Best Egg Laying Breeds

Only have room for a small coop and a few chickens?  I found a breed that will lay almost every day.  As a matter of fact, I had 25 chickens at one time and it wasn’t uncommon to gather 25 eggs a day!  It didn’t happen every day but was certainly exciting when it did!!  I’ll keep you in suspense for awhile.  This hen will lay sooner than most.  The extra large egg cartons weren’t large enough for the eggs so they started making even larger ones to accommodate the large eggs!

Lets back up a bit.  When I was growing up my mother always bought Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns and Barred Rocks.  Maybe they were her mother’s choice.  I’m not sure.  Mama raised chickens for meat as well as layers so she would buy breeds accordingly.   It seemed like the layers were always so much gentler than the breeds she would buy to put in the freezer.  Kind of makes you wonder if they knew their fate ahead of time.

All the kids had chores to do.  Mine was to feed the chickens and gather the eggs.  I hated it way back then!  I kept a small stick by the chicken coop door to take with me for protection! Sounds silly now but when you’re just a kid (and a little one at that) chickens flying around the coop can be pretty intimidating! Anyway, that’s partly what led me to try different breeds.

When I started buying my own hens I went through a lot of trial and error.  My first order was supposed to be a mixture of brown egg layers. But they messed my order up and sent a mixture of white egg layers.  I was not a happy camper but the company did make good on the order.  I placed many orders until I found a hatchery called Murray McMurray.  I still wasn’t too educated on laying hens and ordered a hodge podge of hens.  But I got smarter as time went on.

Then they introduced the Red and Black Star hens, I decided to try them.  My first order was the Red Star.  Was I ever pleased!  I ordered them in early March I believe and had eggs very early in the summer.  They were such gentle chickens and laid huge, brown eggs with many “double yolks”.  I did try the Black Star but they didn’t seem as gentle and didn’t lay as many or as large eggs.  This is just my opinion of course.

Our family prefers brown eggs – can’t say why – we just do.  Other good brown egg layers are Barred Rocks, Dominiques, Rhode Island Reds and Australorp among others.

There are as many or more good white egg layers as well.  Leghorns being one of the most popular I think.  They are a smaller chicken – approximately 4 lbs. and have a good feed to egg ratio.  They are a bit flighty though.  If you’ve ever had a chicken get spooked because you walked in the pen, fly up and smack you, you’ll know what I mean when I say Chicken and Dumplings started sounding mighty tasty for dinner!

Sort of brought back some not so happy childhood memories. I’m sure they aren’t all as bad as mine were but that one definitely made up for all the ones that weren’t!

Another good layer is the Silver Spangled Hamburg.  They lay a medium size white egg and earned the nick name “everyday layer”.  They are a beautiful chicken with a rose comb and blue shanks.

There are so many chickens to choose from.  You will have your favorites and some you will detest as I did (and seem to detest you).  But then you have that one that is the “pet”.  I’m sure you’ll get attached to most of them but it seems like there is always that special one.

It really doesn’t matter whether your chickens lay brown or white eggs.  It’s your preference just so long as they are the best egg laying breeds you can purchase.

 

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