Ranch Start-Up

Babcock Ranch

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2015
4
1
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Bieber, California
Hello Backyard Chicken Members,

My husband and I currently have a 400 acre ranch in Big Valley, California. We have always done cattle and want to get into the production of eggs. We live in a small town and no one in the area currently raises chickens for eggs. The local store sells a dozen for $7.00 so you can see why there is a huge market in the area for them. My question is: What is the best egg laying chicken in your opinion? We also have a lot of snow and it would help if they could live in that environment. Thank you for reading my post! Any other information involving a egg production business would be amazing!

Lot of Love,

Nicole and Justin Davis
Babcock Ranch
 

ChickenCanoe

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Blooie

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The best laying chickens are hybrids like Hy-Line or ISA.
http://www.isapoultry.com/en/products/ A lot of hatcheries carry them.
http://www.hylinena.com/aspx/productsandservices/productsandservices.aspx?eid=1

For a beginner, you may want to get sex-links.
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Sex-links/BRKSexLink.html

For breeds, Leghorns (white egg) and Rhode Island Reds (brown egg) are the best.

http://www.thehappychickencoop.com/10-breeds-of-chicken-that-will-lay-lots-of-eggs-for-you/
x2 Good suggestions from CC, as usual.
 

ChickenCanoe

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Thank you ChickenCanoe,

We were thinking about Rhode Island Reds because they are great dual purpose breed. I'm glad to hear someone else thinks its a good idea.
For a heritage or pure non-hybrid breed that lays brown eggs, RIRs are probably your best bet in your climate. If you get them, get only them since they tend to be the bullies of a mixed flock.

I assume you'll eventually have at least 100 layers. Since you don't have a lot of experience yet, I'd do a lot of homework on housing and ranging large flocks.

I would do a little market research to see if the market is better for white or brown eggs.
 

miss heny

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Or perhaps Orps? They come in many colors and lay as well normally. I guess for me I have always had bad RIR issues, but again you might get lucky
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ChickenCanoe

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I really like orps but don't lay as well as RIRs and not particularly predator proof - not that RIRs are either. I was standing in the midst of chickens on 2 occasions and saw a fox run out and grab an orp hen before she knew anything was afoot.

This is just me but if I was going to do an egg farm, the birds would either be confined to an appropriate building or free ranged. If the latter, you want birds that aren't particularly predator prone.
But at any rate, you want the best laying breed.

There are lots of breeds that would be better for a confined situation or a free range situation where predators are present.
 
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Michael OShay

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The best laying chickens in the world are White Leghorns (for white eggs) and Sex Links (including the Black and Red Sex Links such as the Hy-Lines and Isa Browns mentioned by CC for brown eggs). The Red Sex Links are also marketed by hatcheries under a number of other labels such as Golden Comet, Red Star, Cinnamon Queen, etc.). White Leghorns and Sex Links are egg laying machines, consistently churning out more than 300 large eggs per hen per year which is the reason that they are the birds used by laying houses. The laying record is held by a White Leghorn with 371 eggs in 364 days (https://cafnr.missouri.edu/about/chicken.php). The laying abilities of these birds are not opinions, they are documented facts.
 

donrae

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I agree to stay with the classics. Leghorns for white eggs, Sex links for brown. These are the bird the commercial places use, and they're all about the money.
 

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