Which egg laying breed should we get?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Steffanyace, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Steffanyace

    Steffanyace Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2012
    I'm thinking about getting chickens and am interested in a dual purpose egg layer. Here are some questions/considerations:

    1. Which breeds lay what the grocery store considers "large" eggs (to work with my recipes)?

    2. I would prefer a calm breed to be able to handle them. Maybe production red or buff Orpington.

    3. They will free range during the day, so maybe a calm breed wouldn't be a good idea in which case I was thinking leghorn.

    4. I would like to include some greenish eggs layers. Could someone explain the difference between Americana, araucana, and Easter egger (mainly the hardiness of the breed, egg size, and production)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
    henderson's chicken chart


    http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html#chickens
    rare chicken chart

    Ameraucanas are basically Easter Eggers that have been chosen to be a certain color/type by the poultry breeders and thus only come in certain colors. Easter Eggers can be all different colors and lay different colored eggs. Araucanas are the tailless rumpless type.

    That is my understanding anyway from reading lots of threads on BYC.

    Leghorns FLY. So you can clip wings but even then they can fly some. My Orpingtons stay in a 5 foot high fenced enclosure (once they get to full size and are heavy). They lay large eggs (not their first pullet eggs - they are smaller).

    Black Australorps are good, Easter Eggers, and Orpingtons.

    Also remember that for large eggs they need good protein. So don't feed just scratch as some do (which is not high enough in protein for a total feed)- get a good feed. There is a commercial egg operator on BYC who says that if he goes up too high on the protein his eggs get too big and he won't get as good of a price for them, as they want only a certain size- I had no idea until I read that post. It really made me think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh and I forgot about the Sex Links! We had Golden Sex Links but they are kind of aggressive since they have that Rhode Island Red in them and eventually wouldn't let our Easter Eggers eat. They would have been fine if we didn't have docile chickens in there with them. They lay large beautiful eggs and lots of them! They are also called Red Stars, Cinnamon Queens, and also there is a Black Star...other names too.

    Other people mix RIRs in with other breeds and don't have problems so just experiment and find your perfect flock! It is fun to try different breeds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  4. Steffanyace

    Steffanyace Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2012
    We will have two paddocks (about 1/2 acre each) with horse fence that we were hoping to rotate between the horses and chickens. The chickens could be on the pasture that the horses are not. The chickens would always have access to their house and would be locked up at night. Would Easter eggers and a compatible breed, let's say orpingtons, stay in the fence, or would they all need their wings clipped?
     
  5. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ontario, Canada
    I have 2 RSLs they are great layers a jumbo egg everyday. One of them gives me huge double yolkers on occasion. They are also quite large and would make a good stew :p They are very curious and will come right over to me. They are also very easy to catch. I have heard they don't run from predators but they definitely put up a fuss when my cat is in the yard!

    I also have 2 EE. They are pink layers not the blue I was hoping for, but they lay me a large egg everyday. They aren't quite as big as my RSLs, but are still quite large. I bought them as pullets and they are quite crafty when I am trying to get my hands on them. They can also be flighty. I feel more confident in their ability to get away from predators. They are sweet birds though and I love their voices :)

    Maybe this will help with your decision :)
     
  6. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Also even though my EEs can clear my 6 ft fence they stay in my yard. I would not clip your birds wings. Their wings may save their life :)
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

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