- Origin: Crosses between Rhode Island Red and Maran
- Primary uses: for egg production
- Lifespan: 2 – 4 years
- Production: 250 to 300 eggs
- Size: Medium
- Color: Brown speckled
- Hen: 2.5 kg
- Colors: Dark grey to silver
- Useful to know: not a pure breed. They look the same as the Marans but they have a higher capability of egg production. They are friendly and easy-to-handle birds.
With the combination of two different types of chicken breeds, Speckledy chickens have a lot of unique features. This makes them more attractive to many chicken raisers.
In case you are looking for a new type of chicken, this article would be useful for you to get more details about the Speckledy chicken and then, determine whether they are suitable for you or not.
Background and history of the Speckledy chicken
The Speckledy chicken is a modern hybrid that is created by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Maran hen. They are also known as the Cuckoo Maran Hybrid.
With its special origin, this chicken breed has a lot of common features with these two breeds. And they also have many outstanding points compared to the others such as higher eggs production capability.
The outlook of Speckledy chickens is not much different from the Marans, except for the lighter color.
The Speckledy chickens are in a group of large-sized birds. They have a classic chicken body shape with a deep breast and two pale legs.
In addition, their feathers are very soft and patterned in many waves of black and golden brown. They also have a medium comb with red color.
Compared to their large body, their earlobes and wattles are quite small but so smooth. The beak is curved and mottled. Besides, the Speckledy get the pale bay eyes in their head.
The Speckledy chickens are free rangers which do not like to be kept in the same place for such a long time. Foraging is one of the most favorite activities of this chicken breed.
They are docile and friendly to humans. Due to their easy-to-handle characteristics, they can be considered as a good pet for your kids.
They can get along well with each other without much fight at all. Therefore, it is comfortable and safe enough for you to raise these Speckledy chickens in your home.
Like other hybrid chickens, Speckledy chickens do not tend to be broody. It is unpredictable when those chickens go broody. They would either sit or leave the eggs before their hatching.
Some of the Speckledy hens can go broody but this rarely happens for the majority of the Speckledys. It is hard for them to make reliable broodies so that their eggs can hatch naturally like other pure breeds.
Without much broodiness, they still can produce a large number of eggs each year. Therefore, if you are looking for a good layer but being easy to manage as well, Speckledy chicken is the best choice for your consideration.
The Speckledy chicken productivity
Is the Speckledy chicken good for eggs?
The Speckledy chicken breed is well-known as one of the best layers among different types of chicken.
The Speckledy hens start to lay their eggs at about 21 weeks. During the first year only, the Speckledy hens can lay up to 300 eggs. For the following years, the number of eggs would slow down to around 250 eggs or lower per year.
With the hybrid origin, they will never be short of eggs. They are able to lay their eggs regardless of season or weather. Therefore, you do not worry much about this issue when you choose this breed.
The Speckledy chickens can offer lovely brown speckled eggs with strong shells on a daily basis. Compared to their predecessor Maran, a Speckledy hen has the better egg production ability.
Common issues of the Speckledy chicken
Like other hybrid chickens, different types of vaccines should be taken for your chickens to keep them healthy.
For a new Speckledy chicken, you should have them fully vaccinated against various diseases including:
- Common poultry ailments: It has 6 common diseases found in chicken including Fowl Cholera, Coccidiosis, Avian Influenza, Fowl Pox, Newcastle Disease, and Salmonellosis
- Mareks: The disease can cause mononuclear infiltration for one of your chicken cells such as peripheral nerves, gonad, iris, muscle, viscera, and skin.
- Coccidiosis: It is a serious disease for chickens, especially for baby chickens. This can cause damage to the digestive system or even death for your chickens.
- Infectious bronchitis: Your chickens can suffer from respiratory issues or decreased egg production and egg quality.
- Salmonella: When Speckledy chickens get salmonella, you can see many symptoms including purplish combs and wattles, lower egg production, weight loss due to decreased feed consumption, and yellow or green droppings.
To get the best result, it is useful to ask for advice from the trustful poultry vets in your hometown. Besides, you should check carefully whether or not the sellers of Speckledy chicken take enough vaccination for them before any purchase.
Speckledy chickens have a good ability to adapt well with different living conditions. However, you should consider some important factors to keep your chickens healthy and productive as belows:
- They can stay outside even in the winter. Nevertheless, when it becomes freezing, it is useful to prepare a suitable coop for them to avoid the cold temperatures. All the Speckledy chickens have soft weather, so it is kinda difficult for them to suffer from the frigid or freezing weather.
- Speckledy chickens are able to withstand the high heat quite well. You can equip their coop with a heat lamp but you should make sure that it is not too hot. That is because the intensive heat can have a negative impact on your chicken health.
Benefits and drawbacks of raising the Speckledy chicken
Benefits of raising the Speckledy chicken
- Higher egg production ability: Speckledy chickens are able to produce eggs well throughout the year, even in the winter. Over the first year of laying, the number of eggs is so high up to 270 eggs. And the process of laying eggs in Speckledy chickens is more predictable than other types of pure chicken breeds.
