Production Brown Leghorns
I was wondering if the Production/ Hatchery Brown leghorns would best non- white, white egg layers for feed conversion and lay-ability? I want a good white egg layer that would be good in a pastured egg program, and I need something that would blend in with their surroundings because we have some hawks.
Yes.....but, think about the California Whites. I've found them to be hardier then the leghorns with comparable lay rate.....Unless your hawks are HUGE, loss will be minimal. It's the night predators that you gotta watch for, such as owls and coyotes. They will get a white bird first.
Any Leghorn/leghorn hybrid is going to be a superior layer.
the california whites are mainly white which is what I was trying to avoid. There are quite a few hawks that I have seen around me, pretty big ones.
Then the brown leghorn is your only choice. They are the only white egg layer that is not white...at least that I'm aware of.
Why white eggs? I've always kept a few white egg layers for the die-hard egg eaters that don't know any better, but the vast majority of people prefer colored eggs.
Hawks generally watch for movement and while a white bird would definitely stand out, a hawk would still see any chicken that was moving in an open space. I think your hawk problem won't be solved by changing the color of the chicken.
Well, it would have to be quite a large hawk to carry off a std size chicken. I've got plenty hawks here, but they only pick off babies and bantams.....and they don't have a color preferrence at all
I've heard quite a few people say that they always lose their white birds first. Although, they are talking about all predators and not necessarily hawks. I think that experience trumps theory on this one, and white birds are, in actuality, more vulnerable.
Most species of hawk won't take chickens, and if a person happens to live with hawks that do take chickens, the solution is covered runs, not colored chickens.
I don't think any hawk is big enough to carry off a chicken. But there are some of them big enough to kill a chicken and eat it where it lays, or rip off chunks to take home to their nest.
I suspect that it is a toss-up between raccoons and stray dogs as causing the worst loses in poultry.
By the way, I think that the brown leghorns are lovely and that it is a very good choice for a breed of chicken.
I took a very quick cruise through a chicken characteristics chart, and heavy producers who lay a large white eggs and are not white chickens:
Same, but lay a medium sized white egg:
Then there is the Dorking who lays a large white egg, but is a medium number of eggs laid. The plus here is that they are also a good meat breed and if you have good quality Dorkings, there is a good market for hatching eggs.
I'm sure a bit more research would turn up others.
Still, the brown leghorn is a good choice.
Thanks everyone for your input, for some reason my last post didnt show up. I want white eggs because they are the most efficient layers.
If you just want efficient layers, the sex-link, ie: ''comets'', will give you jumbo brown eggs on avg. 300+ days a year. If you insist on white eggs, probably a leghorn is your best bet. I'm sure there are hybrid white egg layers available, too. I'm still trying to understand what people think the difference in shell color makes.
Originally Posted by JonAld
[[[[........trying to understand what people think the difference in shell color makes.....]]]]
One of the things we have a small laugh about around here. You see the egg for a couple of seconds when you pick it up from the nest. It goes into the fridge, where you don't see it.
You see it for a couple of seconds when you crack it, and then you throw the shell away.
Still, I think that if people want blue eggs or green eggs, or chocolate brown eggs, they should have them. Especially if they have customers who prefer a special color.
My theory on the whole brown egg thing is that, since brown eggs aren't generally available in the grocery store, if you go to the farm and buy brown eggs, you know that they aren't re-selling you the same eggs that they bought at the grocery store.
Me, I'm more interested in the loft and color of the yolk and the viscosity of the white. That's the part that doesn't get tossed into the garbage at my house.
Shoot, I've had people refuse to eat green/blue eggs....because they looked funny. My own nephew would not eat farm fresh eggs of any color because the yolks were orange, and not the pale yellow you see from the grocery store.
Originally Posted by Oregon Swedes
It's all about education....people don't really want to know about their food. It's easier just to go to Walmart, pick something up, and not worry about it.
Australorps are a great choice for brown eggs. The production strain has been engineered to produce almost as much as the Leghorn. Evy is right about the sex links.....very large eggs, but not quite as many as the Australorp. I'm still sticking with the California whites. The best Leghorn Hybrid I've ever had....just lost my last one to a coyote yesterday, so I'm bummed.
Anyone feel like going hunting?
Angela...ditto on the blue eggs. A dear friend's husband refused to eat blue eggs. The man is an MD !!
At the risk of sounding like I should go to BYC, I must say I miss my Comets. They were the calmest, gentlest hens I've ever had. You couldn't spook one if you tried, they were always underfoot & ''singing''.
Ive had comets before and I love them, I was planing on getting either barred rocks or red sex links for brown eggs was wanting to have white eggs too. I will probably either go with the California white or Hyline W-36 for white eggs if their feather color doesnt really matter.
White chickens vernable to hawks
I have black, black & white, brown with white speckles, white speckled with black and solid white chickens. I lost 7 chickens to predators this year. Four to dogs and three to hawks. The buff bantam and two White Rocks were taken by the hawk. I lost 2 White Rocks, one Black Austrolorp and one Speckled Sussex to the dogs. Based on my experience I think white chickens are more venerable to both hawks (the girls I lost were about 14-16 weeks old. Four dogs took the four one evening an the hawk got the bantam and two rocks in a two day period the same day and day after the dogs came over my fence. I think it was a Cooper's hawk as I saw one the following day after the second rock was caught. That was in late August. I had a Cooper's come in today and frightened all my chickens, ducks & geese. Everything let out an alarm and ran for cover under the trees and buildings. I chased the hawk away.
The White Rock pullets are the most adventuresome and have been all their lives. I am amazed I didn't loose some of them before that from other events.
There a lots of others (but not every hatchery in the classifieds has them). Hamburgs, Campines, Anconas, Minorcas, Rhinelanders, and Vorwerks all lay white eggs very well. There are also Dark Brown Leghorns. Silver, Isabel, Buff, Red, Black, and Cuckoo, as well. Whites and Light Browns are undoubtably the most common, tho'.
Originally Posted by Angela
They also have the best rate of lay, which is what he is apparently looking for.
Yes, the LBs and Whites have the most improved strains. I've heard the Danish is the best-laying Leghorn strain in the world, although, I've yet to test this theory. We ordered some Danes from the htchery. I think another interesting merit of the LB is it is autosexing.
How do you autosex LB leghorns? Every picture of LB leghorn chicks I can find they all look chipmonk colored to me. Like LB Dutch. And you sure can`t autosex the Dutch. Curious as to how you autosex them. Rog
Originally Posted by Detlor Poultry