Laying hens are hard to find!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mandelyn, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    So I'm ordering chicks. The hatchery 10 minutes up the road decided to have hatches year round. So, since I can't find any laying hens on here, CL, or other venues, I've decided on chicks. It's been awhile since I raised babies, help with the check list?

    Brooder box (check, big wooden box with screen lid)
    Lighting/heat - need to buy
    Feed - need to buy
    thermometer - have one some where....
    food dish - check
    water dish - need to buy
    bedding - have paper, need shavings for later in life.

    Does that about cover it?

    Seems the only breeds left are RIR, Buff Orps, Golden Comets, Barred Rock, and Americana. They have the "create your own" as sold out. Not sure if I can create a mix from what's left, or if I need to settle on 15 of one or another. At this point, I'm not picky as long as eggs come out at some point.

    Which of those breeds do you all think will lay the soonest?

    I'm a Bantam person, this is the first time I've sought out Egg Layers for that purpose.

    And if anyone is remotely near Cincinnati, Ohio, I will take some hens off your hands!
  2. ZuulLanceMaster

    ZuulLanceMaster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2010
    RIR's r kinda mean, but good layers.
    BOs are really sweet, but the're better brooding hens.
    this is what one site says about the Golden Comets: "he Golden Comets are one of three Modern Day Brown egg laying strains from hybrid breeding that produce fast body development and fast egg production. These strains will start to lay eggs at a younger age than most standard breeds and produce big brown eggs. They are also color sexable as chicks, cockerels are white, and the pullets are more brownish red in color."
    Barred Rocks are pretty good layers, are friendly and smart, but pick on each other a bit.
    Americana's seem to be nice (although a little flighty) and decent layers. they also have a cool plus! they lay BLUE eggs!
    Good luck! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    RIRs are not always mean and they lay a nice large egg.

    If you're getting them from a hatchery the Ameraucanas are almost certainly EEs and there is no guarentee they'll lay a colored egg.
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Yeah I had heard that before about EEs, but egg shell color doesn't really matter when it's in a skillet, right? LOL

    Previous experience had me with some fabulous birds at fall pricing, but I haven't found much of anything besides Turkeys and Silkies. And Peacocks, lot's of those.

    Figures when I'm actively looking I can't find anything.

    RIRs can be mean, the boys anyways. First breed I ever had as a kid, 2 roosters, both ended up in the stew pot.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If you're just after eggs more than anything else, the Comets and BRs would be the top choice. But a mix of all of 'em would make a nice flock. Some would start laying earlier than others (EEs are notoriously late in laying) but they're all reliable birds.
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I'm really hoping the hatchery will let me mix and match. But if it comes down to 15 of any one of those, I think the Buff Orps or the Golden Comets. I REALLY wanted Astrolorps or Partridge Rocks, but they're sold out till 2011.
  7. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    We have found that our sexlink hens don't rate highly in the looks category, but they lay dependably and are high in personality. They have enough coloration differences that you can distinguish one from another, if you are one to personalize your flock. They absolutely have unique behaviours, plus seem generally tamer and more interested in us than some of our other breed hens. Just our observation. Don't get me wrong, we love our BR's,BO's, Auracanas, Australorps and so on, but the sex links, though common looking, keep us commenting and laughing. They are fun to have in a flock. ~G
  8. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    The golden comets will probably lay pretty early on. Ours did and she lays a nice large dark egg pretty much every day even through the hot summer. They have very sweet personalities. Ours likes to be cuddled, next spring I am definitely getting more of them! My RIRs and BRs are pretty reliable as well and our 3 RIR are not mean at all.
  9. Whimsy

    Whimsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2010
    Cecilia KY
    I have 2 BO's, 2 BR's, 1 RIR, and 5 asst Bantys. My least favorite of the birds are my BO I had three and sold one who was really mean. MY BR's and the funniest birds we have, always the first to greet you, first to try to escape, first to fly into my lap. The RIR is a great bird also not a snuggle kind of bird but she is very calm.

    I also have 16 chicks 5 dark Brahmas, 5 cochins, and 6 wyndottes. The wyndottes are not hatchery birds and they are amazingly calm and friendly. Those 6 birds have convinced me that buying from a good breeder is the way to go.
  10. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Quote:Mandelyn, you don't want to use newspaper for chicks. It's too slippery. Paper towels or puppy wee-wee training pads (my choice) are required. Good luck with your new babies, whatever they may be!

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