Hm. Best breed for dark brown eggs?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by off-grid hen, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am planning ahead for the spring! [​IMG] I am getting some chickens that lay green/blue eggs. I dunno if I'm going to get ameraucanas or easter eggers yet- I just know I don't want olive eggers. Coloring of the bird doesn't much matter, but I'd really like the reddish buff color with a bit of black around the neck feathers. I also like the wheaten coloring, but not so wild about the blues. As long as they don't look too much like my other birds, I don't much care.

    I also want a chicken that lays a dark brown egg. I was hoping for a bird that would be a nice contrast to my current breeds that are listed in my sig. I'm looking for a rainbow for the eye for both birds and eggs. Since welsummers look a bit like my brown leghorns, that leaves me with Marans and Barnevelders, right? I live in a cold climate, and have lots of free range space with tree cover and grass.

    I am not interested in breeding, and would rather have breeds that are less broody in general, but also one that is less aloof than a leghorn. I plan on ordering day-old females to arrive in March or April.

    So what do you think? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Does this mean you are ordering from a hatchery? If so, don't count on getting dark eggs if you order Marans, or any other breed for that matter. Egg color is somthing that needs to be maintained, and hatcheries don't do that. If you really want the nicer looking birds and eggs, buy from a breeder. That said, my Black Copper Marans did very well this past winter in our -10* temps and lots of snow. They are still doing fine with the 100* temps we have had all this summer too!
     
  3. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Barnevelders lay dark brown eggs. This site has some pictures http://peaceofthyme.com/photo2_1.html

    I
    have no experience with Barnies so I don't know about their broodiness. They look very pretty though. I'd like to get some someday. [​IMG]
     
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Barnevelders in the USA, in most if not nearly all birds, - Lay some very poor examples of "dark" eggs honestly.


    French Marans are the way to go if you want something truly dark. I'd say go with Black Coppers, Blue Coppers, Wheatens, or Blue Wheatens.


    Hatcheries won't be a good choice as they don't breed for egg color [​IMG]
     
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    The welsummers are a different shade brown, and have way more meat on them. I can tell in an instant whether it's the leghorn or wellie. And the marans are a bit harder to obtain. My barnevelders lay a nice brown egg, similar to the wellie. I haven't had my marans lay yet....any day now...
     
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Like Illia said, French Marans if you want the darker brown eggs.
     
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I guess I am also wondering about how broody the dark egg breeds are, and rate of lay? I looked at the breed chart, but for barnevelders and welsumers they have "mixed reports on broodiness" and both are listed 3 eggs by rate of lay. I wouldn't mind going with a more local breeder, but I really am just looking for a varied laying flock of sexed day old chicks. I have one rooster (a hatchey "oops") and he is great, but I don't want any more.

    I'm checking out the breed threads here for ideas, and I really am having trouble with my decision. My dominiques lay a light brown egg, and my partridge rocks aren't laying yet. Rate of lay, hardiness, temperament, and broodiness are all things I'm considering. Never in my life did I think chicken shopping would be so much fun! [​IMG]
     
  8. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    French Marans are generally very hardy to both temperatures, big birds, very laid-back and friendly, and occasionally to frequently broody. All of mine have been broody 0-2 times total. It varies upon strains though, as well as how many eggs are in the nesting box to convince her [​IMG]

    Mine are extremely dependable layers of BIG eggs.




    Personally I wouldn't go with any other dark egg layer, but that's me. Barnies hardly lay a dark egg and many are considered flighty, non-French Marans (most cuckoo ones) are smaller and hardly lay a dark egg, Penedesencas look too much like Leghorns to me, and Welsummers look too much like slightly beefed Leghorns to me, plus the egg is kinda, eh, okay.

    My opinion though. [​IMG]
     
  9. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I didn't think penedesencas were very cold hardy? [​IMG] I have brown leghorns with a rose comb. I would mind a roundie leghorn though. My leggies are very sweet- they just don't want to be touched. [​IMG] I will check out the marans. Dangit, I started my decision-making process with only 2 breeds!
     

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