|Practical Poultry Raising (Peace Corps, 1981, 225 p.)|
|5. Poultry husbandy|
The basic decision is between breeds that lay white eggs and those that lay brown ones. There is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs. However, people in your area may have a strong preference for one color or the other, and this should be considered. Good layers usually begin producing when they are 21 weeks old and continue for 12 months, laying about 250 eggs during that time.
The most popular white - egg breed is the White Leghorn. It is smaller than other breeds and produces the most eggs per unit of feed eaten; thus, it has a higher profit potential. Generally, the best producer is a hybrid White Leghorn, but special breeds or crosses may have been developed in your area to meet local conditions.
Distinguishing features - White feathers and ear lobes; adult females weigh about 2 kg (4.4 lbs.); males weigh about 2.7 kg (6 lbs.). Not all white - egg layers have white ear lobes. White Leghorns are known to be quite nervous and flighty. With proper care, however, they are excellent egg producers.
Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires are two popular brown - egg breeds, but there are many others as well. These breeds are heavier than White Leghorns. Some of them will lay as many eggs as White Leghorns, but will eat more feed per egg produced. Distinguishing features - Eggs vary in color from light beige to dark brown; ear lobes are red; feathers vary from almost white to red, brown, black or combinations; adult females weigh about 3 kg (61/2 lbs.); males weigh about 3.6 kg (8 lbs.). Some of the newer crosses weigh much less at maturity.