Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cherry Egger hens

Here's a cherry egger pullet.

And a flock of them, showing the range of reds they come in.

Cherry Eggers are a production breed, meaning they are a combination of breeds intended to maximize egg production. They are derived from Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire crosses.

One fan of the breed has this to say: "They are a large MULTIPURPOSE breed. Hens average 4.5 to 5 pounds and the cocks weigh from 7 to 9 pounds. They dress out nicely either as fryers or roasters. NOTED for their placid nature both as chicks and adults.Mine have always been very quiet and are not "spooky". They range our backyard behind a 4' fence and never attempt escape! Cherry Eggers provide EXCELLENT feed to egg conversion yielding approximately 250-300 eggs per hen per year and start laying at 20 weeks. These hens lay eggs that weigh in at 30 ounces per dozen which the USDA classifies as JUMBO. Year round the average is 18 eggs per day out of 24 hens. April & May was always 20+ eggs with 8 days of 24 eggs!"
Cackle Hatchery (where we bought them from) says: "Cherry Eggers lay big brown eggs and are a good winter layer.
Weights: Cockerel 8 lbs Pullets 6 lbs "

The main reason we decided to try this breed is for the winter laying potential. Our Red and Black Star hens have laid all winter, even though they weren't described as cold-weather layers, so hopefully these gals will outdo them. The chicks are in the pantry for now, in Stella's trough. We're hoping that a couple of weeks of human interaction will help them stay tame. But between the 3 breeds we have, the Cherry Eggers are the most flighty.


Stella update - she's getting into the time where we can expect her to calve any day. So far we've noticed an almost daily change in the size of her teats and udder, and also the shape of her hip bones and belly. She seems tired and enjoys a bit of a backrub before eating. She is also really good about going in her milking stall and eating while we silly humans handle her. We'll get some pictures of her this weekend to show just how wide she is.


WindyBeauty said...

Thank you for this article, my cherry eggers are 26 weeks old and none of them are laying eggs. I am trying to find out why? In fact I bought 4 black sex links and 4 cherry eggers, and only one of the black sex links are laying. And she is the only one for about 3 weeks now...... the weird thing is she is the only one I have named, so wondering if there is something to that? I feed them all really good. They get 16% layer food and I was giving them a corn on the cob everyday. I did include some other seeds also. Any help would be nice if you know what is the deal here!

Seven Trees said...

Glad you like the post!

Any chance your hens could be eating the eggs? When one figures it out, they can all start doing it.

They might also be getting a late start because it's later in the year.

WindyBeauty said...

No I know they are not eating the eggs, because it is the same hen only giving me the egg and it is one a day. Thanks though!

Seven Trees said...

Have you got them on a timer light? Ours are set for a 14 hour day, so maybe faking them out like it's still summer might jump start some laying....