Choosing a Good Laying Hen

Breed choices for high yield and excellent egg quality…

The Pearl -White Leghorn / Hen: 4 pounds

Best egg layer and the feed to egg conversion ratio is excellent, holding down the cost of egg production. These birds start laying earlier than most at 41/2 – 5 months, and on the average lay 10 -12 weeks longer than most good laying hens. If your looking for the breed who’ll  give you the most eggs of superior quality in the smallest amount of space, consider the Pearl Leghorn.  They are a white egg layer of top grade eggs with good size.
The Pearl Leghorns can be purchased at Murray McMurray Hatchery, but they require an order of at least fifteen.
Although these birds aren’t usually found in your local feed store, you can ask a feed store to order them for you when THEY buy chicks, they’re often willing to oblige.

Rhode Island Red / Hen: 6 lbs

Martha & Michelle 2010

My Rhode Island Red Hens

R.I. chicks are readily available in almost all feed stores. They are excellent layers of sizable brown eggs. They do quite well in confinement, but can be a bit bossy.  These dual purpose heavy birds are a dark mahogany color and have earned their reputation as a favorite among chicken keepers for years.

No other heavy breed lays more or better eggs than the Rhode Island Red.

The Dominique / Hen: 5 1/2 pounds

Mamma, Dominique

Mamma, My 1 of 3 Dominique Hens

This is my favorite breed on the farm. They are hardy in extreme heat, confine well, are extremely docile, friendly, and good brown egg layers. You can expect the Dominique to lay every other day, and here in Arizona mine lay most all winter.

My Dominique hens  are non aggressive to other members in the flock, and I’ve introduced new birds with only minor confrontations.

This particular hen is now three years old and still laying quality eggs every other day.

And Furthermore…

You can also buy pullets (hens at their point of lay) if you want to skip raising chicks altogether. Check your local Craigslist under Farm & Garden, you may find just the breeds you’re looking for right in your own neighborhood. Expect to pay $15 to $20 each. Beware of buying chicks though… they’re usually not sexed and you might end up with rooster, finding yourself in violation of local city codes.

Don’t know what time of year to start your flock? Watch your local feed stores, when they start carrying chicks, it’s time.

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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8 Responses to Choosing a Good Laying Hen

  1. p3farm says:

    I have one brown leghorn from last year, she lays 5-6 eggs per week. I bought a white leghorn this year, sexed to be a girl… But fearing she is a he. Grr!!!

    • tbnranch says:

      Oh no! I hate when that happens! I bought 12 girls from the feed store two years ago and 5 turned out to be roosters!! Did they take them back? NO! I don’t shop there anymore. ha ha

  2. edshunnybunny says:

    I love my Rhode Island Red girls! They sure do lay lots of delicious eggs, too. Out of the six, only one of my girls is a bit bossy. Sometimes she tries to act like the rooster of the flock 🙂 Thanks for the information you provide through your blog.

  3. If only all the hens you describe were accessible here in France. We think the closest our hybrid layers are is to Rhode Island reds – they are lovely girls and prolific layers but it would be good to have variety. We’ve tried a lot of other types but none of them do so well in the heat.

  4. vuchickens says:

    Love my Rhode Island Red hens. Their eggs are amazing, and they are sweet girls!

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