Recommendations for backyard egg layers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by salunra, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. salunra

    salunra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    Hi folks,

    We will be getting some chicks in the spring. And I was wondering... if you could only have 4-5 chickens and you wanted a decent all year egg layer that is rather laid back sort of chicken, what breed/s would you have and where would you get them?

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  2. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Delaware's, especially if you want some meat too.
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    So far I have been really happy with my Wyandottes. Nice birds, medium to large egg and from what I understand usually lay through winter. This is my first winter with chickens so I don't know for sure but I do know that one of my Wyandotte pullets just started laying yesterday so it looks promising. (They just turned 6 months old this week) They are also a dual purpose bird so they can be used for meat as well.
  4. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2010
    Freeville, NY
    Golden Comets of course! [​IMG] [​IMG] I have 2 and they are very happy friendly and lay gorgeous big brown eggs every day! They let me pet them whenever I want and will chase me if I have treats in my hand...too much fun! [​IMG]

    Here's my girl Evie foraging outside....
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    The red hybrids seam to be good egg laying choices. Red Sex Links, Golden Commets or ISA Browns.

    ISA Browns I like a little beter than RSLs as they are calmer, beter foragers and rather people oriented, bit bigger too. But a lot of that could be in the hatchery strains. Very rare day that one of my browns goes on strike.

    I think it is the RIR in these that does make them strong spirited or even a little aggresive in a mixed flock.
  6. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    Austalorps are nice big, calm chickens, and supposed to be good year-round layers. (mine are just at the point of lay now, so I can't vouch for the last part yet). I also hear buff orpingtons are great in the same way. My Barred Plymouth Rocks and Speckled Sussex are also serene and supposed to be good layers.

    I'd steer clear of the mediteranean breeds if you don't want flighty chickens (leghorns, andalusians, anconas) they are often like little road-runners.

    Personally if I could only have 4-5 of any mix of breeds, I'd have one or two each of a variety but I'd have a hard time limiting myself (see my signature line [​IMG] ) I'm a sucker for a colorful egg basket, so I'd have to have at least one that lays blue or green (EE), one that lays dark brown (Marans), one that lays white/cream/tinted (Ancona-flighty but funny), and one that lays a regular brown (Sussex). At least those are the ones I'd pick today.

    I love my Faverolles rooster, but unfortunately the sexer was wrong about him, so I won't get any eggs from him. I think Salmon Faverolles are beautiful birds, excellent layers even in winter, and can lay an egg ranging from cream to light brown. My rooster has a really laid back personality. So I might substitute a SF for the Ancona if I wanted calm birds.

    I just got mine from MyPetChicken. They had a large margin of error with sexing (6/25 were roos), but customer service was very nice and accomodating.
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the Wyandottes (I have silver laced and golden laced) for a few reasons, though there are so many breeds to choose from... (I've got quite an assortment, myself, and would be hard-pressed to choose any one breed as my favorite). But my Wyandottes are reliable layers, and lay more in the winter than my other breeds, good sized brown eggs. They aren't great big birds, so don't eat as much as some of the dual purpose breeds. They don't tend to go broody, which means they are laying more steadily. They are very cold hardy - with rose combs and good feathering - might be important in your area. Mine aren't super friendly, but they aren't terribly flighty either - they'll happily eat treats out of my hand. They are good foragers. And they are just beautiful, beautiful hens. I got mine from McMurray, but if you are only getting a few you can order from someplace like My Pet Chicken, which will ship smaller numbers of chicks in the spring. (Are you sure you don't want a few blue or green eggs though??) Have fun, it's a blast.
  8. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    anything sexlinks! All around great birds:) Good luck!
  9. midwestchickenwrangler

    midwestchickenwrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2010
    Greenfield, Indiana
    Australorps lay very well and are very laid back. My Rhode Island Red is also a very good layer with medium to large brown eggs, and she rarely misses a day. However, she can be a bit mean to the other chickens at times. I have a Brown Leghorn that lays a large white egg daily as well. As for laying well through the winter, this is my first year with chickens so I will see how they do. Mine are all about 8 months old. Hope this helps!
  10. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Quote:Black Sexlinks are sweet and pretty, get Barred Rocks for personality! I <B barred rocks!

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