...but I may be biased...[​IMG]

    Bright Blessings
     
  7. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Quote:Our feed store here sells Ideal's Barred Rocks. They are great birds, and do lay very well! I believe I'd have to say that the BB's are probably my favorite! [​IMG]
     
  8. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    439
    1
    131
    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I've read many times on this forum that hatchery birds of any breed (including "dual purpose" breeds) tend more toward egg laying than meat, so I'm guessing that all of them will show a drastic drop in production after that first big molt. My sex links layed well until their second winter. That following spring, egg numbers dropped by 50 %. So this fall, I bought a batch of chicks from Sand Hill Preservation Center, who is working on re creating the true heritage breeds. I got a dual purpose breed, as I want meat too, but from what I read, my hope and expectation is to have a moderate number of eggs for four or five years before a really big drop in production.

    If what I read is accurate, you may want to look into buying from a breeder rather than a large commercial hatchery. Good luck!
     
  9. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    1
    131
    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    I am gonna have to say the Barred Rocks are a good laying breed. Mine just started, and they are egg machines! They seem to be hardy, and very friendly. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by