Starting over. Suggestions and opinions greatly needed.

Citron_d'uccle

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
123
6
91
Fort Worth, TX
As many of you know most of my flock was stolen over the weekend. While I am still searching for my stolen flock, I must also focus on re-establishing another flock. Rather than focus on rare show breeds, I have decided to establish a profitable egg production flock. I already sell organic vegetables and melons at the farmers market, so eggs would be another marketable, sustainable benefit.

So, I currently have a Buff Orpington rooster, a RIR rooster, and two Golden Laced Red Phoenix hens. I would like to have a flock of several breeds that are productive egg layers, as well as some dual purpose birds. I also know that I definitely want blue eggs as I figure they should sell well. I also would like dark brown eggs, but really a mix of colors is what I want. Here is what I am thinking.

-4 Blue Ameraucanas
-4 Blue Araucanas
-4 White Ameraucanas
-4 Copper Marans
-4 Welsummers
-4 Barnevelders
-4 Delawares
-4 Dominickers (Dominiques)
-4 Brown Leghorns
-4 Rhode Island Reds
-4 New Hampshire Reds
-4 Wyandottes

I have also considered Speckled Sussex and Sex Link breeds. Any info on specific breeds that are excellent layers? Like I said I want blue eggs as well as dark brown eggs, but I also want other colors for variety.

I hope this makes sense.
 

satay

oz-e-chick
11 Years
Sep 2, 2008
7,430
945
371
Esk Qld Australia
I think what you have sounds like a great selection. Sussex are a great breed and lay well but the eggs are not as big as say a rir. Another one to consider is an Australorp they are egg laying machines.
 

CapricornFarm

Chick Magnet!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 1, 2010
65,557
222,807
1,757
Southern Virginia
Barred Rocks are great egg layers. People are funny here, they don't want to eat blue eggs. I think they are cool and make a great sandwich. So sorry about your flock.
 

ChickenScratchin

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
203
0
79
Colorado
When I was researching for my flock, I looked at production, hardiness and personality (calm, flighty, quiet, etc)... To come up with birds who would have really good production, be hardy enough for my climate (colorado) and not be too aggressive, and be at least moderately friendly/calm, and not too flighty.

Ended up with:
RIR (PR in actuality, of course)
Barred Rocks
Buff Orps
Black Australorps

So far, very happy with them (with the caveat that only 3-4 are laying so far, as they're only 19.5 wks). The BAs are maturing slower, and are quite shy, but they are supposed to be great layers once mature. So as long as that holds true, I won't have any complaints.

ETA: Of those laying, one buff got right down to business at 18 wks and has laid every day since. The others are, as far as I can tell, a RIR and a BR, who are each laying sporadically, ie every 2-3 days. Today was my first day of 3 eggs!
 
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SkyWarrior

Songster
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
1,731
7
163
Wilds of Montana
Wow, someone stole your flock?
I'm so sorry to hear that.


You look like you have a great variety. That will be a good start. Eventually, you'll find the birds you'll prefer. My best egg layers were gold sex-links.

BTW, you should think about your future layers too. If you're looking to keep up egg production, the laying goes down significantly after 2 years, so you'll need to raise chicks too.
 

The Yakima Kid

Cirque des Poulets
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
1,850
124
241
Valley of the Dominiques
OK. I have Black Stars and Barred Rocks. The Rocks are possibly the easiest breed to work around and keep; they are friendly, curious, and calm. The Black Stars are somewhere between Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds in temperament - a little spookier, not as curious, and more aggressive to other birds; but they are very productive.

Black Stars are very productive although not as productive as an ISA Brown or a Red Star; they make up for it by being a little larger and can go into the stew pot when they are no longer productive enough for your purposes. This larger size means that they aren't as feed efficient; but they still are more productive and efficient than Easter Eggers, Australorps, etc. They are also less nervous than Red Stars, Red Sex Links, Comets, and Isa Browns in my personal opinion.

With five in production, we find that we get between three and five eggs a day; with the usual total being around four or five. The BRs just came into production two weeks ago, so there eggs are still small. I find production depends on the heat, and whether anything has disturbed them during the day. A reasonable temperature and no disruptions usually means four to five eggs; if it is hot or a predator tries to pay a visit, production goes down.
 

kittykat01

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
77
0
29
Brisbane
I think Australorps are great. Gentle and friendly personality, not flighty, and lay lots of lovely brown eggs.

Sorry to hear about your chickens - what a low down scoundrel act, I hope you catch him/them!
 

The Yakima Kid

Cirque des Poulets
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
1,850
124
241
Valley of the Dominiques
Citron_d'uccle :

As many of you know most of my flock was stolen over the weekend. While I am still searching for my stolen flock, I must also focus on re-establishing another flock. Rather than focus on rare show breeds, I have decided to establish a profitable egg production flock. I already sell organic vegetables and melons at the farmers market, so eggs would be another marketable, sustainable benefit.

So, I currently have a Buff Orpington rooster, a RIR rooster, and two Golden Laced Red Phoenix hens. I would like to have a flock of several breeds that are productive egg layers, as well as some dual purpose birds. I also know that I definitely want blue eggs as I figure they should sell well. I also would like dark brown eggs, but really a mix of colors is what I want. Here is what I am thinking.

-4 Blue Ameraucanas
-4 Blue Araucanas
-4 White Ameraucanas
-4 Copper Marans
-4 Welsummers
-4 Barnevelders
-4 Delawares
-4 Dominickers (Dominiques)
-4 Brown Leghorns
-4 Rhode Island Reds
-4 New Hampshire Reds
-4 Wyandottes

I have also considered Speckled Sussex and Sex Link breeds. Any info on specific breeds that are excellent layers? Like I said I want blue eggs as well as dark brown eggs, but I also want other colors for variety.

I hope this makes sense.

You should check out Robert Plamondon's website, www.plamondon.com. He's been pasturing his layers since around 1996 and is one of the few who is actually making a decent living at it, combined with his wife's broiler business, and some grazing. His customers wanted blue eggs; but he found the blue egg layers were not productive enough and people weren't willing to pay the cost difference between his other eggs and the blue eggs.

Marans are very popular this year; but there is one big caveat. If the breeder has selected for the darkest eggs, then there is a parallel selection for poor laying since the pigment gland is only so large, and with increased production, the amount of pigment applied to each egg becomes smaller. I've encountered a number of people who were very disappointed with their Marans.​
 

The Yakima Kid

Cirque des Poulets
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
1,850
124
241
Valley of the Dominiques
Oh - Leghorns can be the most vicious, cannibalistic monsters. As a high school student I found that the backyard of an 8,276 square foot lot didn't keep ten of them from trying to kill each other.
 

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