egg layig chickens

8 years 5 months ago #518201 by slater
egg layig chickens was created by slater
Hi everyone. Just found this site and am hoping that some of you knowledgeable folks can help me with my problem. I live on a lifestyle block and have two large runs for free range hens. I have Rhode Island Reds in one [for eating], and in the other I started with half a dozen brown shavers, and then added six young hylines. [for eggs] They have all been laying well but now there are nine birds left in there and I am only getting a max. of 6 eggs a day. The shavers were bought from a commercial egg farm as two year olds I believe. I have had them for nearly 2 years and I am wondering if they are too old to lay any more. But I do not know how to tell the difference between the shavers and the hylines. They all look the same to me. Is there some way that I can tell? I want to separate the breeds to see if I still get the same amount of eggs each day when I remove the old shavers.

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8 years 5 months ago #518212 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic egg layig chickens
Sorry, there is no way to tell the Hylines from the Shavers!
There are some subtle differences that some commercial farmers can tell them apart by their behaviour and their egg qualities-but only if they have them side by side in cages so they can tell which ones lay which eggs, how they live (or die!) and their attitudes!

You might be able to tell them merely by their age. Older looking scales on their feet and legs perhaps, different wear on the feathering between the older ones and the younger ones. You could post photos of them and create a guessing game. Also if some are not laying you can tell by the paler looking redness of their comb and if you handle them the pin bones (either side of their vent) will be closer together in the non layers. The older Shavers would probably have been about 18 months old when you got them-they are normally culled between 60 and 80 weeks old. The older ones may still be laying, but less frequently. If you put the youngest looking ones with the widest space between their pin bones seperately from the others you will soon tell if you are right!
Oh, and welcome to LSB!

Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 5 months ago #518709 by rotors
Replied by rotors on topic egg laying chickens
Agree with Sue, with the addition that the only way i can tell between my hylines and shavers, is that shavers are more aggressive. They are first to the food, first to peck each other and generally unpleasant to have in the flock - I'm weeding mine out. Hylines in comparison are far more ladylike ;) with a laid back temperament. It is possible it is just the way my hens are but i have noticed this with a few batches of both in the 5-6 years I've had hens.

Here's a tip for the future - leg band new batches - that way you can easily tell which is which (Note it in your diary or somewhere though!). I recommend the spiral ones as they stretch if the hens leg is still growing. You must check them regularly though as we had a couple of the click together bands grow 'into' the leg - poor hens. I felt very bad.
And yes, very hearty welcome to LSB :)

MM and myself on 4.2 acre orchard: Apple, Pear, Plum, Peach, Orange, Lemon, Mandarin, Fig, Apricot and Feijoa.
Plus 1 Dog (Whippet Kelpie cross), 2 Cat, 5 Sheep, Lots of hens and ducks - they keep moving so makes counting hard!! LOL And just recently 3 canadian geese

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