Layers that don't fly much??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bootsNbirds, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. bootsNbirds

    bootsNbirds Chirping

    Aug 13, 2014
    Madera, CA
    My Coop
    I'm looking to replace my layer flock. The birds will be in a free- ranging set up with 4 ft Premier electric poultry net as their fence, and a mobile coop to sleep in.

    What breeds are the best layers, but don't fly too much? I'm open to sex-links, Production Reds, RIR, BR, Leghorns, pretty much anything that lays large amounts of eggs.

    I have some Andalusians and they were terrible for flying. They lived in the orchard more of the time than in their pen! Had to move them to a permanent pen with a 6 ft fence instead of being out in the field with the other hens. I assume this is due to their skinny, light body type, so maybe Leghorns wouldn't be a good choice either?

    Are Sex links and Productions heavy enough that they won't escape?

    Does anyone have California Greys or California Whites? Those look really promising. How are they in regards to flying?
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    How about more Cuckoo Marans? They were the best layers I ever had. And if you are selling eggs, folks go gaga for the color. Plus the shell is reputed to be salmonella safe because it is denser than other chicken shells. I found mine thrifty and well mannered. I really like the cuckoo. It is an older color and there are several strains out there with superior laying ability.
    The darker the egg, the fewer eggs the hen lays per week. But you don't need the darkest egg, just a nice chocolate number #5 or #6 hue to impress the public. That should be dark enough and still give you real good production numbers per week. You could always keep several hens on the side if you wanted laying #7 and #8 hue for the egg shows . Plus the chicks sell for good money.

    Why the Wheaten was admitted to the APA before the Cuckoo, I don't understand. However, I don't think the breed can reliably support more than three color varieties over the long term. That is asking a lot of any poultry breed. They should be Black Copper, Wheaten, and Cuckoo. Over the long term, the rest of the color varieties will never be anything more than an interesting side hobby. There just aren't enough breeders who care about those other colors to raise them up too, and keep them in, a state of Standard Perfection. They will remain varieties which wax and wane in popularity and perfection, never achieving a sustained history of excellence.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    All of the heavy layers and hybrids that you have mentioned are good enough flyers to get over a six foot fence. Your best bet is probably to get Buff Orpingtons and clip one wing. They are good layers (not to Sex Link or Leghorn standards however) and they are very poor flyers. Even so I would suggest clipping one wing to through them off balance. Whatever breed or hybrid you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
    1 person likes this.

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