The Best Layer

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by FlockHappy, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest
    Well, I did something similar to the earlier suggestion.

    I'm getting some breeds from a hatchery primarily for egg production. Like yourself, I also spent a lot of time, thinking, beauty or function. So I decided to go with a mixed flock of different colors and patterns. And I made sure I ordered breeds that are well known for laying. Going to try the australorp for the first time. Read good reviews on that breed being nice and good layers.

    I've had Barred Rocks, White Rocks, Delaware and Buff Orps, and these all lay extremely well. Giant eggs and some even had double yolkers and one of my white rocks even gave me a triple yoker. Was a shock to us all. The egg was so huge, we wondered how it came out of her bottom. My white rocks have always been good foragers and they are very submissive. The Delawares are very smart and curious and will forage well too. Not good for broodiness.

    Also had speckled sussex, they are good layers too and pretty to look at, but the eggs are not as giant as the rocks' eggs.

    I've got Cochins and Silkies for broodiness. So I basically got all my needs met, just get different birds to serve different functions. Some are pets (silkies) some are broodies (cochins) and the rest are all egg layers and eye candy too for the yard.
  2. FlockHappy

    FlockHappy Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    That might not be a bad idea.
  3. FlockHappy

    FlockHappy Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Sounds like fun. I would love to do something like that and see how it turns out. What if you wanted chicks, though? How would you know what breed or mix of breeds it was?
  4. aShMaNv

    aShMaNv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Choctaw, OK
    Thats where the problem is lol. If you wanted pure breed chicks that would be hard to do unless you separated them. At one time i had Barred Rocks, RIRs, and EEs. I had roosters of each breed so when i wanted chicks i picked out the hens i liked and the rooster and put them in a separate breeding pen i have. However, not everyone has room for a separate breeding pen i guess.
  5. allmychickens

    allmychickens Just'a small town girl

    Aug 4, 2011
    I say get one of each! :p
  6. omegorchards

    omegorchards Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is very hard to get an egg laying bird that is good at laying, goes broody and has a good disposition.

    Leghorns: the best layers but very flighty and never go broody.

    Sex Links: great layers, friendly but rarely broody.

    I would suggest you get some standard cochins for brooding and then focus on production and disposition with your production breed. It is difficult to find all three traits in a single breed. And normally good egg laying and broodiness are mutually exclusive.

    Australorps are the best heritage breed for eggs in my experience. Followed by New Hampshires.
  7. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    I have six RIR, 5 hens and an unexpected rooster. I made a point to handle them as soon as I got them (about 1 week old) and now I make sure to hand feed them often but only pick them up for inspection and wing clipping. They don't like it but they do fairly well with the handling...squawk a bit but don't put up much of a fight. The rooster is an excellent guardian, because of early handling he is well behaved and it always on the job protecting the hens from hawks and raccoons. At 20 weeks they haven't started laying yet but they are usually good for 1-2 eggs a day on average and with the harsh New England winters this breed holds up well.
    Brooding is exhausting for a hen and IMHO, you must choose, egg production or brooding...asking for both is stressing the birds body too much and would result in early death.
  8. akajojo66

    akajojo66 New Egg

    Aug 26, 2012
    I have 3 Rhode Island Reds ('Chick, A, Dee'). They are sweet birds. They were our 1st & were handled alot. I have to admit they were bossy with the newer, younger ones we've added. As they became older about 10weeks, it was the 8 week old White Leghorn who became Alpha.
  9. deniboardman

    deniboardman New Egg

    Jun 19, 2011
    I've only had experience with 3 breeds - Gold Sex Links, Ameracaunas, and Wyandottes. If I was going to buy today, I would buy more Gold Sex Links. Yes, the blue and green eggs are very cool, but the Gold Sex Links eggs are larger and way more consistent. I originally had 14 chickens -- only one chicken (a Gold Sex Link) survived from the great chicken massacre. None of them had started laying yet. She was injured, but we brought her in and fixed her up, and she survived as good as new. We were wondering if she would lay, because she was injured from a big bite in the behind. She layed just like normal and rarely missed a day. We acquired 5 new adult Ameracaunas from my SIL. They didn't lay as regularly, and their eggs were generally smaller. Recently our survivor chicken started laying really misshapen and discolored eggs, they were also thin. We thought this was a problem with possibly scar tissue. A few days ago, half an egg imploded inside of her. We brought her in and gave her a warm bath, pulled a little eggshell out of her, and also kept her in and monitored her. She seemed to be feeling better so we let her out with the other chickens. We also fed them some oyster shell, thinking she just needed more calcium than the others. And today she laid us the best looking egg she had laid in a while!!! Good color and not too misshapen. I am so happy, I really didn't want to lose her! She is my Super Survivor Chicken!
  10. PostgeStampFarm

    PostgeStampFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2013
    Cedar Grove NJ
    I am an Urban Homesteader and new to the chicken world...I built my coop and bought 6 new chicks...after some research they are Gold Sex Links (Leghorn/RIR hybrids?)...they are friendly and fun...but a week ago they started laying...since the first egg dropped...They have produced 22 to the day...that is without artificial light in NJ during an average winter with a little snow. I am hugely pleased with this level of production from 6 hens, and officially hooked. If i ever deviate from the breed it will be with some EEer's or Americuanas just for some pretty egg coloration.

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