The last couple of weeks, I have been sharing the progress of our country store with you, but I have to be honest. We have been working on more than just the store. We have also been working hard preparing for chick days. One of the questions a lot of people ask is what breed of layer chickens should I buy? Do you sometimes wonder if you have the best breed of layer in your chicken coop? This week we will be exploring our top 3 layer picks. They are the Rhode Island Red, the Plymouth Barred Rock and the Red Sex Link.
Let’s start with the Rhode Island Red.
Rhode Island Reds lay approximately 200-300 brown eggs per year and they begin laying around six months of age. The Rhode Island Red hens are a friendly chicken and they are known for their hardiness. The hens can also be broody meaning that they want to sit on their eggs ( even if we don’t want them to). Some Rhode Island Red roosters can become aggressive but the excellent egg production from the hens of this breed makes up for it. The Rhode Island Red does well in both hot and cold climates. Rhode Island Red pullets and cockerels are determined by their wing feather, this isn’t an always accurate process so if you order 10 pullets you will likely get 8 pullets and 2 roosters. To order Rhode Island Red hens click here.
The second top breed of egg layer is the Plymouth Barred Rock. They are a hardy chicken and a good winter layer. This breed lays approximately 200 brown eggs per year. Even when the sun is low and temperatures are cold, you will still be gathering eggs. Both the hens and the roosters are docile and overall this is a friendly breed of chickens. Like the Rhode Island Red, the Plymouth Barred Rocks are sexed using the wing feathers. Since this isn’t always an accurate process you could get a few roosters in your pullet order. To order Plymouth Barred Rock pullets click here.
The third breed of layer chickens we recommend is the Red Sex Link sometimes referred to as Golden Comet, Red Star or Golden Nugget. This breed is known for laying extra large, light brown colored egg. You can expect approximately 250-320 eggs per year. The Red Sex Link are known for laying eggs year round even though they aren’t very cold hardy. (Please make sure your coop is enclosed so they have a place to keep warm.) Red Sex Links make good pets because they are docile in nature. An interesting fact about this breed is that when the eggs hatch, the pullets (females) are brownish-red and the cockerels (males) are white. (This isn’t true of the second generation hatch.) Because the pullets are a different color than the cockerels when they hatch you will get 100% females when you order pullets. If you live in a city where roosters are not allowed, then the Red Sex Link pullets would be a good fit for you. To order Red Sex Link pullets click here.