Which Chickens – Pure Breed or Hybrid?

Evans Chickens have been asked many times what to purchase – hybrids or pure breeds. Each has it’s pros and cons. Here is what we think, summed up and for you to consider:

HYBRID – Specific Commercial Cross Hybrid Layer

More affordable & available
Fast maturing (Point of lay 20 weeks)
Heavy Layers
Usually friendly
Available as sexed day old
300+ eggs per hen per year
Fully vaccinated
Ideal starting chickens
Generally lay thru winter
Shorter life span
Susceptible to some health issues due to fast growth and high egg output
Limited breed use – eggs only
Quality feed required 16% or 17% layer crumble
Vulnerable to predators due to friendly nature (dogs)
Not usually good mothers (less likely to be broody)
Limited colours: brown, white or black
More active foraging (more holes)
We generally stock hyline browns, hybrid leghorns & hybrid australorps.

PURE BREED -Heritage or Old Breed Chickens

Long lived
Long life of egg laying
Variable egg colours
Some capable of being both meat/egg birds
Variety of size and plumage types
Predator aware and active
Often excellent mothers (become broody)
More robust (e.g. extreme weather conditions)
More feed tolerant as carry body reserves
More expensive
Can be difficult to source
Egg output dependent on breed
Slow Maturing (Point of lay average 6 months)
Difficult to determine sex until maturation
Can tend to be broody and do not produce eggs when broody
May not be vaccinated unless purchased from a breeder who vaccinates
May be more perplexing as first time chickens due to broodiness
Molt each year and do not lay when molting
We breed australorps, light sussex and dark barred plymouth rocks and generally have a variety of ages available. We are starting to breed cream legbars but are still developing our stock. We vaccinate for mareks, fowl pox, coryza & MG.

Check our pages on breeds we keep and in stock now for more information.