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HELP!!! I need REAL numbers!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreedomFarm13, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2015
    Hi, everyone!! So, I've been compiling a list of all the chicken breeds I want, but I've hit a bit of a snag in my decision making process. I'm having A LOT of trouble finding ACTUAL NUMBERS for the annual production rates of virtually every breed I'm interested in. Every time I try to look it up, they give me some useless word to describe their production. "Medium" or "Good" or "Fair" really doesn't tell me jack squat. So, I was hoping I could list the breeds I'm interested in here and see if anyone out there keeps any sort of records on egg production for these birds. Please, if you can, give me actual numbers, as this is a big determining factor in which breeds I will be getting. Here are the breeds I'm interested in:

    Barred Rocks (any Plymouth Rock stats will do)
    Ameraucanas and/or Easter Eggers (I know the numbers for Easter Eggers will vary greatly, I just want a ballpark figure)

    Sorry to rant, everybody, this has just been driving me a bit batty trying to find this info. Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You probably need to accept that with live animals there are no 'real numbers'.....
    .....no hard and absolute 'rules'.
    ......no one answer fitting all situations.

    Each breed can be different,
    and each 'line' of each breed can be different,
    and each individual of each line of each breed can be different.

    Even if someone gives you exact numbers from their production records,
    which would be very difficult to accurately count in most situations,
    that won't necessarily apply to the actual birds you get.

    I keep pretty good records, to compare egg sales vs feed costs,
    but not on individual birds past the pullet stage.
    3 people like this.
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    The numbers your getting are about as close as you can get. for example I have white leghorns one of if not the best layers you can get, some lay almost every day some don't, and their all from the same line same age. It's kind of like trying to guess why one brother is taller than the other
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My hatchery sourced (usually MMM or Ideal) birds have averaged...

    barred Rocks--6-7 eggs a week, for the first year.
    Orpingtons--5 eggs a week for the first year.
    Wyandottes--5 eggs a week for the first year
    Easter egger--mine have always been great layers, 6 a week or so for the first year.

    Honey, don't stress yourself so much over picking a breed [​IMG]. Depending on how many birds you can have, get one or two of each breed that catches your eye. There's really no "wrong" choice here, they're all pretty, hardy, good layers, and nice backyard birds. Each flock will have it's individual dynamic, and if you wind up with a bird you're not happy with for whatever reason (low production, aggressive behavior, you just don't like her), it's perfectly okay to sell her off. I know some folks buy their birds for the long haul, but for most of us, buying a chicken doesn't have to be a 5 year commitment.
    1 person likes this.
  5. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks, guys. I know it's kinda unrealistic to expect any real numbers or to expect that those numbers will be accurate for my birds. I'm just one of those people that really likes statistics, I guess, lol. I was just kinda hoping for an average per breed, which I guess is kinda silly, because pretty much all breeds (the majority, anyway) don't have a whole lot of difference between their averages, from what I've read. I don't know why it's been stressing me so much. I guess I'm just worried that I'll make a poor choice for me and be stuck with them or something. And to be perfectly honest, egg production is nowhere near the top of my list of priorities for picking a breed, lol!! Gosh, the more I think about this, the more I think I sound like an uptight worrywart whose only concern is getting TONS of eggs. I plan on having around 30 birds (read: 50-60 [​IMG]) so I think no matter what breed I get, I'll have plenty of eggs, lol. I don't know. It just feels so important for me to have those numbers, for some reason....huge sigh....guess I'll just have to get some chickies and figure out my own numbers. Thanks again for cradling my crazy, everyone!!!

  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    This post made me grin....cradling my crazy..shm.... lmao!

    If you're just starting out, might be good to start with a dozen birds for the first year, get your facility up to snuff with some experience.....
    ....then you'll have a better idea of what breeds you like best and can increase your population.

    What are your goals?
  7. chiques chicks

    chiques chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a decent number of birds, agrees 5 months (not laying) to for years.

    My egg production various from 4-20 per day depending on: time of year, weather, broodiness, moon stage, if a hawk flew by, I gave them the treat they wanted that day, I looked at them wrong, they saw a bug they liked, OK, maybe a little silly, but I never know what to expect. This time of year, production can be all over, it might get high in the summer, them 6 or 7 go broody and don't lay.

    My suggestion? Get birds you like. If you plan to sell eggs to offset the feed costs, get production layer breeds. If you want pretty birds, get what you think are attractive. There is no right answer.
  8. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2015
    Well, aart, that's kind of a loaded question for me....I have a lot of lofty ideas for what I would like my flock to one day be. As chiques chicks suggested, I would like to sell some eggs for the purpose of offsetting feed costs, mostly to other BYCers and other small flock handlers. The amount I make by doing so isn't really that important to me, I think any extra I can make would be a huge help. I'm not a big fan of pretty much all of the production birds, either, so it just doesn't seem to be my "thing" to raise production stock. Also, one of the main reasons I got into the idea of having chickens in the first place (besides yummy eggs) was for their entertainment value and beauty, so I only included breeds on my list that I believe to be beautiful. I already have a Welsummer pullet who is quite the character, but I'm not sure if that's a breed I really want to have more than one of....but, I do really like her sweet and gentle personality, even though she can be a bit skittish at times. At least she has helped me to see what I look for in a chicken's personality. I would also like to do a bit of project breeding. Nothing fancy, just a few things I know others have done many times before....I just want to know if I can and have fun with the experimenting. I'm really excited to tool around with different crosses to create Easter Eggers from Ameraucanas, not to mention a few olive eggers, although I'm still not sure how appetizing I find the dark green eggs, lol.
    So, I guess it doesn't really matter how many eggs each of the breeds lays....I was just kind of hoping I could find some ballpark numbers just to have an idea in my head of how many eggs I'd be getting. I've read a few things stating that an average of 180 eggs per year per chicken (of most breeds) is a pretty safe bet for guesstimating the amount you'll have, and that's almost too many for me to know what to do with, so I guess it doesn't matter in the whole scheme of things. I must have just thought it would be easier to get a more concrete number, which I'm beginning to realize just isn't going to happen, lol. Thank you for all your friendly advice and encouragement, though, everybody. You really got me thinking about what my priorities should be for my little flock, and I really appreciate it.

  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Mixed breeds will be your best layers of all. My mutts far out lay my pure birds. As others have said, go with what appeals to you visually. I would suggest getting a variety of breeds that lay different colored eggs. My egg customers love the color selection of my eggs. I have blue, green, olive, white, brown and dark brown layers. It's always pretty to see a carton full of multi colored eggs.

    See what other people have:
  10. Kraken Farmer

    Kraken Farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2015
    Central Georgia, USA
    Based on the discussion so far, I would definitely recommend the Easter Eggers. They are active birds that are good at foraging and since they are mixed breed, each one looks different so you can see the individual personalities of each bird. I have also found them to be hardy and good at keeping an eye out for predators.

    As for project birds, I am currently raising some Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. I can use them to breed black sex links for sale or more production, but my real goal is to create a line of Rhode-bars (red barred pattern).

    Other possible projects include Barred Easter Eggers, Blue-Barred Chickens, Buff Easter Eggers, Olive Eggers, and Favacaunas.

    Beware of chicken math. I planned to start with 6 chickens 2 years ago, I am now at 58 chickens (~10 breeds).

    Good luck

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