Usually, purely egg breeds of chickens are in demand at large poultry farms, where eggs are the main source of profit for the enterprise. But often in smaller farms they prefer to breed universal breeds or crosses, which are not only distinguished by high productivity of laying hens, but also by rapid weight gain in young animals.
The main features of laying hens, comparison of the egg production of various breeds, as well as the most productive varieties of chickens are the main topics of this article.
Distinctive features of laying hens
There are a lot of best breeds of laying hens, there are also crosses of these breeds, the females of which also have high egg production. But they all have common features characteristic of representatives of egg breeds.
Layers do not gain too high body weight, they have a special body structure and a special psyche:
- The main advantage of laying hens is the number of eggs laid per year. For representatives of the best breeds, this indicator is above the mark of 300;
- precociousness of young stock – already 120 days after the birth, representatives of many breeds are already beginning to trot. Chickens at this age fully fledged, become independent and do not need the hassle of mother hen;
- The maximum weight of male egg breeds does not exceed 3 kg. Layers usually weigh even less – about 2.3 kg. Such breeds have the ability to fly, and the plumage of the wings and the whole body is better developed than in other breeds of chickens. Wingspan – large, and the tail end elongated;
- Chickens perfectly assimilate and process all types of feed, the metabolism in their body is accelerated. Feed must be as enriched with minerals as possible. In the period of active egg production, the hens especially need calcium, so that the eggshell is strong enough;
- breeders note the following features in these breeds of chickens – hustle and high activity. Therefore, the hens should be allowed to walk at any time of the year;
- during the selection process, the maternity gene was lost in the best breeds of layers; therefore, such specimens do not become hens. In order to breed these breeds in the household, you have to lay eggs in an incubator, or lay eggs to chicks of other breeds.
Comparison of egg production
If we compare the egg production of the best breeds of laying hens, then it can be noted that most females are able to carry 290-310 eggs per season. In order to increase the number of eggs to 320-340, it is necessary to create appropriate conditions for them in winter.
- To do this, you need to ensure that in the coop in winter the temperature does not drop to negative values, the litter is constantly dry, and the floor is warm, there is no draft in the room.
- You should also install fluorescent lamps in the house in order to bring the length of daylight to 12-14 hours.
- In addition, the egg production of different breeds depends on the quantity and quality of feed.
Peace and tranquility – these are the main criteria by which a place is chosen for the chicken coop, which will be inhabited by egg breeds.
Below will be presented the best in egg production and some other indicators of the breed of laying hens, whose performance can vary from 280 to 340 eggs laid per year.
Another nuance that should be noted in laying hens is that they usually rush for no more than 4 years, and then their productivity begins to decline, so their further maintenance becomes unprofitable. In this case, the females are sent for slaughter, replacing them with promising young.
Egg production of breeds of different productivity:
- meat breeds of chickens. They have the smallest number of eggs to be demolished – no more than 100-120 pieces per season, since these breeds were bred solely for rapid weight gain and early ripening, and egg production for such breeds is just an additional application;
- universal breeds of chickens. Layers in this case can carry up to 200-240 eggs per season. In addition, many of the females are excellent chicks;
- egg breeds. Laying such breeds has the highest productivity genetically built into them (up to 340-350 eggs per year). And when breeding such breeds, breeders try to increase this indicator if possible. But at the same time, hens with high egg-laying rates are not planted on eggs, since such hens are bad mothers and chicks, their task is only to lay eggs.
The best breeds of laying hens with photos and descriptions
In terms of egg production, there are several best breeds of chickens, the cultivation of which pays off not only in small farms, but also on an industrial level.
The main feature of pedigree chickens – they can be reproduced even in a small farm. For this, it is better to acquire several families of the same breed from different manufacturers (so that they are not related to each other). Then it will be possible to collect eggs for laying in the incubator for further offspring.
This breed was bred by breeders from Germany, with Plymouthrock roosters and Rhode Island chickens being taken as the basis. The result was a cross Lohman – Brown, which belongs to the egg form of chickens.
