Where To Buy Egg Laying Chickens _VERIFIED_
Egg production is also influenced by environment, diet, comfort, and age, and choosing the right breed depends on your preference for whether you like white, brown or rainbow eggs, if the chickens are for laying-only or raised for meat as well, and even their temperament.
where to buy egg laying chickens
Lastly, your chickens need a comfortable environment where they will want to lay. The coop should be clean, temperate, dry, ventilated, protected from predators, have plenty of room for each chicken to roost and nest and lots of room outside for free-range time.
There are many variables that affect when a particular pullet will start to lay. One is the breed. We offer a number of different breeds, all of which are good layers. Our normal heritage breeds, which usually start to lay at around 26-28 weeks of age, include: Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes. For an earlier laying hen, we also offer several hybrids, each of which was developed to be an excellent egg layer. These include White Leghorns (a white egg layer), and two types of brown egg layers: Red Stars (also known as ISA Browns or Red Comets) and Black Stars. These usually start to lay a few weeks earlier than the heritage breeds, beginning to produce eggs at around 22 weeks. They tend to be very consistent layers.
All of our started chickens will grow to become layers when mature. The best egg-laying chicken for you is going to depend on your requirements. Our best layers are the Red Star and White Leghorn. These two breeds of chickens are often raised in large or small commercial egg-laying operations because they lay so well. ISA Browns are a very nice breed to raise in a home flock. Then hens tend to be friendly toward people. White Leghorns, on the other hand, tend to be somewhat flighty. In my opinion, they are not as pleasant to raise, but they are excellent producers of white eggs.
Once you have secured permission from your local community and governing bodies, you are in a good position to consider which of the many chicken breeds you would like to raise. There are nearly as many breeds of chickens as there are flavors of ice cream, and like ice cream, you have options ranging from artisanal to conventional flavors. There are hens bred specifically for:
Chickens originated in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and as a result, they're accustomed to a more temperate way of life than most birds. But since the domestication of the species around 7000 BC, chicken keepers have been breeding birds for hardiness so that they may also thrive in Northern climates. For this very reason, the Icelandic chicken is a popular breed among chicken enthusiasts, as are Silkies, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Wynadottes, to name a few. By contrast, light-colored chickens like the Fayoumis and Brahmas are well suited for desert climates.
Eggs are no longer limited to the soft brown and snow-white hues that dominate the majority of the egg aisle. Thanks to industrious home breeders, there is a veritable rainbow of colors available. Chicken egg colors can range from blues and greens to chocolate browns. If selected carefully, your family will be admiring the baskets of eggs that come out of the coop. The Araucanas, Ameraucanas, and Cream Legbars are the most traditional selections for blue eggs. Welsummers, Marans, and Barnevelder chickens lay chocolate brown eggs.
If you have kids who will be collecting eggs and assisting in chores, you want to be sure your hens are docile. Docile chickens are less likely to peck or chase children (and adults). That being said, chickens of all breeds will likely be docile if treated kindly and gently from an early age. To be extra careful though, breeds like Silkies and Buff Orpingtons are particularly known for their gentle manners.
Birds have long been raised by humans as a form of appreciation for their colorings and fantastical plumage, and chickens are no exception. Polish chickens come with funny crested hats atop their curious heads, while Silkies are very fluffy and handsome.
Chickens are typically raised either for their breast meat or for their eggs. If you decide to raise backyard chickens it most likely will be for the purpose of having fresh eggs. Chickens raised for eggs are edible, but their breast is lean and their meat dark, which most North American palettes aren't used to.
Her breadth of experience in farming and raising countless varieties of chickens and other livestock on Longest Acres Farm not only makes Kate an expert in her field, but an advocate for home grown food and self-sustainability.
The top three best egg laying chicken breeds for your backyard are the Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and the Plymouth Rock. Here are some more specific details about each of these best egg laying chickens breeds so you can determine which ones you want for your backyard!
