What breed????...mainly eggs

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by briteday, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I am really new to chickens and have some questions about what to purchase next.

    We currently have 6 RIR pullets hatched in May, that give us 5-6 eggs every day, even in the dead of winter with no insulation, heat, or added light in the coop. They were acquired from craigslist on a whim and they are great birds...very friendly and extremely prolific egg layers!

    However, my neighbors and friends are all excited about buying eggs from us and I can't make eggs fast enough! So I would like to get 6 more chicks in the spring.

    Here's my question...the neighbors all think colored eggs are better than white eggs (their perspective, I know better) so we'll let them be the judge since they are paying us great money for eggs. Since I already have brown egg layers and they are all fascinated by other colors of eggs...should I get ameraucanas?

    Will EE's be as prolific with egg laying as the RIR's?

    Should I opt for day old chicks from the feed store...or from my local kid who does 4H (but doesn't seem to always keep his breeds separated so I'm concerned about how accurate his "breed" will be and I'm not sure how good he is about knowing roo from hen in day old chicks...can't have roo)...or order them from a hatchery? My daughter also wants one blue or buff silkie pullet as a pet so I was considering having the chicks ordered and shipped. Are hatcheries really that accurate with sexing day old chicks?

    I live in northern Nevada. Does it matter where I have the chicks shipped from? Should I look for a West Coast hatchery or will all of them use overnight shipping anyway? Does distance traveled matter in the overall health of a chick?

    Lastly, we do get cold here, single digits to 20 degrees at night in the winter, 30's-50's during the day. Hot, dry summers are the norm.

    Any other opinions on great egg layer breeds? I would consider going with another brown egg layer breed, but would not go with a white egg layer as I am letting the local market for our eggs dictate the breed.

    And if I order from a hatchery will they really be able to tell what color the silkie will be in the end? You know how it is when the kids get something stuck in their heads about EXACTLY what they want!

  2. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I've had one easter egger (hatcheries sell them as ameraucanas) who was a very prolific layer. I have two now who are 5.5 months old, and have yet to lay, but I'm hoping they are as busy as my last girl. I love their calm nature, and would recommend them to anyone.

    I have gotten chicks from McMurray and Ideal, and have had good success with them. I'm almost as far west as you (NM), and I've only had 2 chicks die out of 3 shipped orders. I ordered 10 blue cochins from Ideal, thinking I'd get some splash and black in there too (actually hoping for splash in there) and got 10 blues, no splashes or blacks. I think they're good at knowing what color their birds will be. I love my little bantam cochins, and think they're wonderful.

    I'd go with chicks from a feed store or hatchery, just so you are more sure to get the genders you want, and the breeds you want. Hatchery birds aren't perfect specimens of their breeds, but they're all I've ever had, and I think they're wonderful.
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    It looks to me like most of the hatcheries are straight runs unless you buy large quantities of birds. So I'm thinking that I would be better off going to a local feed store...at least they will take back and re-home any that turn out to be roosters. And the locals tell me that they have had good luck with getting all pullets most of the time. The feed store also told me that they order so many chicks that they can also order me the specific silkie pullet that my daughter wants...so is that the way to go?

    I don't need 25 hens so I don't think I can get just pullets from a hatchery other than MPC, which I can't find any shipping or other info about...all I see is "check back in February '09". I can't find any cost, shipping info, etc.
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    When I've been looking for just a few, MPC has had much higher shipping charges for shipping just a few birds. McMurray requires a minimum order of 25 birds, and their shipping is more expensive than Ideal. Ideal just requires a minimum order of $25, and you can opt out of "males for warmth" by paying a couple dollars insurance. Their shipping prices are really reasonable. As long as you're not looking for bantams, they are pretty good at sexing chicks. If you buy a couple of silkies to ensure getting a pullet, you should have no problem re-homing a silkie roo on craiglist or somewhere. They are pretty popular.

    But... the feed store sounds like just as good of an idea. I've seen a lot more people getting the wrong bird going through the feed store than directly through the hatchery, but I've also seen a lot of happy people with their feed store chickens.
  6. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    I will have to add that if you want a guarantee of colored eggs then you should contact a breeder. The hatcheries sell what they say are ameraucana, but they are just EE and there is no guarantee that they will lay blue or green eggs. There are plenty of people here that have posted that their "ameraucana" they got from a hatchery lays a white or brown egg, of course very disappointed. I just wanted to let you know that the hatcheries don't guarantee the colored egg [​IMG] . Good luck [​IMG]

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