Guilty for buying high production birds??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Cluckn Crazy, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Cluckn Crazy

    Cluckn Crazy Songster

    Aug 25, 2010
    Peterborough, Ontario
    I've been feeling guilty lately, after spending so much time on this site. We bought 6 lohmann chicks late summer, as that was all that was available around here that time of year (and my daughters and I couldn't wait once we got permission from husband). They're a brown chicken bred for high egg production. After reading more about heritage breeds, did I make a mistake? Don't get me wrong I like our birds and they're very healthy and friendly (and we will keep them). Will they suffer a life of unnatural egg production, not being able take cyclical breaks, or lack in long term health. I was wondering what others thought on this topic.

  2. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Probably means that you will want to process them after 2~3 egg-laying seasons. Well; that would be the humane thing to do, anyways. Otherwise (if true high production birds), they will start to suffer more and more as the months go on past their prime age. At least; that has been people's typical experience.
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing 8 Years

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I know what you mean. I got a Red Sexlink in my first order not knowing enough about the implications of breeding for laying vs. heritage breeds. I will say though, that in addition to being an excellent layer, that chicken had more personality than any other I've ever had. What you have, you have, and you should just enjoy them and give them a great life. When they are old and retired, or have become chicken stew, depending on your point of view, you can replace them with heritage breeds. Don't kick yourself - they will have much better lives than if they live in an egg-producing factory - and now that you know, you can research heritage breeds to decide what to get next time around.
  4. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I did the same thing, I didn't know a whole lot about the high production stuff at the time when I ordered, by the time I found out it was too late. so I focus on the fact my girls are well cared for and happy. I have read posts on here that say that after their production drops they can still live long happy lives. Only time will tell in my case. I love my girls are when these are gone (RIR's) I will likely go with a different breed. I wanted chickens to teach my kids about farming and where their food comes from etc....At the time I didn't think about the fact high production meant i would be getting 12 dozen eggs a week :-/

    my next flock I think I will go with less, and lower production, if I get a dozen or two per week I will be happy. I struggle now to sell my eggs and I am running out of room in my freezer from all the bakes items I got in there ahahahahaha.

    but like I said I loveeeeee my girls!!!

  5. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    Our Red sex link is 5-6 years old, she molts, runs around all day and is the head (and very bossy) hen.

    She is not laying right now after her molt and even after that who knows how many eggs we actually will get from her. But she sure seems not to be suffering a bit for her breed!

    Her daughter is 3-4 years old (EE dad) and is also just finishing up molting and not laying (she has white feathers that in the past looked a bit dirty from a tiny bit of tan on them, this year after her molt she is very pretty and a darker color). They are a happy pair. She was a single chick from some eggs hidden by the kitchen door. We did not know "Brownie" was broody, she would sit on the eggs all day and head back to the coop at night. Goofy hen. Guess we are lucky we even got a chick. Once we found the hidden nest we let her stay and hoped for the best with critters at night. They stay with in feet from each other even today.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm cycling out my birds next summer into fall. Knowing that the kids here simply would not eat one of them so will sell em off as first year layers maybe $7.50 to $10 each. The kids here really enjoyed the chicks so am going that step further to hatch Barnevelders in cooler incubater this spring. Hoping that I get a well behaved roo from the batch too.

    We purposely went with better layers. 4 kids and 2 adults makes for 2.5 to 3 doz eggs a week. Not knowing how many I'd actually get went with a guess of 5 per week per bird. 7 birds and each week we're getting more and more eggs, 40 last week. Of course it will still be a guess as to how many Barnie's we'll need to keep to supply us with eggs.

    As for high production birds in general, well heritage breeds can be high production. Pearl Leghorns and Heritage RIR's are old production breeds.
  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Don't feel guilty. There may be a lot of discussion on heritage breeds, but VERY few people have them. The main reason the discussion carries so well is simply because there is so little understanding of the concept and even less care of it. There's a lot of hatchery-stock production bred owners out there, and very few heritage type owners.

    What you did is what about 90% of all chicken owners do. [​IMG] Even I started out with hatchery based breeds. [​IMG]

    No guilt needed. And, if you don't want a show bird or a dual purpose bird or a bird that looks as the breed should, it shouldn't matter right? Your main differences beyond that is, yes, you're going to have to replace them within 2-4 years.

  8. Cluckn Crazy

    Cluckn Crazy Songster

    Aug 25, 2010
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Thanks for your comments. My birds will be well cared for (perhaps in a very different way from their brothers and sisters elsewhere). Here's to backyard chickens!!

  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    No guilt needed. If you do not provide supplemental light in the winter, your birds will take a normal break. Highest egg production will be in the first two years. Very frequently if not pushed with added lighting "production" birds can have a good life span. Just underestand that after year 2.5 or so egg production may drop off radically. Enjoy your birds and give them a good life.

  10. HBuehler

    HBuehler Songster

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    There is not a thing wrong with production birds for eggs.Reality is they lay super and for the same amount of chicken feed you will get more eggs.There is no guarantee a Heritage bird will live a day longer without problems than a hatchery bird either..they can still get sick or fall to prey animals just the same.We raise non hatchery stock some heritage breeds here and have hatchery layers for my laying birds...I also hatch the hatchery quality layers since around me that's what people want to buy for the most part ..high production layers cheap.I never market them as quality birds though or a heritage bird even if a "heritage" breed they are not the same.Not everyone cares one darn bit about Heritage birds or show birds just want breakfast.I have some older sex them that are doing great in health and in with anything overall care helps.Ours free range and stay on a worming and debugging routine. I'm always rotating out layers selling them while still in prime laying around a year no older than 18 months so the new person will still get eggs from them and not just a pet.Then we have a few here that will always remain and will die here..the luxury of enough space for all
    Oh the production birds will take me with around 100 layers here eggs can become a premium at times.Many times this fall it was all I could do to fill my egg orders.

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