- The standard color of feathers varies in body from light brown to dark brown.
- The breeds of this breed are calm, so the herd Lohman – Brown can be kept next to other birds in the poultry house.
- Laying hens Lohman – Brown are not afraid of people, they are characterized by high endurance, as well as a high egg-laying rate.
- Layers of this breed can be contained both in cages and in aviaries.
The egg mass is about 65 g, the color of the shell is light brown (like all breeds of chickens with brown feathers). During the season, one laying hen can carry 300 to 330 eggs. Therefore, this breed is very popular not only among small farmers, but also in large poultry farms.
Many farmers in our countries prefer to keep chickens of Russian breeds in their compound, believing (and fairly enough) that such individuals are adapted to our climate, are accustomed to domestic food, therefore there will be much less problems with them in the process of growing.
Individuals of the Russian white breed – chickens, whose “parents” were white Leghornies and local individuals, which as a result became larger in size and increased productivity, correspond to all these qualities.
The females of this breed start running from 5 months. The color of the shell is snow-white, the mass of eggs can reach 59 g. During the season, layers of Russian White can carry 190-210 eggs.
The breeds of chickens Hisex Brown and Hisex White are the most popular among farmers in our country, since their merits are undeniable:
- eggs in this breed are large, superior in taste to the majority of similar products from other breeds;
- do not require special care;
- perfectly adapted to the conditions of detention in different climatic zones of our country;
- their immune system is highly resistant to most diseases affecting chickens of different breeds;
- individuals can gain weight well even on simple feeds.
Adults can gain body weight up to 3 kg. By 5 months, chickens gain at least ¾ the mass of an adult bird, and the hens begin to lay eggs. And during the season, each chicken lays almost one egg each day. Its mass is 70 g.
Individuals of the Kuchinsky Jubilee breed belong to the universal variety of chickens – they not only get egg products, but also tender dietary meat.
The color of the plumage of the hens is light brown, the roosters look more beautiful: the red-brown plumage of the body fits well with the tail plumage in black and green.
This breed of the Russian selection differs in unpretentiousness to conditions of maintenance and a diet of feeding, the young growth differs in average early ripeness. 2/3 of the mass of the chickens gaining about 6 months. Around this time, chickens begin to trot. Hens for the season can carry up to 175 eggs. The weight of males can reach 3.8 kg, and females – lighter by 900 g.
Isa Brown is a hybrid cross that belongs to the egg variety of chickens. These chickens appeared only a couple of decades ago in the Netherlands, but have since become the favorites of farmers in many countries, not only in Europe, but also on other continents. The basis of the Dutch breeders took known breed – Leggornov and Rhode Island.
And such egg production in females lasts almost up to a year. And then the chickens start to get worse. During the first 12 months, chickens of this hybrid are able to carry more than 370 pieces, the weight of each egg is about 64 g.
Many farmers note that if the Isa Brown cross-feed diet is well balanced, the laying rate of the hens increases dramatically.
This breed is rightly considered the world standard of egg-bearing breed of chickens. And of all the crosses, the Leghorny of the white color are considered the best. The main standards of Leggornov:
- the trunk is wedge-shaped;
- chest – round, slightly protruding forward;
- the back is long, wide, slightly concave in the central part;
- the head is smaller than the average size with a leaf-shaped scallop and a red beard;
- eyes – orange (yellowish in aging birds);
- beak – powerful, strong, painted yellow;
- neck stretched, with a slight bend;
- the body has a classic for oviparous breeds form – a triangle with the same lateral sides, and the top – a small head;
- limbs – not high, narrow, color – bright yellow, in old age become whitish with a bluish tinge;
- the tail plumage in cocks is slightly elevated, in the hens it is lowered to the ground.
The main positive qualities of Leggornov:
- quiet temper, quickly adapt to new conditions, are friendly, so they can be shared with other breeds of poultry;
- about 300 eggs per season, and the indicators stay at this level for 3-4 years;
- fertility of chicks – 98-99%;
- precocity – chickens begin to sweep from 4-4.5 months;
- eggs are large in size;
- on average, a rooster fertilizes 9 out of 10 eggs;
- The highest egg laying levels of the Leggorn breed are shown in the first year of life.
