Hens that keep laying until the day they die? Say hi to the Deathlayer!

Would you be interested in purchasing the "Deathlayer" (Westfaliche Totleger)?

  • Yes, yes, yes!!

    Votes: 37 71.2%
  • I don't think so

    Votes: 6 11.5%
  • Honestly, I'm undecided

    Votes: 9 17.3%

  • Total voters
    52

Exotica

C'est La Vie
Aug 16, 2015
427
44
88
Baldwin Park, California
My Coop
My Coop
Hi everyone!

I've been following Greenfire Farms on Facebook ever since I won two auctions from them for 12 rare breed assorted chicks.
I'm just completely in love with them, as they sent me extra's and ALL the chicks survived! I'm in southern California and of course, GFF is in Florida
so I was so surprised they were and still, are all thriving after I got them! I had a bad experience with a breeder that lived in Northern CA as I only had 50% of the chick survive shipping.

Anyways.. back to the main topic - a few months ago, Greenfire Farms imported the Deathlayer from Germany.
They're also known as Westfaliche Totleger's.
Supposedly, these hens lay into old age and will continue to lay until their death.
That's amazing! I'm sure you already know how great this means for backyard hobbyists that can only have a few birds.

As if that wasn't great already, they are also STUNNING chickens. They look like Queen Silvia's except they have walnut combs and an all white neck.



Currently, they aren't for sale yet and GFF has not released information on when they will be.
Of course these will be really expensive, as most of GFF chicks are.. but I think they're completely worth it.

What are your thoughts?
 
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XxMingirlxX

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2013
1,979
220
206
Lancashire, England
Wow, very interesting.

Personally if they were available to me (they aren't im in the UK :( ). I wouldn't buy them until the price drops. When Cream Legbars were intially introduced the U.S. they were expensive so it took a few early adopters of the breed to buy it and begin working out the SOP.

It will also be interesting to see if they do live up to there name. People selling hatching eggs at Craigslist presents problems because you don't really know how good the stock will be. But once they hatch you can tell if something's seriously wrong. With deathlayers, there might be the issue that you might not know if they are the real deal until they are quite old, so you wouldn't be able to report the seller as unscrupulous.

It also presents an interesting issue if you were breeding to SOP, with Marans the eggs have to be atleast a 4 on the scale. But how would you measure it with this breed? Would breeders have to wait until there stock was much older to make sure it kept laying before they began hatching their eggs?

I would also want to know the colour egg they lay and how frequently. Heritage birds tend to lay less eggs but over a long period of time than hatchery or non-heritage do. So would the fact that these hens lay until they die mean that they lay less per week?

A very curious breed, I like the look of them and it will be definitely interesting to see what happens when the breed becomes introduced to the public.
 
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keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,706
3,189
441
MA
So they lay into old age. Exactly how many per week? On par with young hens?

I have had some hens lay eggs at 10+ years of age. Not a lot, and only for a two month stretch, but I still got eggs. Hatchery black sex links and Easter Eggers.
 

TBirdsTheWord33

Songster
Apr 5, 2015
427
72
136
Ohio
Those Deathlayers are gorgeous birds! Never heard of them until now.

I occasionally get on GFF's website just to DROOL. Admittedly, if I could afford to, I would probably spend an exorbitant amount of money on all those rare and exotic breeds. The Orust, Svart Höna, and Blue Isbar are on my ever-growing wish list.
 

Exotica

C'est La Vie
Aug 16, 2015
427
44
88
Baldwin Park, California
My Coop
My Coop
I'm so sorry that I cannot answer your questions ):

I am also very curious about how frequent they lay, what color the eggs are, how large the eggs are, and their temperament!
Greenfire Farms hasn't released any information yet.. only that these gorgeous birds lay until the death!
I will update here as more information is available!

@TBirdsTheWord33 : I also used to go on Greenfire Farms website and just drool.. then feel completely heartbroken that everything was so expensive..
But if you don't know about it yet, let me tell you a little secret


Greenfire Farms owns an auction website called: www.RareBreedAuctions.com (for some reason it won't let me link it right now, but just enter that in the browser search bar).
It's free to make an account but in order to place a bid, you must link to a debit/credit card using PayPal for a fee of $3.

Greenfire Farms always have auctions for 6-12 of their chicks. Often, there is an auction for "12 Rare Breed Assortment" chicks.

The first time I won, I paid $195 ($159 + $35) for shipping. That's $13.33 per chick as opposed to $29 and $99 for the Svart Hona's.
I asked her for a few Cream Legbars and Swedish Flower Hens and she gladly obliged.
Originally I was supposed to be sent 12 chicks, but she sent me 16 chicks. I received 5 Cream Legbars, 2 Bielefelders, 7 Swedish Flower Hens, and 2 Svart Hona's.
The total for this would've been $604 plus $35 shipping. I ended up selling 7 of the chicks for $15 each and received $105 back.

The one that I was completely surprised with and more than happy about was the second time I won. I paid $175 ($140 + $35 shipping).
That's only $11.66 per chick! I was expecting her to send me more Cream Legbars/Swedish Flower Hens or chicks that were only $29 since this was a reaaaally good deal.
She ended up sending me 17 chicks: a Lyonnaise ($59 each), a Silver Spitzhauben ($59 each), 4 Svart Hona's ($99 each), 3 Orust's ($99 each), 3 Marsh Daisies ($29 each),
3 Lemon East Frisian Gulls ($99 each), and 2 White Pavlovskaya's ($99 each).
If I were to order from their site, the total would've been a crazy $1,393 without the $35 shipping!

Check out RareBreedAuctions! I've seen people win 12 from them for only $100.. one lucky dude won for $65!
 

TBirdsTheWord33

Songster
Apr 5, 2015
427
72
136
Ohio
Thanks for the tip, Exotica! You have quite an amazing flock there! I have heard of RareBreedAuctions.com, but I didn't know anything about it until now. I do wish GFF would sell sexed chicks, but honestly, we could probably benefit from a couple more roosters, anyway. Maybe one of these days I'll convince my husband that we "need" some extra birds and THEN find the time to get the other half of the milk house fixed up. It's wishful thinking but worth a shot.
 

chickenchance

Hatching
Apr 25, 2017
1
0
3
I've read that the Deathlayer hens lay a medium-large white egg a day until the day they die, but it didn't say how long they live on average
 
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The Moonshiner

Professional Chicken Tender
Nov 17, 2016
4,918
11,175
481
Missouri
Talk to a guy a few months ago that purchased 6 and received 7 of these from GFFs.
Said all died before 3 months of age.
Curious to hear from anyone that owns them about how hardy they are or if they too had poor results with the breed.
 

Alo

Songster
Jul 22, 2019
150
293
103
So...

Now that Bresse Farms has them for $30, every one else has lowered their prices, and Greenfire Farms is importing gold Deathlayers...

How many eggs does a Deathlayer really lay?
 
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