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You want to start a flock for farm fresh eggs but there’s so many different chicken breeds you’re overwhelmed and don’t know which ones to choose. Today I’m going to help you choose some hardy, friendly, good egg layers.
How often do chickens lay eggs?
A good solid egg layer breed will give you 4-5 eggs a week or 250 eggs per year. An exceptional egg layer – like one of the breeds I’m going to share with you in a minute – lays over 280 eggs per year.
So a good chicken will give you 4-5 eggs a week, an exceptional breed will give you 5-6.
Here’s the key to all this; the environment and what you feed them, you can’t just throw them in your backyard and expect that kind of egg production because you’re going to be disappointed.
Another factor is the type of chicken breed cuz there’s different kinds. Some are egg layers, some are meat birds, and some are dual purpose. I like to stick with egg layers because that’s what I want. Because if I wanted meat I would get meat birds, I wouldn’t do dual purpose. Cuz if you’re gunna do it, do it right, just get the big fat meat birds. If you want eggs get the awesome laying hens.
What are the best egg laying breeds?
A chicken breed that’s considered a “good” egg layer is going to lay about 250 eggs per year. If you choose a breed that lays about 250 eggs per year you’re going to be happy with your flock and get lots of eggs.
The first breed I like is the Red Sex-link because they’re hardy and low maintenance. It’s a mutt chicken, it’s not a pure breed, that’s what makes them hardy. There are lots of other types of sex-links but I’d stick with the red. They lay 250 brown eggs per year, which equals 4-5 eggs per week.
The next breed I like is the Black Australorp because they are super gentle and friendly. They’re my favorite cuz they’re the sweetest chickens. They’re quite and gentle so they’re a great choice for your backyard flock. A hen will lay about 250 brown eggs per year, which equals 4-5 eggs per week.
Last but not least is the big egg layer, this breed lays 280 eggs per year, or 5-6 a week! Ameraucanas… they lay blue-tinted eggs, that’s the fun part, the colored eggs! Plus they’re a nice friendly breed that is hardy and low maintenance.
How should I take care of my chickens so they lay eggs good?
There’s 2 things that really matter in your egg production.
Number 1 is the environment, you can get a great egg laying breed and get practically nothing, hens are picky, they like things just right to lay good. So the trick is to get your coop setup perfect, get those hens happy, and stand back and don’t touch it and watch those eggs roll out.
The coop needs to have a comfortable roomy perch for them to sleep on at night. They need to have clean private nest boxes. I like to build a little ladder going up to the perch because when they get older they’re heavy and could get hurt jumping up and down. They’re so cute going up and down the ladder. And last but but most important is the coop has to be a quite safe place for the chickens. That means no dogs pacing and sniffing, the chickens call that “stalking”. No kids chasing them and nothing shiny or loud reflecting into the coop. Don’t put the coop next to your car workshop where the engines are revving every day. Hens like to live a peaceful life.
Number 2 is what you feed ‘em…their diet. It takes a lot of extra calories to lay an egg every day. So you have to feed them good. What works for me is crimped oats, alfalfa pellets, alfalfa hay, and whole corn. Plus we offer them an un-medicated commercial laying crumble and grit for calcium. Don’t forget the grit, they have to have grit not only for calcium, but their gizzard needs the little stones to digest their food. I did a video about grit, the link is in the description. Also throw them vegetables and table scraps from the garden and the house, and then I give them bread for a treat.
If you do all these things you shouldn’t have any problems getting lots of farm fresh eggs.