Hybrid - Hen
Hybrid - Hen
Hybrid eggs - Vary greatly from differing breedings. Our iconic brown laying hens that were used for mass egg production in batteries lay very well for 18-months but then tail off. Whiteranger and the various pure white hybrids lay up to 320 eggs a year of a white good sized egg. Other hybrids such as our own Poland x Wyandotte lay probably half that amount due mainly to being broody.
Poland x Wyandotte
Other pure white varieties
Barbu Duccle x Pekin
Ex commercial laying hens
We do not purposely breed hybrid hens in order to sell on as egg layers, however we do keep many different hybrids for our own egg production and do cross some breeds to produce good egg layers. If you are looking at getting some we can introduce you to some of our contacts in the South East.
The Hybrid hen is found all over the world in some form or other. Much can be said about the Rhode Island Red which was developed in the United States and is the base of many hybrids 'brown hens' we see today as well as new hybrids such as 'speckledy' and 'white ranger' which uses the 'Leghorn'.
Our experiences - We have kept ex-batts which were 'rescued' and these do make great for great chickens and continue to lay eggs albeit not every day for some while.
Things to bear in mind is that these birds can struggle to adjust to a life out of the cage to which they knew as 'home'. Mortality rate can be high due to the stress of moving the hens, however this should not put you off if you are considering taking some of these great characters on.
As the amount of chicken batteries has decreased we should now be seeing hens from ex - barns / free ranging commercial farms, they too will have come to the end of their useful commercial laying capabilities but will have had a far better life and living environment.
We currently have: 2 Poland x Wyandotte [Ethel], 2 Ex commercial [Barbara], 2 Warrens [2 tone & Vi], 3 Whiteranger [Queenie, Bright, Chelsea], 1 Bluebell [Bluebell], 1 Speckeldy [Speckles], 3 Barbu Duccle x Pekin
At Craftyjane we also keep and breed - Araucana, Sulmtaler Bantam, Pekin Bantam, Belgian Barbu Duccle, Maran, Poland, Orpington. All in Buxted Uckfield East Sussex.