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Do salmon faverolles lay speckled eggs?

Salmon faverolles are a breed of chicken known for their sweet, docile temperament and their beautiful salmon-colored plumage. They are a French breed that was first developed in the 1860s in a small village just outside of Houdan, France. Today, salmon faverolles remain a popular backyard chicken breed, prized for both their egg-laying abilities and their ornamental qualities.

Egg Production in Salmon Faverolles

When it comes to egg production, salmon faverolles are considered good layers. On average, hens will lay 3-4 medium-sized light brown eggs per week. Annual egg production ranges from 180-220 eggs per year. While not as prolific as egg-laying powerhouse breeds like Leghorns or Anconas, the salmon faverolle’s reliable egg production makes them a solid choice for a backyard flock.

As far as egg color goes, salmon faverolle eggs typically have a light brown shell. The interior color of the egg can vary from white to cream. While faverolles are not known for laying speckled eggs, there can be some variability in shell color and patterning from bird to bird. It’s not uncommon to occasionally find lighter speckled eggs or darker chocolate brown eggs mixed in.

Origins of the Salmon Faverolle Breed

To better understand the egg-laying qualities of the salmon faverolle, it helps to look at the breed’s origins. Salmon faverolles were first developed in the 1860s by French breeder Monsieur Favre de Bourgade. The breed was created using breeding stock from Houdan fowls and Dorkings, along with some minor input from La Fleche, Brahmas, and Malines.

The Houdan was a French breed that was an excellent layer of white eggs. Houdans contributed the salmon faverolle’s five-toed feet, muffs and beard, and steady egg production. From the Dorking came the faverolle’s broad, muscular frame and rose comb. La Fleche, Brahmas, and Malines lent minor contributions to plumage and conformation.

Through selective breeding, Monsieur Favre de Bourgade aimed to create a utility fowl that was both a decent layer and table bird. The result was the salmon faverolle, which originally only came in the salmon color we know today. Later on, white was also standardized as an accepted color variety.

Egg Laying Attributes from Parent Stock

Looking at the salmon faverolle’s parent breeds provides insight into its egg laying qualities. As mentioned, the Houdan was an efficient producer of eggs, able to lay up to 250 white eggs per year. La Fleche hens were also known for their high egg production. Dorkings may have contributed hardiness which supports good egg laying activity.

While none of its parent stock was specifically known for laying speckled eggs, hens of those breeds likely produced eggs with some degree of color variation. Chickens expressing the sex-linked imperfect albinism gene can produce lighter speckled eggs due to irregular pigment distribution. This sex-linked gene likely made its way into the salmon faverolle breed given its mixed origins.

Egg Production Compared to Other Standard Breeds

Compared to chickens of other common backyard breeds, the salmon faverolle is a solid but not outstanding layer. Here’s how salmon faverolles compare in terms of average annual egg production:

Breed Annual Egg Production
Leghorn 280-320 eggs
Rhode Island Red 200-260 eggs
Plymouth Rock 180-240 eggs
Salmon Faverolle 180-220 eggs
Brahma 120-150 eggs

As you can see, popular breeds like leghorns and rhode island reds are better egg producers overall. But the salmon faverolle can keep pace with plymouth rocks, and outproduces brahmas by a wide margin. For a family backyard flock, their level of egg production is very reasonable.

How Egg Production Changes with Age

Like all chicken breeds, salmon faverolles experience a natural decline in egg laying as they age. Here is the general pattern of diminishing egg production as salmon faverolle hens get older:

  • Pullet phase (5-18 weeks): No egg production
  • Teen phase (18-24 weeks): Sparse egg production begins
  • Peak production (24 weeks – 2 years): Maximum egg production achieved
  • Late Prime (2-3 years): Moderate decline in egg laying
  • Senior hen (3+ years): Steep drop-off in egg production

Although the exact number of eggs laid will vary from hen to hen based on genetics and environment, this pattern holds true. To get the most out of their salmon faverolles’ egg laying potential, most backyard chicken keepers replace birds around 3 years old with younger hens.

Common Causes of Reduced Egg Production

There are a few common issues that can negatively impact salmon faverolle egg production. Being aware of these causes can help troubleshoot a drop in egg laying:

  • Age: As mentioned above, egg laying naturally decreases as hens get older.
  • Improper diet – Hens need quality feed and oyster shell for egg development.
  • Insufficient daylight hours – Decreased daylight can slow egg production.
  • Molting – Egg production pauses during annual feather molts.
  • Stress – Anything stressful like predators, overcrowding, or loud noises can affect laying.
  • Disease – Illness from parasites, viruses, or bacteria may impact egg production.
  • Broodiness – Some hens have a strong maternal drive and will stop laying to incubate eggs.

Ensuring proper feed, adequate daylight, low stress, and good overall health will help salmon faverolle hens maintain optimal egg production throughout the year.

Steps to Maximize Egg Production

Here are some tips that backyard chicken keepers can follow to get the most eggs out of their salmon faverolle flock:

  • Provide a high-quality layer feed with at least 16% protein content.
  • Supplement feed with oyster shell or grit to support egg shell strength.
  • Ensure the coop allows at least 14-16 hours of daylight exposure.
  • Practice good biosecurity to keep the flock healthy and free of disease.
  • Collect eggs frequently to minimize hens going broody.
  • Cull non-productive hens around 3 years old to maintain flock egg laying rates.
  • Keep nesting boxes clean, dry, and filled with fresh bedding.

Following this checklist will help create an optimal environment for your salmon faverolles to produce eggs at their peak genetic potential. Do note that egg laying ability can vary between individual hens based on unique traits.


While salmon faverolles aren’t renowned specifically as an egg laying breed, they are dependable producers that will supply a household with a moderate number of eggs. On average, 180-220 light brown eggs per hen can be expected annually. Salmon faverolle hens are unlikely to lay very speckled eggs, but some color variation in shells is not uncommon.

With proper diet and care, backyard flocks can achieve excellent egg production from their salmon faverolles. Their calm personality and ornate appearance also make salmon faverolles a joy to keep for any poultry enthusiast.