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Thread: Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

  1. Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

    Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds
    Link: http://egglayingchickens.com/best-egg-l ... reeds.html




    There are many chicken varieties, and all lay eggs, but only a handful are in the best egg-laying chicken breeds category. All female chickens will lay edible eggs with identical nutritional content, but some bird varieties have been bred especially for their egg-laying capabilities and thus are superior chickens for that purpose. For example, Leghorn hens are excellent for consistent, nearly-daily laying and produce about 300 eggs per year.

    Many modern laying breeds contain some Leghorn in them. Some of the best egg laying chicken breeds include:

    • Leghorn
    • Rhode Island Reds
    • Black Star
    • Red Star
    • Light Sussex
    • Plymouth Rock
    • Cuckoo Maran
    • Barred Rock

    If you're looking for a good setting hen, one that will “go broody,” that is, brood a clutch of eggs and care for the chicks that hatch, you'll do well to consider the Cuckoo Maran, Rhode Island Red (but not sex-linked or hybrid varieties), Light Sussex or Plymouth Rock. Heritage breeds are good setting hens in general, modern breeds intended for egg protection usually are not as they have had certain traits and characteristics bred out of them.

    A mixed flock is usually the best way to accomplish your goals. You might have Leghorn for egg production, some of which are for eating and some which are saved for hatching. You can then use broody hens, who are ready to set on their own clutch of eggs, to hatch other hens' eggs simply by adding them to the brood hens' nests.

    Male offspring can be used for meat and for sale, while females can be used for further egg production or if there is no more room, for sale as young pullets. With a renewed interest in backyard chicken flocks, there is a strong market for hens and offering your excess for sale can produce a good side income.
    Last edited by AZ Prepper; 12-30-2009 at 08:31 AM.
    [I]-Darin-
    ________________________________
    Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods.-Ezra Taft Benson-

    My Preparedness Store: www.SurvivalCorner.com
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  2. The Following User Says Thank You to AZ Prepper For This Useful Post:

    ChefTessBakeresse (02-01-2010)

  3. Re: Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

    Best Breeds of Chickens
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_best_breed.html


    The breed of chickens that a producer selects for his flock depends upon the purpose for which the chickens are intended. The types of chicken breeds to select from falls into one of three categories: 1) egg laying stock, 2) meat-type birds and 3) dual purpose breeds. Each type of bird is genetically developed to satisfy the best attributes for which they are intended. However, no single breed of bird will provide the best characteristics for all three purposes. Each category of birds will be discussed below.

    The egg laying breeds of birds have ancestries that trace them to the Mediterranean Class of chickens as classified by the American Standard of Perfection. They have been genetically selected for high egg productivity, but usually have small bodies that make them undesirable as meat producers. The small bodies benefit these breeds because very few nutrients are wasted for producing great body mass. Instead, they direct more of their dietary nutrients into the egg production. The egg producing breeds are further divided into birds that produce white shelled eggs or brown shelled eggs. The best white shell egg breeds are descended from the Leghorn breed with several different feather color patterns to select from. The best brown shell egg production breeds are developed from Rhode Island Red stock. Regardless of which shell color breed selected, there are many modern varieties from which to choose.

    The meat-type breeds of chickens are not really breeds at all. Instead, they are hybrid varieties or combinations of many different breeds. The combinations of breeds are selected to produce a variety (strain) with meat characteristics that the producer desires most. Some breeds grow faster and larger while others emphasis traits like larger breast meat yield, more efficient feed conversion, or more disease resistance. The strains are named after the breeding companies that genetically develop them, like Arbor Acres, Ross, Peterson and Hubbard, to name a few. The weakness of these varieties is that they do not lay as many eggs per hen as the egg laying breeds discussed above. These strains are used by broiler producing companies that commercially produce broilers sold in supermarkets.

    The third type of chicken breeds are those that are dual purpose. They are not as good in producing eggs as the Leghorn or Rhode Island Red breeds, but they have much better meatiness. They are also inferior in meat production characteristics as compared to the commercial meat-type hybrid varieties, but they are much better egg producers. Typical breeds in this dual purpose category are New Hampshires, Plymouth Rocks, and Wyandottes.

    The producer should select the characteristic that is most important for him and then contact a nearby hatchery to see if a suitable breed or variety is available. The hatchery manager will be able to advise the producer about the birds that are available. If a suitable breed is not available at the hatchery, contact the county Extension office for an alternate source of the breed you desire. The publication Breeds and Varieties of Chickens is a listing of all breeds/varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association.
    Last edited by AZ Prepper; 12-30-2009 at 08:32 AM.
    [I]-Darin-
    ________________________________
    Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods.-Ezra Taft Benson-

    My Preparedness Store: www.SurvivalCorner.com
    My Blog: www.AZPrepper.com
    My Rabbitry: www.AZRabbits.com

  4. Re: Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

    White Egg Laying Chicken Breeds - The Best Layers
    http://ezinearticles.com/?White-Egg-Laying-Chicken-Breeds---The-Best-Layers&id=3255635


    There are several breeds of chickens that lay white eggs. Some lay extremely well, while others are very poor layers. If you have decided to keep a small flock of backyard chickens, this article may help you make a decision on which type of chicken to raise.

    White Leghorn chickens are at the top of the list for laying huge quantities of large, white eggs. Their feathers are solid white in color. They are of a small body type, so are not suitable for supplying fresh meat. If you intend to keep them confined, they will probably need an enclosed area with a fence over the top, as they tend to be flighty. They are a hardy breed and do well in temperature extremes.

