New Member with Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tulie13, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. tulie13

    tulie13 Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    Originally posted under New Member Intros, but reposted here for more feedback: Howdy chicken peeple! tongue Just wanted to introduce myself and ask for some board advice. I've seen lots of conflicting stories about how well certain breeds lay, and how big they get, etc. I'm beginning to think that although some of this is due to different bloodlines, some is possibly also due to the weather.

    Some hens "shut down" in the winter, and some in the "heat of summer". I'm looking for a breed that will be a good layer, hoping to get an egg a day for most of the year (250+ days). I also know that if you put a light in the coop for the winter, making the days seem longer, you can keep hens laying for part of the winter, too.

    Obviously here in NW Florida, we don't have "cold winters" compared to much of you Northern folks. wink

    Any recommendations on breeds for Southern flocks? I was looking particularly at Buff Orpingtons (because they are very friendly/docile and supposedly good layers) and Ameraucanas/Easter Eggers (because they are neat and lay big blue-green eggs). For both breeds, I have seen that they are "good layers", and then I've seen elsewhere that they "don't lay very well"... roll

    What say you Southern Backyard Chicken peeple? big_smile

    A couple of responses under the New Member Intro section mentioned RIR and Sexlinks, but I'm also looking for "friendly" birds because of my neighbors (they have both said it was OK for me to have them, even though our neighborhood covenants say NO). One of them has a little girl that they said OK as long as she could come over and see them. [​IMG]

    Can anyone tell me your experiences with Buff Orps or EE's specifically in Southern states with mild winters? How long do they take to start laying (how old do the hens have to be?)? I saw a post on here where someone had a 10-month old EE that just laid her first egg - is that normal? Or is that a huge exception?

    I intend to feed them "the right foods" for their life cycle - chick starter at first, then whatever's next (still learning here), then laying mash when they are getting close to laying time. Coop is in-process and I need to make a decision on ordering chicks SOON!!! Help, please! THANKS


  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Hi, I have found Orps very friendly, mine is. My cochins are very friendly. My Andalusian is a downright pest for attention. My RIR was a booger. I think if you spend alot of time with just about any of them they turn out sweet. Choosing is fun tho'.....Luck!!!!
  3. Chicken Girl

    Chicken Girl Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    I have Leghorns. And i get an egg a day! Some times 2!!! So if you whant a lot of eggs i would get them! Oh yeah they are white leghorns! lol [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Chicken Girl
  4. rockabilly7

    rockabilly7 Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    Florida panhandle
    I also live in NW florida okaloosa county to be exact and I have an ameraucana who lays atleast 4 eggs a week in rain or shine cold or hot lol!!! And she is the cutest little girl I've ever layed eyes on!!![​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  5. jprinc44

    jprinc44 In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2008
    south-central Va.
    I don't live as far south as Florida, but Virginia is still South...I have an Americauna hen who is 8 mos old, lays about 4-5 eggs a week. My favorite breed is the light Brahma for personality and docile behavior. Very calm and friendly, pretty coloring also.
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    First off, Happy to meet you! Glad you're here!! [​IMG] Hope you enjoy our company!! [​IMG] WELCOME! (even though I'm from the "North Coast" [​IMG] )

    Try looking over this chart, it’s pretty big, but it’s also pretty darn accurate. I can’t object to anything it says about the breeds I know anything about, and I can’t find anyone who disagrees with the areas THEY are knowledgeable about.

    Seems like the mediteranian breeds would suite the southern weather, but they are often a little more flighty too and it sounds like you prefer calmer birds. I agree that part of the picture is individual bloodlines, but there's some slightly lighter dual-purpose breeds that would do well, especially since if they're raised in your warmer climate, they would simply feather up less. Any animal raised in warm climates get somewhat lighter coats than those in hot climates after all. I don't think I'd go for the really BIG breeds if I lived in a really hot climate, (and I have lived in hot areas of the country/world) but some of the medium sized birds even of the dual-purpose breeds would adapt pretty well in the long run.
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Glad to have you with us WELCOME !!!!!


  8. fernandez0067

    fernandez0067 Songster

    Dec 2, 2008
    I have about 17 hens, some RIR, barred rocks, and buff orphingtons. I get about 10-13 eggs a day and I live in Upstate NY where the weather gets really cold. All of then hens are less than a year old.
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008

    We have 23 hens (see breeds in the sig) and in the summer we get almost an egg a day. Now that it's cold, we're lucky if we get a dozen a day. [​IMG]

    Since I have no idea who's laying which brown egg, I can't comment on the laying prowess of the brown egg layers. However, our easter eggers (colored egg laying mutts that you would get at a hatchery where they would be <incorrectly> sold as Ameraucanas or Araucanas) definitely lay an egg a day in the summer and almost an egg a day in the winter. HOWEVER; most easter eggers will lay medium sized eggs, not large eggs. Ours are almost always 53-55 grams each. They are super pretty, though!


    eta: Ohio doesn't get quite as hot as Florida, but we sure get some humid days in the summer. We didn't have any heat-related slowdowns with any of our hens. All of our hens are under a year old right now.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  10. Debi214

    Debi214 Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    This area the temperatures average 95 to 100 in the summer and we have had a very cold winter this year (20's at night) but my SL Wyandottes and cochins just keep on laying almost everyday. I am very impressed and recommend those breeds for lots of eggs.

    I also wanted to add that they are under a year old.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009

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