Ideal Breed for a Large Laying Flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bigredfeather, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am looking for suggestions for a pure breed that would be best if I wanted to start a large flock of layers (over 300). I do not want to use the red hybrids.

    Suggestions and why?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    White eggs or brown?
    Will they be housed or free range?
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry.
    Brown eggs and yes they will be on the range with a Salatin type "egg mobile". They will be fed grain based feed as well as free range opportunity.
     
  4. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our Light Sussex are very reliable layers, and were at about 22 weeks when they started out.

    I also saw a free range farm on youtube using Australorps. Our BA took a little longer to mature but is just as reliable at producing.

    Not sure how they stack up as eaters though, being a heavy breed they produce great sized eggs, but may pig down the feed. I find it hard to compare as we have a mixed flock.

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Rhode Islands, Australorps, Dominiques, Faverolles, Welsummers should all meet your needs.
     
  6. DCchicken

    DCchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    White eggs: Leghorns or Hyline (both have been breed to produce large volume)
    Blue eggs: Cream Legbar (they have Brown Leghorn in their genetic mix which probably helps with the volume plus autosexing)
    Green eggs: Isbars (the only single breed green egg layer plus beautiful to watch)
    Brown eggs: Bielefelders (breed to lay piles of eggs, grow fast and large, and are autosexing), followed by Rhodebars (also autosexing).
    Cream eggs: Swedish Flower Hens (large eggs and in volume plus cute)
    Dark brown eggs: Birchen Marans (but I doubt that you won't get volume with dark brown eggs due to the nature of the "painting" of dark color)

    If you are in a very cold environment and want birds that will lay at near zero temps, go with Hedemora. Just be warned that if you are not in zones 2-4, you will need to artificially cool these birds in the summer heat.

    The farms I work with are moving to working with Bielefelders, primarily because the birds are easy to work with and autosexing is hard to beat. But the cost is going to have to come down for widespread adoption of that breed.
     
  7. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. DCchicken

    DCchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they are rare and expensive right now only because breeders are building out their foundation stock. But the prolific nature of the Bielefelders means that the price will come down rather quickly. Look at the American Bresse as an example. In my area, they sell for $10 a chick on Craigslist. Last year they were $100 each. The same is true for Swedish Flower Hens.
     
  9. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Phew! That's a much shorter time frame than I thought it would be.
     
  10. theJonesBoy

    theJonesBoy Out Of The Brooder

    So what breed did you go with bigredfeather?
     

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