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best egg laying breed of chicken

 
Posts: 2
Location: Bolivar, MO
goat dog chicken
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My vote goes to the blue andalusian breed. I got 7 chickens to start out and while only one was a blue adalusian, she has outlayed the australorp,leghorns and easter egger in both number and size of eggs. she did molt back in november and went about 60 days with no production during that time(laying now though at full force). But during production I got an egg every day but 2 and each time that happened it was because the day before she had layed a double yolker that would weigh in at 90+ grams. So I will guesstimate she gave me 303 eggs the first year I had her. One drawback is she's a good flyer so she can get out of probably any pen setup I have(except for one with a roof). But she does like to get out and forage. I haven't measured feed intake on these birds but she's not fat like a couple have seemed to get so I would guess she's easy on the feed bill considering she likes to be out scratching all the time. I like the idea of setting up different pens to measure that though and when I get to my new farm I may give that a try.
 
Posts: 19
Location: Texas
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I have had easter eggers and rhode island reds and black australorps and I l9ve love love the black australorps. They are gentle and food forageslrs, great mamas and lay 1 egg a day usually and somerimes two eggs. But I also supplement foraging with feed and a jar of sprouted lentils every day and the sprouted lentils make a big difference and is very cheap.

April

The only complaint(LOL) that I have is they are broody alot! My eastereggers were grwat layers but not very good mamas and not broody like the australorps

April
 
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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I know it's n old thread, but I will add my two cents...

I have long been a fan of buff orpingtons, they lay a decent amount of nice brown eggs, are calmer in nature , and are a decent bird for the stew pot once their laying days are done. Excellent bird for city folk, quiet and friendly.

But,

they only lay a decent amount of eggs, not an exceptional amount

and

they usually go broody every year, after their first.

Their friendly nature does not hurt them against predators, in fact I have seen buff's out last other more nervous breeds time after time.

Yes, white leghorns for white eggs and the red star/golden comet/cherry eggers etc... for brown, all make good layers for up to two years, but when they are done, they are compost material. Nothing left to eat. They will eventually lay themselves to death.

Basically it is no more natural for a chicken to lay 300+ eggs a year, then it is for a chicken to grow to 7 pounds in 8 weeks.

Now financially, that hybrid hen or cornish cross makes by far the most sense, but should that be our only consideration?

These are the trivialities that I ponder, and probably also the reason I am a piss poor business man.

Buffs are purdy too, and that is usually the deciding factor for an egg layer. Other hens that I really like are Black Australorps, barred rocks, R.I. Reds and New hampshires. I think new hamps might be the best layers for a old breed.

I will have to admit that I am not a big fan of the easter eggers. They are a flighty bird in my experience, and honestly I don't like the blue eggs.
 
Posts: 85
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My chickens are all truly free range, supplemented with kitchen scraps. The best layer is an Orpington Arucana cross. She can lay double yokers for days on end, given that and the fact that they get very little feed I'd say she is the best forager as well. She has never gone broody, but two out of three isn't bad.
 
Posts: 20
Location: near Springfield, MO, USA
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For me: California Whites

I know they're a hybrid but not in the same way a Cornish Cross is a hybrid. They're a mix of White Leghorn hen & California Grey rooster. They are a medium-sized breed with excellent foraging ability. They lay large white eggs and are quite cold-hardy. The only con I can think of is that they don't tolerate direct sunlight well (preferring shade).

My first experience was in 2008 and I was quite surprised how many more eggs I had from them when compared to my Rhode Island Reds & Easter Eggers, especially during winter when feed to egg ratio is so important. Although, my second choice for egg production is Easter Egger Bantams.
 
Posts: 26
Location: Amory, MS
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Get an ostrich.
 
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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paul wheaton wrote:Continuing discussion from another thread:

What do I think is the best egg laying breed?

Well, I have this idea to get a bunch of "best" layer breeds, have them mix it up for a couple of years, and then try to come up with my own optimal breed for feed-to-egg ratio given a forage situation. 

