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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by harleyjo, Nov 11, 2010.
What breeds lay the best in the winter? I am up in the cold midwest.
Looking forward to hearing the answers on this one!
Hi,there! I'm from Canada on the East coast, so our winters can be pretty long and cold. I have many different breeds and crosses of chickens. I find Plymouth Rocks,Turkens, Orpingtons, NH"s and RIR's lay like troupers during a cold winter. That being said, many breeds that I have are white egg layers....these gals will lay right through the winter too. Green and blue egg-layers and chocolate egg layers are a little slower in laying but they do catch up. I feed a varied diet to all my birds plus a few restricted treats ( some scratch,BOSS and kitchen scraps). Fresh ,clean water and nice dry litter for them to scratch in.Towall
I forgot to add my RSL and BSL layers can't be beat!!
I have been told by others here on BYC that my breeds should lay well in winter. I currently have Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and Black Sex Linked hens. Additional light can also help keep most hens laying better in winter if # of hours is 14+.
I'd imagine that one of the modern hybrids would be the best winter layers, just because they're also the best overall layers. If a bird is going to lay an average of 320 eggs in it's first year, it's obviously going to have to keep on laying right through the winter to achieve that number. My neighbour's four ISA Browns kept on laying just about every day right through the winter last year...
We probably aren't quite as cold as you here in the PNW, but we do have very short days in the winter... As in 8 straight months where the sun doesn't make an appearance... LOL. My BO is by far my best layer. Starting from day one she has laid every day, taking a day off only every two weeks or so. This hasn't changed as the days have gotten shorter. My BR is pretty good too. She usually takes a day off every week and a half or so but that has turned into once or twice a week as the sun has gone away.
After the fall molt, my Buff Orpingtons have always laid hard through the winter. We just need to be sure to provide them with supplimental lighting... But Seattle doesn't really get that cold. Maybe down to 15 F for a few nights, but that's it.
Buff Orps are known for being pretty cold hardy - they've got very loose, fluffy feathers!
My LF brahmas are excellent winter layers, without additional light.
I find any layer breed will generally lay though their first winter of laying without issue. They take more breaks as they age.