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Most cost efficient breed

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by providentialpastures, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. providentialpastures

    providentialpastures In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2008
    I have my 45 free range hens in a portable chicken house out on our pastures. Which breed could forage the most, eat the least chicken feed, and lay the most eggs?
  2. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    White Leghorn - They are suppose to be the best when it comes to food to egg ratio. However, they are not very big if you want them for dual purpose. And of course, they lay a white egg.
  3. Melilem

    Melilem Songster

    Jun 14, 2008
    Hmm yes, I second the leghorn. If foraging and laying are your 2 most important traits, I believe the leghorn is the bird for you.
  4. providentialpastures

    providentialpastures In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2008
    I have bought several leghorns, and they really get on my nerves, what would be the best in the brown egg layer class?
  5. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Songster

    Nov 3, 2007
    Rhode Island reds do well.
  6. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    So far my production RIR's are annoying! I love my white leghorns much more. The RIR's are 16 weeks old tomorrow, so they're not laying yet, but they're mean babies! They pick on everyone. Every chance they get, they grab a chunk of feathers out of someone's back. I won't choose to get more of them.

    But my white leghorns have been handled a lot (same as the RIR's), and they're quite friendly. I love them.
  7. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Songster

    For brown eggs, i'd check the Welsummers. they are the most popular breed in Europe. Good foragers and great layers for a dual size bird.

    My cousin in germany (whom I visited in in August) swears by them.
  8. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    I have been using golden comets, red sex-links, and ISA browns, and I love them all the best. They lay 1 egg almost every day even through the winter. I had some brown leghorns, and they didn't eat much but they were very flighty and annoying.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    For cost efficiency, you can't beat the commercial white leghorns. They lay their weight in eggs about once a month or less during peak time of the year.

    Next in line would be production reds or sexlinks, but the body size of those birds is 50-100% bigger, thus resulting in probably about the same ratio increase in feed consumption.

    I find my leghorns good at free range and predator avoidance because they are flighty and VERY aware of their surroundings, with the ability to fly over things if they need to say alive.

    For "maximal" production, you'll probably want to go in a 2-3 year cycle and rotate out layers. My oldest leghorn is now 3, and she still lays 5-6 a week. During her prime, she laid 6-7 a week for the first 8 months or so before slowing down. At one point in the first winter, she was laying half of all the eggs we were collecting... and we had 7 brown egg layers who were her age or at most a year older than she was. She was the only white egg layer. Her replacements are doing just as well and I keep them around just for the eggs.
  10. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I would say Commercial Leghorns and Sexlinks are about the same. The Sexlinks are a little heavier and eat a little more feed but they both lay there heads off. This is why brown eggs are sometimes a little more expensive than white eggs.

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