a flock of chicken with deathlayer

Deathlayer Chicken: Meaning and Origin

If you hear the word “chicken” and immediately think “food,” you’re not alone. Chickens are the most common bird in the world, numbering more than 20 billion. They come in a lot of different breeds. Among the many possible varieties to add to your flock, you might wonder whether a Deathlayer chicken is an ideal choice.

Here’s everything you need to know about this breed. 

History of Deathlayer Breed  

A Deathlayer is a chicken that originated in Germany in the early 1970s. The breed was created by crossing the Brahma and Langshan breeds. The resulting poultry was then bred with each other to develop the desired traits. 

It was initially known as the “Lohmann Brown-Brahma”. It was later renamed the “deathlayer chicken” which is a literal translation of its low German name westfalische totleger. Its German name totleger suggests its ability to lay many eggs in a short period. 

When you search for the most beautiful chickens, the coolest breed name deathlayer appears in the internet poultry circle.

General Profile

As mentioned above, the name deathlayer is associated with their ability to lay many eggs until it dies. 

Deathlayer is a landrace type of chicken, meaning they aren’t purebred but are bred for specific characteristics, in this case, egg-laying ability, in a given region. 

death layer chicken photo
The name “death layer” means they lay until the day they die.

Lifespan 

The average lifespan of a deathlayer chicken is about ten years. 

Size  

The deathlayer chicken is a large breed of chicken, with roosters typically weighing around 9 pounds and hens around 7 pounds. 

Appearance  

The breed has rare and valuable features. It has a single tight cushion comb, luxuriant tail, and wattles that are medium in size. The plumage is typically white, although there may be light brown markings. Some birds also possess a mix of white and black feathers.

These beautiful chickens have totally black doll eyes that give them a remarkable appearance. Gold Deathlayer chicks are also famous for their totally black doll eyes.

Lay Eggs: (Medium-sized White eggs)  

photo of six white eggs
Their eggs appear to have silver colors

The deathlayer chicken is a prolific egg-layer and is famous for egg production, which exceeds the average egg production of most breeds. The deathlayer hens can lay up to 340 eggs per year, about six per week!  

It lays medium-sized white eggs of good quality. It’s an excellent breed for small-scale egg producers.

Temperament: Coolest Breed  

Deathlayers are generally docile and easy to handle. Although roosters can be territorial, they are not known for being particularly aggressive. 

These poultry are also calm, making them good pets. They are not incredibly flighty and will usually stay close to home.  

The breed is known for being hardy and easy to care for.  

Varieties 

Deathlayer flock has two varieties: gold and silver penciled

The silver penciled variety is the more common of the two. It is characterized by light brown markings on white plumage.  

On the other hand, the gold penciled type is less common and has darker brown markings on the white plumage. 

Both varieties are known for being good egg layers, with hens typically laying more than 200 per year. 

Health Issues  

Deathlayer chickens are generally healthy. However, they are susceptible to the same health problems as any other chicken. These issues include Marek’s disease, coccidiosis, and respiratory infections. 

Benefits of Raising Deathlayer 

brown rooster picture
This variety has a more beautiful rooster with brown markings
  • They are good egg layers, with hens typically laying more than 200 eggs per year. 
  • Their egg color is white and has a medium-sized shell. 
  • They are a hardy breed that is easy to care for. 
  • They are not particularly prone to disease and can withstand cold weather well. 
  • Sometimes, they can be aggressive towards other birds, so keeping them in their own flock is best. 
  • They are good foragers and will happily scratch around in the dirt for food. 

Drawbacks of Raising Deathlayer 

Rare 

Deathlayers are a rare breed, so it can be hard to find them for sale. Although these are famous for their beauty, this popular bird’s population has declined during the last century. According to a recent census, the total registered population of this breed is 1500. However, greenfire farms are striving to preserve these rare and beautiful poultry birds.

They’re known for their intelligence levels, ranging from low to average, depending on how much care training you take with them. 

Delicate feathering system 

Unfortunately, their delicate feathering system makes it difficult for many people to care appropriately. Many backyard hobbyists notice that some species have died due to a lack of maintenance.  Nevertheless, some people do try to take care of them to keep them alive! 

a beautiful white hen in a green grass
 Chickens naturally enjoy space to run around

Not purebred 

They are not purebred chickens, so they may not be eligible for competitive events. 

Can be expensive 

They’re a breed that has been around since before World War II, and their rare qualities make them quite expensive to purchase in some areas! However, you will have generations of birds who lay ample eggs with good breeding stock. It means that these hens won’t be going anywhere anytime soon either! 

Not purebred 

They are not purebred chickens, so they may not be eligible for competitive events. 

Can be expensive 

They’re a breed that has been around since before World War II, and their rare qualities make them quite expensive to purchase in some areas! However, you will have generations of birds who lay ample eggs with good breeding stock. It means that these hens won’t be going anywhere anytime soon either! 

Deathlayer as Showchickens 

The Deathlayers are not a typical show chicken breeds, but those shown are usually good quality. If you are interested in showing poultry, you may be able to find a breeder who specializes in this breed. You can search for American Fancier shows in your area to see if this breed is featured.

The Deathlayer Chicken for Meat Production 

The Deathlayer chicken is not typically raised for meat production, as they are not a particularly large breed of chicken. However, if you are interested in raising this breed for meat, Deathalayers can make good table birds. 

They will usually dress out at around 4 pounds, making them a good size for one or two people. 

The meat is white and tender, with a mild flavor. 

Suppose you are raising Deathlayer poultry for meat production. In that case, you will need to start with chicks that have been specifically bred for this purpose. You can purchase these chicks from a hatchery or breeder. 

As with any chicken, you will need to provide them with a clean and spacious coop, access to fresh water and food, and plenty of space to roam and exercise. 

How To Raise Deathlayer Chickens 

four black and white deathlayer chickens
Regardless of breed, most chickens have white and black feathers
  • Choose a healthy chicken from a reputable breeder. 
  • Give your chicken plenty of space to roam and forage. 
  • Provide your chicken with a nutritious diet. 
  • Keep Keep the surroundings clean and free of parasites. 
  • Monitor your chicken for signs of illness and consult a veterinarian if necessary 
  • Deathlayers can be kept in a chicken coop, but they prefer to roost in trees. Ideally, you should plant the death layer in a secure location with access to trees. 

With proper care, the Deathlayer flock can make excellent pets and provide you with plenty of fresh eggs. Keep them healthy and happy, and they will reward you with years of enjoyment. 

Common Questions About Deathlayer

What is the average weight of a full-grown Deathlayer chicken? 

A full-grown Deathlayer chicken can weigh up to 7 pounds. 

Is a Deathlayer chicken friendly? 

Deathlayers are generally docile and easy to handle but can be aggressive towards other breeds. 

How much does a Deathlayer cost?  

Deathlayer typically costs around $5-$10. 

What do Deathlayers eat? 

Deathlayer flock typically eat a diet of seeds, insects, and greens. 

Conclusion

a chicken with black and white feathers standing
A deathlayer chicken lays a large volume of white eggs

With all this information, you can decide if Deathlayer chickens are the right breed for you. If you are looking for a chicken with a good egg layer and is also hardy and easy to care for, then the Deathlayer chicken might be a good choice for you. However, keep in mind that they can be aggressive towards other flocks, so keeping them in their own flock is best.  

 Do you have any experience with Deathlayer flock? Share your thoughts in the comments below!