Which Chicken Breeds are the Best Winter Layers?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Bullitt, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Which Chicken Breeds are the Best Winter Layers?

    Said another way, which breeds lay the most eggs through the winter?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Production depends on SO many things...
    Just about all young pullets will lay through their first winter, regardless of breed. After that, just about every hen will molt in the fall and not resume production until spring is on the way, regardless of breed.
    Some breeds are more productive with shorter days than other breeds, but it also depends on the individuals.
    Brahmas and Faverolles, while not prolific layers, do seem to lay better than most during the winter months.
    My best layers in the winter are my Australorps, but they only average 1 egg a week in January.
    Basically, if you need to be certain of eggs in the winter, add a few pullets to the flock each spring.
     
  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, that is true. Young pullets lay best, and it is good to bring in new chicks each spring.

    So then I suppose we are talking about hens in their second winter and beyond.

    I think I read before that Brahmas were good winter layers. Chicks seem to change their laying rate based on hours of sunlight. I read that to get the most production from hens they need 15 hours of sunlight per day. I also think it is hard on hens to drive them to be that productive.

    It seems that many of the breeds that are good winter layers are moderate layers throughout the year. They are more steady at laying throughout the year. The exception that you mentioned would be the Australorp, which has a high yearly laying rate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are Cochins good winter layers?
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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  6. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is very good information. Thank you.

    It states: "The eggs of the Cochin are extremely large, and the majority of them come during the winter."

    And also: "They feather slowly, but are very hardy and, like the Brahma chicken, will thrive under conditions where other breeds would perish."

    It seems the key is that Cochins eat a lot of food to stay warm and lay eggs. But they can become fat. It suggested adding greens to the daily diet to prevent Cochins from becoming fat.

    Of course everyone has heard about Cochins being great brood hens. It seems a good idea to have a couple Cochins in a flock of chickens.
     
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, young birds generally lay through the winter. When we had them chanteclers laid through the winter, but overall they were only average layers at best.
    Our California greys are on their second winter and haven't stopped laying yet. I hatched and kept some of their daughters. They should start laying any day now and I can't wait to see what kind of layers they are.
     
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  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems that winter has arrived in many parts of the United States with snow falling in many locations.

    The California Gray/Grey is an excellent egg-layer. It is good to know that they are still laying well in their second winter. I am guessing they will slow down some in say January.
     

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