After much thought and deliberation, we have decided to move away from the hybrid layer chicken towards a pure breed flock. The reasons are numerous. Firstly, we aren’t in the business of eating our chickens or necking them when their egg production drops, so hybrids tend to produce all in the first few years, then free load for a few years (can’t blame them really I guess). Pure breeds tend to lay less per year, but lay for longer, which suits us well. Secondly, the idea of pure breeds is that should you wish, you could breed your own chicks which will be true to type, or you can breed laying hybrids yourself – basically you are independent of the breeders for your chicken supply to an extent. We decided to go for three Light Sussex, a breed introduced by the Romans to these islands. They are a utility breed, meaning they are good for eggs and/or meat should you choose, and will lay around 240-260 eggs per year. They are large birds, very fluffy, and pleasantly docile. So far, after introducing them, I have seen no animosity from them, and they seem very trusting. If we cross breed them with a Rhode Island Red cockerel we’ll end up with a hybrid layer, called a Gold Star, which will lay around 300 eggs per year – so we could keep next door in hybrid layers should they want 🙂
Meet Daisy, Lavander and Margaret.