- Easy to manage: They have docile nature and are very friendly to humans. Therefore, they are considered as one of the best choices for your children’s pets at home. Besides, they do not have many requirements about food as well as other living conditions.
- Cheap price: Speckledy chicken is not a pure breed. However, they offer you a cheaper price than other pure breeds together with higher potential egg production.
Challenges or drawbacks of raising the Speckledy chicken
- Decreased egg production right after the first year: Even though they can lay a remarkable number of eggs in the first year, their egg production process would slow down for the following years. Besides, although they can produce much more eggs than the Marans, their number of eggs might be slightly lower than other hybrids.
- Quite short lifespan: The Speckledys are hybrid chickens whose lifespan will last from 2 to 4 years normally. This is much shorter than other pure breeds.
- High demand for daily feed: Due to the large egg production, Speckledy chickens require much more feed than other types. Therefore, they can have enough energy to complete their mission effectively.
- Less likely to make reliable broodies: Those chickens tend not to go broody. Thus if you want to find a good broody chicken, it is not a good idea for you.
Is the Speckledy chicken right for you?
The Speckledys are the best option for you in case you are looking for a type of breed which has some following features:
- Good egg production throughout the year
- Easy to handle and get along well with kids
- Not too many requirements about living environments and daily feeding
- Affordable price
- Have short lifespan for short-term uses
- Regularly vaccinated against various diseases
How to raise the Speckledy chicken?
It is not too complicated to raise any speckledy chicken in your backyard. However, you should consider some factors to keep your chickens safe and healthy as belows:
- Allow them to communicate with other chickens: The Speckledy chickens are active and they really enjoy socializing with others surrounding them. This can help them to maintain a good mental condition.
- Feeding method: Foraging is the most suitable option for this breed. They prefer digging in their own meal to perking it in the food bowl.
- Dietary feed: Speckledy chickens have a higher demand for feed rather than other breeds. The reason is that they need a lot of energy to make such a large number of eggs. With the sufficient level of nutrients, it is easier to lay down lots of eggs each year with strong shells.
- Garden suitability: The medium-sized garden seems to be the best option to raise a flock of Speckledy chickens. For those gardens, they can have enough space for each of them to forage easily as well as communicate well with other chickens.
- Appropriate coop: Although they prefer to stay outside a lot, you still have to get them a suitable coop to avoid the harsh weather. In the cold weather, it ought to be close enough to keep them warm. Meanwhile, in the hot weather, it is useful for you to get some heat reduction equipment so that your chickens do not freak out.
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Some questions related to the Speckledy chicken
Which types of hybrid chicken can have higher egg production capability than Speckledy chicken?
There are some kinds of hybrid chicken have huge ability to produce a large number of eggs each year including:
- California White and Grey: 300 eggs
- Sexlink Chickens: 300 eggs
- Leghorn: 250 to 300 eggs
- Golden Comet: 250 to 320 eggs
- Amber Star: 320 eggs
- Goldline: 320 eggs
Are Speckledy chicken eggs good to eat?
Speckledy chickens inherit many features from Maran chickens, especially about their eggs. The Speckledys produce a lot of brown speckled eggs with strong shells.
Their eggs also have strong yellow yolks inside. Those yellow yolks from Speckledy chickens are famous for many egg-based recipes such as omelettes and custards. So, you can not only get the delicious flavor but also healthy nutrients from Speckledy eggs.
Are hybrid chickens like the Speckledys better than other pure breeds?
Actually, both hybrid and pure breeds have their own advantages and disadvantages. This depends mostly on your main purpose you are searching for.
In terms of egg production only, hybrid chickens like the Speckledys might bring you more benefits. They can give you a large and predictable number of eggs all year regardless of weather conditions. In addition, their prices are slightly cheaper than those of pure breeds.
Through this article, can you determine whether or not Speckledy chicken breed is a right option for you?
If you are looking for an easy-to-handle breed with a high egg production, Speckledy chickens are totally suitable for you. In spite of their short lifespan, they can give up to 300 eggs in the first year only. Their eggs not only have beautiful colors but delicious yellow yolk inside as well.
Besides, it doesn’t take much effort to raise these hybrid chickens. They are able to survive well under various weather conditions with some basic preparation. And they are also docile and very friendly with their owners as well as other chickens. So, they are referred to as one of the best choices of good pets for children.
Hopefully, this article can sum up some necessary and key information which can be useful and contributes to your right decision.
Links to useful resources:
- Anne Perdeaux, https://poultrykeeper.com/general-chickens/the-best-laying-hens/, September 2018
- Kippax Farms, https://kippax-farms.co.uk/poultry/10-of-the-best-egg-laying-chickens-and-hens
- Chicken Coops Direct, https://www.chickencoopsdirect.com/free-guide/chicken-breeds.htm