Ideal Flock for Laying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bleenie, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I am considering starting fresh this coming year with a batch of chicks for egg laying. I would like to get some opinions on what the "ideal" laying flock of hens would consist of. I am most interested in good layers but also would like some colored eggs as well. Does not have to be all top production breeds. between 3 houses we eat around 2 dozen eggs a week(give or take a few eggs). And lastly, I think 10 hens would be the right number for my coop.

    So what hens would you choose to create your 'ideal' laying flock?

    Thanks for the help =)
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    For good egg production I'd go for leghorns, they lay through winter too. RIR are great dual purpose birds too. For pretty and colourful eggs EE's, Cream Legbar, Araucanas or Marans.

    This chicken chart: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html is very handy for choosing breeds.
     
  3. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 silkies because they are cute and the wife and mother in law love them.
    16 Houdans because they are great layers and make very pretty white eggs.
    And finally 2 Olive Eggers because colour is fun.

    So for 10 I'd say 6 great layers, 2 fun breeds and 2 pretty egg colours.
    Do you plan on eating any of them?
    My mix is good because any roos we dont need will be good for eating, or selling. Silkies go for a premium in China, they are popular in medicinal soups and such. Who knew.

    The girls produce very regularly and dont need much extra light or attention to give an egg nearly every day. Usually 4-5 in a row with 1 day break from the Houdans. The silkies and Olives are a couple months younger and still egg farting up to full production.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  4. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I've had almost all the chickens at this point, and I always come back to Red Sex Links. They're pretty, friendly, and lay eggs like crazy. I'm super happy with my flock right now, and I think I have the color mix right. I have:

    RSL for large brown eggs
    Wyandotte for pinkish eggs--so pretty! Also, they are my husband's favorite chicken.
    white Leghorn for large white eggs
    EEs for colored eggs
    Tetra Tints for creamy colored eggs
    Rocks and/or RIR for darker brown eggs, and because I like them
    A few barnyard mixes, because they hatched here
    Buttercups because they are so darn cute!

    If I could only have 10 birds, I'd have
    2 Leghorn
    3 EE
    4 RSL
    1 something silly like a Buttercup
     
  6. Nancygardens

    Nancygardens Out Of The Brooder

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    I was at the store yesterday and asked when the chicks would be in they said mid Feb. 2-17 was the exact date I think it was.
    So now is the time to be deciding this I've been thinking this over. It's time to think about this.
    Have EE's for the green ones and the BR, Australrop sp? we have lay the lighter eggs ones.
    Lt. Brama for a broody hen.


    So many choices it's a challenge to decide!

    I want some leghorns for white eggs,
    and RIR for darker ones too

    I've crossed some off the list as well for various reasons!
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    A multi age flock is also something to consider. Pullets, 1 year hens, and 2 years hens, will also keep you in steady eggs. mk
     
  8. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    There's a feed store not too far from me that carries chicks year-round, and at a decent price so I was planning on probably buying them there this year. The guys are pretty good about ordering specifics in if you want a certain breed, just have to be sure to get in there the morning of arrival, lol.

    I do have 3 Olive Egger girls That I was really considering keeping. OE's are Not easy to find around here and I love the egg color. They're very good layers and should be for some time now, their momma's were good as well. I do want to keep some of my Wyandottes but they'd be purely for hatching eggs only & in a different coop.


    Are RSL & RIR's pretty similar in personality?

    Tetra Tints are a LH cross aren't they? I know there was a lot of those available around here last year so that may be an easy choice for me. Does anyone know if they're calmer than Leghorns?

    Only one person suggested Barred Rocks, would anyone else suggest them?

    Marans/welsummers go fairly fast here but i am hoping i can get at least one pullet for the flock, I've never had DARK eggs so it'd be kinda neat.

    So these ones are probably definite's
    1. Olive Egger (olive)
    2. Olive Egger (olive)
    3. Olive Egger (olive)
    4. Dark-Egger (chocolate)

    but what about these to finish out the flock?
    5. RSL or RIR (medium brown?)
    6. RSL or RIR
    7. Tetra Tint or LH (white)
    8. Tetra Tint or LH
    9. Barred Rock (light brown?)
    10. Barred Rock


    I've never seen Houdans available anywhere, tractor supply certainly never carries them, they have the same breeds year after year. I don't plan on eating any of them, they'd likely just be sold/rehomed after they get older and production drops.
     
  9. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I wish I could help you find Houdans. Sorry

    They are a really good looking, hardy, and productive breed. Still so few available stateside.
    If customs would let me I'd be shipping them home left and right just to encourage more people to have them.
    I keep thinking about how to sneak a good ammount of "hard boiked eggs" home and have a little farm.
     
  10. RonB

    RonB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    Woodinville
    If you just want a laying flock, you can't beat White leghorns for white eggs and Red or Gold sexlinks for brown eggs. these breeds are laying machines. I added a couple Bl. Australorps a couple Welsumers. they are great winter layers. I prefer California whites over the leghorn because they are way more friendly and lay just as well
     

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