It is representatives of this breed that most breeders use for breeding new breeds of chickens.
Chickens of this breed are frequent guests in small farmsteads, but are also found in large farms. These chickens belong to the universal type – the meat-meat. Newborn chickens are rapidly growing, not only increasing muscle mass, but also starting to lay eggs from 17 weeks on. By this age, young animals gain at least 2/3 of the mass of adults (up to 1.5 kg), and adults gain a mass of 2.4-2.7 kg.
By 4.5 months, the laying hen can already carry more than 90% of the eggs of the total number carried by more mature individuals. After 5 months all Tetra chickens should be born. For a year, chicks can carry up to 310 eggs. For the first season of their lives, such females lay up to 220-240 eggs.
The shell is durable, painted in an intense brown color. The weight of most eggs is from 60 to 64 g. The taste qualities of eggs and meat are high. Gentle, dietary meat of such chickens can even be introduced into baby food.
There are three varieties of this breed:
- Spanish Minorca black coloring;
- breed Minorca white color (according to the English standard);
- Minorca dwarf.
General advantages of these varieties of Minorca:
- death rate of newborn chicks does not exceed 2-3%;
- early maturity;
- layers laying eggs throughout the year, egg production starts from 20 weeks;
- good taste of egg products;
- attractive and their appearance;
- meat has a delicate diet flavor;
- Chickens of this breed are characterized by a calm disposition.
These representatives of the meat-breeding breed are the result of the breeding work of scientists from the United States. The color of the body of the hens is red-brown. The cocks on the back are dominated by blue-black plumage, and the tail plumage is green with black tint. Limbs – strong, powerful, wings – small in size, tightly pressed to the body. Scallop – upright, red, beak – bright yellow, strong.
Birds of the Rhode Island breed are popular with farmers in many countries of the world, since individuals differ in relative precocity, by 7 months the youngsters are pushing more than 2/3 of the weight of an adult bird, and chickens at this age are already beginning to actively sweep.
The weight of an adult male can reach 4 kg, and the weight of the female – up to 3 kg. For a year, a hen can carry 190-210 eggs. The taste of meat and eggs is excellent.
This breed was created over a hundred years ago in the United States as a species of Rhode Island. But over time, thanks to the ongoing breeding work, New Gemshire was listed in a special edition of poultry breeds, as a separate breed.
The mass of females does not exceed 2.7 kg, and males can weigh almost 4 kg. In the first season, laying hens lay up to 190-210 eggs, without interrupting the clutch during the winter period. The shell is colored brown with a yellowish sheen. Egg mass – about 60 g.
The survival rate of young stock is up to 87%, and in adult birds this figure is higher – about 93%.
Top breeds for content
Chickens are the most unpretentious among all types of domestic birds. Therefore, most often, poultry breeders begin to breed just chickens. For the cultivation of any suitable utility room, which is in the garden. The main thing that it was not drafts, pa house stood away from the noisy road.
Depending on what the owners want to get from farmed poultry (meat, eggs, or all together), you should choose the appropriate breed of chickens.
The main species of these birds are:
- meat, which is characterized by rapid weight gain and large size. The egg production of such breeds is average (or below average). The best breeds are broilers, kohinkhin, bromine and some others;
- Egg – with a low weight, but high productivity egg products. The best breeds are Leghorny, Russian White, Minorca, Rhode Island;
- meaty. Chickens of these breeds are most often grown in small farmsteads, since the owners can get both eggs and delicious tender meat. The main breeds are May Day, Poltava, Kuchinsk and some others.
The best breeds for beginner poultry farmers: video
The most profitable chickens in the poultry farm: video
To breed laying hens in small farmsteads is quite a profitable occupation, since the main egg breeds are unpretentious to the conditions of detention and the diet, and their productivity is high.