Which is better -- a hen that produces more eggs per year or a hen that produces consistently throug

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bullitt, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was curious about this.

    Which is better -- a hen that produces more eggs per year or a hen that produces consistently throughout the year? I mean would you take the hen that produces 300 eggs a year but stops laying for two months in the winter or the hen that lays 250 eggs but produces eggs every month in the year?

    Also, what are some of the breeds that are the most consistent layers?
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I personally would take the consistent layer. Unfortunately, there is no breed of chicken that is entirely consistent, as all of them end up molting and stopping egg production for a few months. As for more consistent layers, my Wyandotte and Rhode Island Red hens are pretty consistent. Both lay 5-6 eggs a week, stopping only for about two months to molt.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    After the first 18 months of age, no chicken will lay every month of the year. All chickens will molt yearly. They can't produce eggs (mostly protein) while also replacing a coat of feathers (about 92% protein). Molt time is also when they rejuvenate their reproductive tracts.
     
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I understand that only young chickens will lay eggs throughout the year.

    So let's assume we are discussing young hens. Which breeds would be the most consistent layers in the first year of laying eggs?
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am guessing the answer to which breeds are the most consistent in the first year is the same as which breeds produce the most eggs in their first year. The breeds that always seem to be named are White Leghorns for white eggs and Rhode Island Reds or Production Reds for brown eggs.

    I have always thought Rhode Island Reds were some of the best chickens a person could find. The only drawback is that Rhode Island Reds are not broody, so if a person wants to hatch eggs they have to get a broody hen or an incubator. For that reason, the Barred Plymouth Rock may be the all-around best chicken breed, because Barred Rocks are somewhat broody to allow a sustainable chicken flock.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    True for the most part.
    Egg hybrids, Leghorns, RIRs, Anconas, Dominiques, Australorps, Fayoumis, Hamburgs, Jaers and Minorcas come to mind as high producers.
    I've never had a Rock go broody and I've had several varieties. To be a reliable broody, I'd probably get a Cochin, Silkie or other notorious broody breed.
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hatchery birds generally are less broody. Some breeds are so broody that even the hatchery versions can be as well, but most of the more common breeds have had broodiness pretty well bred out of them, the Barred Rocks are no exception.

    The hatchery BR isn't likely to be broody as it has been bred to be a production type fowl. The heritage Barred Rocks do indeed go broody. The Good Shepherd Barred Rocks are notoriously broody.

    The charts one reads on line about various breeds and their temperament and their broody tendencies are often deceptive in that the descriptions better fit the nature of the original breed, reflected in today's heritage lines, but are often quite inaccurate in describing the majority of today's hatchery birds. Hope that helps. Clear as mud, eh? LOL
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013

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