Good laying hens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

About twenty years ago I got some Production Red Chickens from a hatchery in Texas. These hens Begain laying before they were 5 months old. I often got 14 eggs from 14 pullets. Over the years I did not keep the strain pure, And now I have a strain of Mongrels. Could someone Tell me of a good place to buy some good brown egg layers Many thanks George

-- George Wilson (, January 27, 2000


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George, I got some Red Stars from McMurray about 7 months ago.. These are specially bred brown egg layers. I live in Texas and the hatchery in in Iowa. The chicks got here postage paid in one day and they are excellent hens. They are sex link which means the roosters and hens are different colors at birth so when you order females, you get all females. Also, there is a hatchery here in Texas called Ideal that most of the feed stors get there chicks from but I don't know the address or anything. Good luck. Eagle

-- eagle (, January 27, 2000.


By all means try Murray McMurray. We bought a couple dozen pullets last year and have had good luck with them, although we did end up with one rooster!

They have a special for Brown Egg layers..special pricing if you don't care particularly what specific breed of chicken...just that they will lay brown eggs. We got Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Production Reds, etc. It's a colorful arrangement out there in the poultry yard. Anyway, it's a bit cheaper to buy if you let them send you what they chose.

It was fun picking them up at the post office. We kept them in our home office for a few days (under a lamp) and then later moved them into an intermediate pen with a lamp outdoors..then eventually they "merged" with our other chickens. But while they were inside (and before they started to smell the place up) it was pretty funny. They could see me at my p.c. and when I started "pecking" the keyboard, they immediately started "pecking" , too. Chickens!

Good luck. We love our brown eggs.

-- sheepish (, January 28, 2000.

We were happy with Murray McMurray too, but last year opted for Belt Hatchery in CA. They were just as good and about a third of the price. We ended up paying an average of about 70 cents/ chick including shipping! The Rhode Island and NH Reds we got from them are some of our best layers. David C.

-- David and Kim (, January 28, 2000.

We buy our chicks at the local feed store and have always had good luck, although we do end up with a couple of roosters that we end up giving away.

-- Mark & Melanie Prows (, January 30, 2000.

I bought some chicks from are local Ct Farm and Family and was not happy .They were suppose to be "heavy" brown egg layers .I got some large birds , but also got some bantys and some nasty little roosters .I also lost 3 as adults .I also ordered from Hoover Hatcherys and was happy with them .All chickens are still alive or in the freezer .

-- Patty Gamble (, January 30, 2000.

George, perhaps you got your chickens from Ideal Hatchery, P.O. Box 591, Cameron, TX 76520-0591. Website is Email them at They will send you a price list. Straight run Production Reds are $1.03. Pullets are $1.50. There is a flat $5.00 handling fee in place of postage prices. Murray McMurray has excellent birds also, but are more expensive.

-- A.C. Green (, February 03, 2000.

Good advice from all. McMurray is excellent, but pricey. However, there is not a lot of difference in what your heirs will receive between your paying $50 or $25 for your chicks.. If you like dual purpose birds, go with the somewhat cheaper straight runs, and butcher MOST of the cockerels. Even with a small breed, they'll be at least as big as "Cornish game hens" which I suspect are not always Cornish, nor hens. If you like bigger breeds, most are good, although my favorite dual purpose is White Rocks. Pretty calm birds, some hens will get broody, roosters (or at least all I've had) are not aggressive, and they lay well all year. On the other side of the coin, I have found the cheapest, and one of the best sources, is my local feed store. They deal with the major hatcheries, and often sell below other sources, maybe below cost. And the chicks are beyond the 2 day stage when you pick them up. Greatest mortality is in the first 2 days, and the chicks are past that crisis if you don't get over anxious. They want your feed business, and frequently sell at a loss (on chicks) to get your feed business. They're usually a fount of info as well if you are just starting. Also, you can talk directly to a real person, an incredible advantage. (And you know where they live!) I have raised my own chicks for years, but unless you are into butchering or some sort of commercial venture, I'd advise you to buy pullet chicks (assuming your goal is eggs) from a reputable source. I do my own butchering, and therefore have a use for the cockerel chicks. If you are going to pay someone else to do it, it's likely not worthwhile unless you are bartering.

-- Brad (, February 03, 2000.

I just received my new 2001 catalog from Murray McMurray. I ordered from them two years ago; they are pricey, but the chicks weren't too bad. I have had better quality chicks, however, from Grain Belt Hatchery in Missouri. I know people who order from local hatchery's and/or local feed stores. I may do likewise this year. For you who love BROWN layers, listen up: Try Cinnamon Queens! All my neighbors and myself love this breed far beyond anything else we've ever tried. They lay extremely large brown eggs (cartons won't hardly shut); are quiet dispositions; utilize grain very well; lay in cold winter months; lay for SEVERAL years + ; and the best breed ever. Best of laying to you all........

-- Teresa Antrim (, March 21, 2001.

I bought black australorps from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio. They have turned out to be excellent layers. I average a dozen eggs a day with 15 hens. The chicks arrived healthy and in great condition.

-- (, April 30, 2001.

George - I have ordered from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Mo for years. I have always had wonderful service and excellent poultry from them. We have never had a day-old chick, duckling, or gosling arrive dead from this hatchery. They have hardy stock. Good luck. Winona

-- Winona in MO (, May 01, 2001.

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