What breeds of excellent large egg layers do best in the cold?

RhodyReds

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 22, 2015
23
1
79
Rhode Island
I live in Rhode Island and last winter it was extremely cold. I want to order breeds that are well suited for cover weather and are also excellent layers. Ideas?
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,439
438
Montana
Alaska Backyard Chickens publishes a list of recommended breeds for Alaska at http://akchickens.org/getting-started/recommended-breeds/. If these breeds can handle Alaska's brutal winters and still be good producers, they should have no problems handling your winters. If high egg production is a priority, Black and Red Sex Links are the best layers on their list. These are the birds used by laying houses for brown eggs as they consistently churn out more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year. I would personally recommend the Black Sex Links (Black Stars) which are very friendly and hardy, egg laying machines. In addition to being superb cold weather layers, they tend to lay the largest eggs of any of the dozens of breeds or hybrids I've had with double yolks not being uncommon. Whatever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
 

oliviabasic

Hatching
Nov 4, 2015
5
0
9
Arizona
Orpingtons and Amerucanas lay good sized eggs pretty constant, I have heard. My flock includes sex links and barred rocks which lay pretty constantly and their egg sizes seem big to me.
 

hellbender

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
3,531
1,154
278
Grinder's Switch
Michael OShay has provided some excellent information but one should take into account that parts of Alaska consistently has warmer weather than West Virginia (my state), many states directly south of us and all the states to our north. Additionally, chickens that lay double-yolkers over a protracted period are prone to serious reproduction problems and loss. Many if not most LF breeds begin their POL by laying a few doubles but that stops after a short while.

@RhodyRed , One would think you already have RIRs. If you don't find them to be satisfactory in your conditions, I doubt any of the sex-links will impress you.

Respectfully...

RON
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,439
438
Montana
Michael OShay has provided some excellent information but one should take into account that parts of Alaska consistently has warmer weather than West Virginia (my state), many states directly south of us and all the states to our north. Additionally, chickens that lay double-yolkers over a protracted period are prone to serious reproduction problems and loss. Many if not most LF breeds begin their POL by laying a few doubles but that stops after a short while.

@RhodyRed , One would think you already have RIRs. If you don't find them to be satisfactory in your conditions, I doubt any of the sex-links will impress you.

Respectfully...

RON

I've never had any health issues with my Black Sex Links although I've run into a few of those issues with my Red Sex Links in the past. For whatever reason, the Blacks seem to be hardier (perhaps it's the Barred Rock hens used in their breeding). In fact the oldest hen to ever lay eggs is a Black Sex Link (marketed in the UK as Black Rocks). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ritain-squeezes-eggs-THIRTEEN-years-last.html
 

hellbender

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
3,531
1,154
278
Grinder's Switch
I've never had any health issues with my Black Sex Links although I've run into a few of those issues with my Red Sex Links in the past. For whatever reason, the Blacks seem to be hardier (perhaps it's the Barred Rock hens used in their breeding). In fact the oldest hen to ever lay eggs is a Black Sex Link (marketed in the UK as Black Rocks). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ritain-squeezes-eggs-THIRTEEN-years-last.html
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