The Rhode Island Red is one of the best egg laying chickens to have in your backyard flock. Why? Because this breed produces 200-300 eggs per year. That amounts to about 5-6 eggs per week. The Rhode Island Red breed usually produces light brown eggs that are medium to large in size. Of course with all hens, egg size will increase with age. Another reason why the Rhode Island Red is one of the best egg laying chickens is that they can start laying eggs as early as 16 weeks!
Just like cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals, chickens come in a variety of breeds that have been selectively developed over time to produce specific traits. The result is that some chicken breeds are better suited to certain tasks than others. If you're looking for a chicken breed that will excel at egg production, then you're in luck! Here are 10 of the best chicken breeds for producing eggs.
Back when it was very common for the average family to raise chickens, the large Plymouth Rock breed was among the most popular in the United States. It was popular because this dual-purpose bird is easy to care for and gentle to work with. Add in the fact that Plymouth Rock hens will produce about four eggs a week (200 per year), and you have a winning combination.
Red Star chickens (also known as Red Sex-Links because the sex of the chicks can be easily determined after hatching) are a hybrid variety of chicken, created by crossing two specific breeds. They're fantastic egg producers, capable of laying 300 eggs a year.
Chickens aren't native to North America; they're domesticated fowl from Asia. The Spanish chicken was one of the first to be imported to the U.S., where it appeared in poultry shows as far back as the 1850s. In addition to its reputation as a good egg layer, the combination of its black body and white face makes this a strikingly beautiful bird.
The Brahma is a large but gentle breed, weighing about 10 pounds or more. Brahmas are good egg layers, and a little unique in their ability to continue laying eggs regularly even in the winter months when many other breeds either stop laying or lay at a reduced rate.
If you plan to start or have started raising chickens for egg production, you need to understand flock production capabilities. You need to know how to gauge the number of eggs your flock can produce and be aware of the variables that affect egg production. You should be able to identify which hens are laying and determine why your hens are not laying. By having a firm grasp of these factors, you will help ensure the success of your flock.
Also, hens in a flock do not all begin to lay on exactly the same day, nor do they continue laying for the same length of time. Figure 1 shows a typical egg production curve for a flock. The flock comes into production quickly, peaks, and then slowly reduces the level of production.
Some commercial breeds of chickens have been developed specifically for egg production. The commercial White Leghorn is used in large egg production complexes, but these birds typically do not produce well in home flocks. They are simply too flighty. Moreover, they lay white-shelled eggs. People purchasing eggs from small flocks often prefer to buy brown-shelled eggs, even though no nutritional differences exist between brown-shelled eggs and white-shelled eggs.
When raising pullets from day-old chicks, brood the chicks as you would any other type of chick. See the related article on brooding poultry hatchlings for information about the basic care of chicks. For future laying flocks, keep in mind that light management is important from brooding through all laying periods.
Chickens are called long-season breeders, meaning that they come into production as days become longer. That is, they start producing eggs when there are more hours of light per day. Typically, day-old chicks are kept on 23 to 24 hours of light per day for the first few days to make sure that they are able to find food and water, especially water. After that time period, you should reduce the number of hours of light per day. If you are raising the birds indoors, you can give them just 8 hours of light per day. If you are exposing them to outdoor conditions, you are limited by the number of hours of light per day in your area, of course. When the pullets are ready to start laying, slowly increase the light exposure until they are exposed to about 14 hours of light per day. This exposure should stimulate the flock to come into lay. To keep the flock in lay year-round, you will need to maintain a schedule of at least 14 hours of light per day. You can increase the amount of light slowly to 16 hours per day late in the egg production cycle to help keep the flock in production. For most flock owners, this strategy involves providing supplemental lighting. Using a light with a stop/start timer, you can cause the light to come on early in the morning before sunrise and in the evening before sunset to ensure that the length of light exposure for the flock totals 14 to 16 hours. Also, you can get a light sensor so that the light bulb does not come on when natural daylight is available. By using such a device, you minimize your electricity use. The supplemental light you provide does not have to be overly bright. A typical 60-watt incandescent light bulb works fine for a small laying flock. For a discussion of other light choices, watch the recording of the webinar Lighting for Small and Backyard Flocks by Dr. Michael Darre from the University of Connecticut. 041b061a72