New to Chickens-Need some breed suggestions for brown egg layers....

Double T

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 11, 2011
71
0
92
W Texas
I'm new to chickens and am wanting to get some that will lay brown eggs, (just a personal pref honestly), I've been suggested some breeds but was also referred to this forum so thought I'd ask, which ones are the best ones to have? I'm also looking to get the chicks in in the next 3 or so weeks, and can anyone recommend a hatchery? Our feed store will not order just the females, and I don't want to end up with a lot of males.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
When people ask what is the "best", one enters into a highly subjective area. Best for one situation isn't necessarily "best" for another.

Even tempered? Highest output of eggs? Best feed conversion?

Best means many things to many people. You need to express your wishes, desires and needs, otherwise people just start offering THEIR best, meaning their favorites, which might not be "best" for you. Can you help us out with further information?
 

dsqard

Crazy "L" Farms
11 Years
Jun 11, 2010
5,400
938
401
You should also consider what kind of brown egg layer is "best" for what the climate is like in your area. Some breeds are better for cold areas and some are better for warm areas. What is it like where you live? Is temperament more important than egg laying? Do you want a dual purpose bird? Like Fred's Hens said, to suggest a breed for you, we would need a little more information.
BTW
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You will get a lot of good advice on this site. Tons of great people on here!
 
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Dominikker fan

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 8, 2011
6
0
6
Hi, Most Hatcheries Have Descriptions Of Their Different Breeds, It Is An Easy Search On A Search Engine (google) To Find Them. You Need To Think About The Weather Where You Live (covered) More & Larger Eggs (hybrid Brown Layer Black Or Red Sex-link Cinnamon Queen Etc)or To Have Them Set & Raise Their Own Chicks In The Future( Heritage Or Standard Type Breed). Read All All You Can. Most Hatcheries Ore Good Or They Would No Longer Be In Business But I Will Say That I Had Over Half Roosters On Some Pullets Purchased Thru A Farm Store And Hatched In Springfield Mo. Look Them Up Read About Them & Decide Who Has The Best Lookin Chicks Or Price Or Is Close Enuff Etc. Best Of Luck. ENJOY
 

Double T

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 11, 2011
71
0
92
W Texas
Fred's Hens :

When people ask what is the "best", one enters into a highly subjective area. Best for one situation isn't necessarily "best" for another.

Even tempered? Highest output of eggs? Best feed conversion?

Best means many things to many people. You need to express your wishes, desires and needs, otherwise people just start offering THEIR best, meaning their favorites, which might not be "best" for you. Can you help us out with further information?

oops I'm sorry
Ok by best, I would want one that would lay the most eggs, (I understand I may not find a breed that would lay one every day), and preferrably large eggs, so I guess best large brown eggs layers that will give me the most eggs. Temprament is a big one, as I don't want a hen I have to fight off, to go into the coop, so not mean, but some that if I choose to would make good mothers (although I really don't know yet how you knwo to gather the eggs vs leaving them with the hen, lol).

Climate is Texas, so while we do have a cool winter, we may get below freezing, a handful of times during the winter, snow is iffy, maybe it will maybe it won't, average is like 6" a year. Summer temps are usually in the high 90's if not over 100, that is the norm around here, some years it's really wet, others we are lucky if we get 6" of moisture the whole year.

So I guess, ones that will do well in a warm climate, will lay large brown eggs pretty often and be good tempered. Pretty wouldn't hurt either lol. I've kind of decided I do want a few Easter Eggers, so that part is set, jsut can't figure out the brown eggers breeds, lol I did look on the Murry McMurry site and they seem to have an assortment deal where you get 25 female chicks of different breeds, but can't make my mind up. Thought I'd ask before ordering, and it's seemed that a lot of places have a very long waiting list for the females, I'm wanting something soon.​
 

tigercreek

Songster
9 Years
Nov 30, 2010
1,552
42
168
Edgefield county South Carolina
My Coop
My Coop
Hey doubleT,
For all round layers with a good temperment, Australorp would be a good choice for Texas heat. That kind of winter will not bother most any breed, but the heat might be a bigger consideration. Aussies will thrive in the heat or cold, and do you a great job of laying a decent amount of good sized brown eggs. A flock of black birds with that pretty green sheen is nice on the eye too! ....stan
 

chicknhawaii

Songster
11 Years
May 15, 2008
485
4
139
Honolulu, HI
I can't attest to their hardiness in the cold - I live in Hawai`i - but I can tell you that my 2 RSLs get through the heat, rain, and when it does get "chilly" here.
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One is quite friendly, the other more aloof, and they both come when called or when they hear my voice. They don't chase anyone down and they have also found their place in our household hierarchy (we have dogs and cats and kids). My aloof one is very territorial when it comes to outside animals - she has killed 2-3 rats and when we had 2 roosters venture in, she chased them both around the yard!
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However she is tolerant of the grey doves that eat their feed and take shelter when it's sunny or rainy. When it comes to humans though, they are both skittish with strangers. They are great with my kids, they tolerate being chased and carried.

