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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pick your battles and your hens...

Last week a friend was visiting and while showing her kids our hens she asked, "How many eggs do you get - about 1 a week?" I was proud to say that my two hens, Cracker and Marshmallow, each lay an egg a day - though it's actually a pretty good question since egg production is different with every chicken. They are Delawares and like all chickens their potential for egg laying is directly linked to breed. In the past I've had several breeds ranging from Rhode Island Reds to Australorps to Bantam Brahmas and some would lay as often as twice a day and some only twice a week. I didn't mind some of my chickens laying less - I chose their breed because they were pretty. As you can see the Delaware isn't really flashy but it's a great producer of extra large brown eggs. Here's what mypetchicken.com had to say about them:
The Delaware is a relatively new breed of chicken, having only been developed in 1940. They're a cross between New Hampshire Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks with the goal of maintaining the prolific egg production of these two breeds but increased meat value. They're a lovely, calm white breed with black feathers around the neck and the tip of the tail, and with some black striations also working their way into the back.
I really love being able to go and research breeds at that site and potential egg production is only one reason to do that among many. You may want to know if a breed is comfortable with confinement or hardy in the winter or if it lays colorful eggs. Or you may just want to browse around and see the different beautiful breeds out there. Either way, it is helpful to do your research before you get your chickens, especially if you are hoping to get a certain amount of eggs per week or if you hope to breed your birds(some breeds make better mothers). At their site they have a "breed recommender tool" where you can enter in certain criteria to give you some suggestions on breeds. And while I won't be able to add any birds to my flock this year, I can't help but dream of some I might get after we move next year.


1 comment:

Zachary and Jennifer said...

That is an awesome looking "dream chicken". :-)
Mypetchicken.com is a great tool, I visit that sire often.