So I would start with:

pearl leghorns:  they lay white eggs, but they are just egg laying machines!

red star and black star:  the standard layer for brown eggs

australorp:  the record holder for most eggs in one year

Braggs mountain buff:  this guy raised his own breed where he did a simple and amazing thing.  As he collected eggs, he would put the largest eggs in the incubator.  He did this for years and years.  And now he has a breed that lays lots of freaky big eggs!

Rhode island red:  a heavier breed well known to be moderately productive.





So I liked what Paul had to say about the Braggs Mountain Buff. I did some research for myself... and last year bought 50 unsexed birds. We ended up with a perfect split 50/50 boys/girls. All but one roo went to freezer camp and have been excellent for both stock and enchiladas, in retrospect I think we could have gotten more weight gain out of the roos before freezer camp, they averaged around 4 pounds processed weight with some real heavyweights at the end.

The predators around are a rough bunch and we are down to 16 girls, most did not start laying until around 26 weeks or later. Only the first one or two eggs could ever really be called pullet eggs based on size alone. The majority of these girls forage well beyond the 100 foot rule. Currently we are up to 9 -12 egg a day and have not yet had our first molt. Even when presented with cracked corn they will eat for a minute and go back to foraging.

The two biggest reasons I went with the Braggs was the foraging ability and egg size. As a previous consumer of farm fresh/free range eggs I was pretty disappointed with the two cute pretty eggs that barely made one regular egg in use and still cost me the same or more. I decided long before switching to farming that I could not in good conscience do that to my customers. It costs no more to feed these girls in fact even less. After having been introduced to forage and real seeds these birds will not eat anything in pellet or crumble form. They get up earlier and go to bed later than any bird I have ever had experience with.

The kicker from a business perspective for me is I am asking and selling at the same price everyone else is getting if they are local but I have less in feed costs right off the top. I think I could seriously ask for more as everyone is amazed at the size of the eggs and the color of the yolks. I keep telling people when they express amazement at the size that these girls haven't even molted yet, after they do the eggs will get bigger. People didn't believe me at first I think they thought I was selling them...but the eggs keep getting bigger and they still haven't molted for the first time yet. I already have an order in this year as we are planning on hugely expand our flock as demand is just increasing.

Jeff

 
Posts: 44
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We have Red Stars, White Stars and Buff Brahmas. All three are GREAT foragers. We barely throw anything at them in the summer. All three are GREAT layers! 16 birds produce 13-15 eggs a day, and 14-15 now that they are reaching a year old. None have fallen to predators, and we live in deep woods, 1/2 mile off the paved road.

The Brahmas are the biggest, and seem to have very strong brooding instincts. They are easily big enough to use as meat birds, but lay just as well as the others. The only thing I'd have to say is that they mature more slowly than the others. Most of them started laying right at 5 months. They started around 6 months, and didn't kick in strong until 8 months. But they lay big, beautiful eggs like clockwork now.

And they have a "wildness" about them that is hard to explain, but I have this feeling if we were to never come home, they would thrive and produce a wild population in a short time. By comparison, the reds are the most domesticated, and the whites stand out and don't look around when foraging, so they would be easy to pick off. But the Brahmas would survive.

Just my opinion, of course.

-TH

 
Posts: 18
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The Leghorn is a breed of chicken developed in Italy.
White Leghorns are among the most popular commercial strains of layer chickens worldwide, there are number of other Leghorn colours but the most common in NZ are white, brown and black.
They lay a medium - large white egg and rarely exhibit broodiness.
Leghorns are active and efficient foragers. They typically avoid human contact and tend to be nervous and flighty.

(please PM me if you have some pics of this breed we can add!)

White leghorn hen wiki
 
gardener
Posts: 1459
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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No love for Plymouth Bar Rocks?

They lay a lovely large egg, about 5 a week, and are productive layers for years.  And in addition to looking beautiful, they have a sweet disposition.  
 
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