They lay large to extra-large light reddish brown eggs, 1 a day except when they're molting although I think my aloof one is taking a long break.
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dldolan

WineNChooks
10 Years
Aug 11, 2010
1,278
127
232
Sonoma County, CA
Hi From Northern California!

Climate here is similar to yours--hot, dry summers and coolish winters-- only a few days below freezing. My RIR is by far the most consistent producer of medium-sized, medium brown eggs. 6/7 days a week. I understand they can be mean, but I only have one, she is lead hen, and is a very good leader and by far the smartest chicken I own. ( if that is not an oxymoron...!) My light brahma is the next best egg layer at 5/7 days per week, with a pale brown/pinkish egg, a bit larger than the RIR. I have two blue cochins that are gorgeous, and when they do lay, they are great...BUT they are always broody~! I have two new speckled sussex that are coming off the winter doldrums, and seem to be doing OK laying, maybe 4/7 days a week now, but they are young and I expect great things for later this spring/summer from them. My EE lays 3-4 days per week, but I love the pale minty green eggs. I have added some Marans chicks for the dark brown eggs, so we'll see how they do if a few months.

Good luck,
Dawn

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BirdNut

Crowing
9 Years
Sep 13, 2010
13,971
29
261
Suprise, Arizona
Hi,

I have two White Plymouth Rock hens that consistently lay one brown egg a day each. Weather doesn't seem to affect their laying rate, and I can tell they are heat-hardy, because I live in sunny Arizona and they do fine. They do tend to complain a lot on hot days, but I've not lost one to heat stroke or any other heat-related ailment.
 
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wingsofglory

Songster
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011
316
6
100
Palmer Alaska
Hi, Double T, welcome to BYC.

There are many brown egg layers. All have easy going personalities. It is the white egg layers that act erratic and struggle, I think they have a stronger flight-or-fight reflex.

Your next request is LARGE eggs and LOTS of them.

This will take you to Delawares, Black Sex Links, Rhode Island Red versions, Barred Rocks or White Rocks, and Australorps.

The Rhode Island Red varieties go by many names: Cherry Eggers, Production Reds, Red Sex Link, Comets, Gold Sex Links, Indian River, ISA Browns, Cinnamon Queens, etc.

Cherry Eggers and Production Reds are pure Rhode Island Red bred for lots of eggs, not appearance. New Hampshires are a takeoff of Reds from early in the century.

The Sex Links, Comets, Indian Rivers, and many other names, are Reds crossed with several other large egg layers: Delawares, White or Barred Rocks

These are top egg layers and the hatcheries have large numbers of them so they are still available. Non-production breeds sell out anytime between January and March determined by demand that year.

Hatcheries that will drop your box of chicks in the mail to you:

Cackle Hatchery
Welp Hatchery
Marti's Poultry
Ideal Hatchery
McMurray
Privett Hatchery
Purely Poultry
Stromberg's
Hoover's Hatchery

There are many more and just google "chicken hatcheries."

If you weaken and want a white egg layer, there are Austra Whites: Australorps crossed with Leghorn, to make a calmer large egg layer that lays lots. Also the Barred Hollands are said to be calm though eggs might not be white white.

About broodies: they decide when to go broody. What you want has no effect - bribes, blackmail, etc nothing works. The hens that lay a lot of eggs have had the broodiness bred out of them, although as individuals, some can still rarely answer the call. It is a hormonal change that triggers the broodiness.

So simply get one or a few of a kind known for her broodiness. I've had great luck with Columbian Wyndottes. Went broody after laying only a month. She'd raise a brood, lay for about a month or six weeks, then go broody again. Great mother - didn't abandon the nest, was smart enough to get food and water and take a break and got back to it. Took great care of her chicks till they feathered out completely. Columbian Wyndottes are known for their broodiness. The broodiness has been deliberately bred out of Silver Lace Wyndottes.

There is a thread on here for Russian Orloffs - who lay great the first year - so you get lots of eggs - then go broody in their second year, to raise up your replacement hens. Great combination I think.

Games and Cochins are broody, too, but don't lay large eggs generally, though some individuals might.

Might be lucky having an Easter Egger going broody.

There are many more great brown egg layers but either the egg size drops to medium, or the number of eggs drops. Speckled Sussex, Dorking, Brahmas, Buckeyes, Wyndottes of several colors, Buff Orpingtons, Marans, Welsummers, Dominiques, Salmon Faverolles, and more rarer ones, etc.

You said Large eggs so I took you to mean really large, like "large" to "extra Large", not medium to medium large; why I mentioned ones I did.

Also, first eggs are smaller, and as the hen lays over the months, the eggs get larger. Two year old hens might lay extra large eggs consistently. Also, amount of good protein affects egg size.

Good Luck. Lots of fun.

Ideal Hatchery sends out a price list with a list of egg size by breed. That is helpful. It is on the web somewhere too.
 

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