    Brown Leghorn chickens are not as well known as the White Leghorn, but they are a good choice for white egg layers. They hens are a pretty brown color, and the roosters can be quite handsome with brown, black and red throughout their bodies. They are prolific layers of large white eggs, although they don't produce quite as well as the White Leghorn does. They are also a hardy breed.

    California White is a hybrid type of white egg layer. It ranks right up there with the White Leghorn in egg production, and lays large white eggs. It grows a little faster than most. Since it is a hybrid, it will not breed true, so if you are planning on using stock to breed in the future, it wouldn't be a good choice for you. If you are only interested in egg production, I highly recommend this hardy breed.

    Ancona chickens are small bodied and are good layers. Although the eggs are small, you may find them a good choice simply because of their looks. They are very pretty, with black feathers and white speckles. They are a hardy breed, but their combs may freeze during winter. They do best on free range as they are not a friendly type of fowl and don't take well to being confined.

    Buff Catalanas are one of the heaviest of the white egg layers, which makes them a dual purpose breed. They can be raised for both meat and egg production. They are rather rare, but can be located on the internet as day old chicks. They are a very handsome breed, with gray legs, buff to red colored bodies, and black tails. Catalanas are also a hardy chicken.

    Production Blacks lay the most eggs of all the breeds that aren't mainly white. They are very pretty with black and silver barred feathers on both the hens and the roosters. Although they were originally developed by cross-breeding, they do breed true in you plan to hatch your own chicks. They are a small breed that does well in temperature extremes.

    There are many other types of white egg laying breeds of chickens, but I have only covered the top egg producers. You may want to introduce others into your flock, even though they don't produce as well. Many of the less prolific layers are quite beautiful and rare. You may decide to keep a few simply for their beauty and uniqueness.
    Last edited by AZ Prepper; 12-30-2009 at 08:32 AM.
    [I]-Darin-
    ________________________________
    Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods.-Ezra Taft Benson-

    My Preparedness Store: www.SurvivalCorner.com
    My Blog: www.AZPrepper.com
    My Rabbitry: www.AZRabbits.com

  5. Re: Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

    Best Brown Egg Laying Hen? Red Star Chickens
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1459792/best_brown_egg_laying_hen_red_star.html


    What a Chick! What a Hen!

    Looking for a great brown egg layer? I have had a lot of chickens over the years and I must admit that I like heritage breeds. I love trying to preserve a bit of the past. But, when grain prices are high and I need a dependable hard working laying hen, I choose the Red Star sex link
    chickens.

    I needed new brown egg layers and decided to buy some last fall. I never get chicks in the fall, fearing loss from the extreme temperatures we have during winter. I ordered 25 Red Star sex link chickens from Murry McMurray Hatchery. I got them on October 17th, they were 1 day old. They arrived on a cold day and I put them on wood chips in a large box under a heat lamp. They stayed there almost a week and then we partitioned off a part of the chicken coop and put them there under a light. The temperatures reached below zero several times. Those brown egg layers, Red Star, are healthy and happy hens!

    Now, the most surprising thing to me is, a Red Star hen laying her first eggs at 15 ½ weeks old! By March, the hens will be egg laying machines. They are friendly, tidy little hens. Red/brown in color with a little white here and there the Red Star sex link is a beautiful little laying hen.

    What is sex link? Murry McMurray explains it like this. "A "sex-link" chicken is one, which at time of hatch, can be sexed by its color." So, if you want only hens and no roosters, Red Star is a sex link. I ordered all hens.

    Why did I choose Red Star sex link instead of a heritage breed this time? Because times are hard and every penny matters. The Red Star sex link allows me to order exactly what I want, all hens. The Red Star chicken has the best ratio of feed/brown egg production. With grain prices high, you want to have the best feed conversion you can get. Red Star sex link was also chosen because of their great egg production. They lay LARGE brown eggs. The Red Star sex link also lays brown eggs through the winter which many laying hens don't.
    Last edited by AZ Prepper; 12-30-2009 at 08:32 AM.
    [I]-Darin-
    ________________________________
    Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods.-Ezra Taft Benson-

    My Preparedness Store: www.SurvivalCorner.com
    My Blog: www.AZPrepper.com
    My Rabbitry: www.AZRabbits.com

  6. there is nothing better than fresh eggs from your own little flock. it is so enjoyable to witness the work of your own chickens. let them free range in as much of your yard as you can spare. you will obviously have to feed them daily, but they will supplement their feed with bugs, plants and material for their gizzards.

    crack an egg from a store bought egg and then from one of your chickens and look at the difference. just look at the yolks! it isn't even close. the eggs from your chickens have dark yellow yolks. the store bought eggs are bright yellow.

    i really like dual purpose breeds.....ie breads for laying and meat. growing up, we raised rhode island reds. they are a great laying hen. they lay large brown eggs. i currently have buff orpingtons and light brahmas. they both lay brown eggs. leghorns are obviously a good choice.....i just prefer brown eggs.

    another really good layer not on this list is the Australorp.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to AZ Trekker For This Useful Post:

    Sgt Prepper (01-27-2010)

  8. The other thing I really like about having chickens is that they are the garbage disposal of the livestock world. We don't throw away any food. If it is meat it goes to the barn cats. Everything else goes to teh birds. I cringe when I eat at someone else's hosue in town and they just toss out a bunch of good chicken feed after dinner!

    I have been known to sack up and haul home half eaten corn on the cobs from summer bbq's...but I'm weird like that

  9. Re: Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

    Just make sure you don't feed your chickens any citrus, which will kill them. They also can't digest salt properly and can be harmful.
    [I]-Darin-
    ________________________________
    Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods.-Ezra Taft Benson-

    My Preparedness Store: www.SurvivalCorner.com
    My Blog: www.AZPrepper.com
    My Rabbitry: www.AZRabbits.com

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