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Considering Deathlayer Chicken Breed? Read This First!

Considering Deathlayer Chicken Breed? Read This First!

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The Deathlayer chicken, also known as Westfalische Totleger, is a beautiful and unique chicken breed originating in Germany.

Aside from having a radical name, these adorable chickens are highly productive. They are also low-maintenance and hardy chickens that can thrive in any backyard flock.

If you are looking for a rare, beautiful, unique, and productive chicken breed to add to your backyard flock, the Deathlayer chicken might be just what you need.

This article will discuss everything you need about the Deathlayer chicken breed, including its appearance, personality, egg production, and maintenance needs.

Keep reading to learn more., and maintenance needs. Keep reading to learn more.

Deathlayer Chicken Breed

History And Background Of The Deathlayer Chicken Breed

The unique name of the Deathlayer chicken comes from its ability to lay hundreds of eggs in its lifespan.

Unlike most chicken breeds that lay eggs for only three to four years, the Deathlayer chicken can consistently provide eggs for 10 to 12 years.

The breed’s original name is “Alltagseleger,” which means everyday layer. The Deathlayer chicken has been around for over 400 years.

The Landrace breed was self-developed from the natural breeding of birds living in a specific area.

Breed names are often based on the chickens’ character traits or origins, which is how these birds got their unique name.

The first part of their name, Wesfalische, is the German for Westphalia, a region of northwest Germany where the birds are thought to have originated.

Another popular theory is that the name was bestowed because these birds are such good layers. They continue producing eggs well into old age.

These adorable birds were first imported into the US in 2016. Since then, their popularity has been growing, thanks to their stunning appearance and groundbreaking egg production capabilities.

Despite being recognized in Germany, they are not yet registered by the American Poultry Association

Deathlayer Chicken Appearance

Deathlayer Chicken Breed

The Deathlayer chicken breed is known for its striking appearance. They make very attractive additions to any backyard flock.

They are medium-sized chickens, with roosters weighing up to 5 pounds, while mature hens can weigh up to 4 pounds. As with most chicken breeds, Deathlayer roosters are slightly bigger than hens.

These chickens come in Gold-penciled and Silver-penciled coloring. Both are stunning colors and make an eye-catching addition to your flock.

If you want a stunning breed to add to your backyard flock, look no further than the Deathlayer chicken.

They have a red rose comb to match their medium-sized red wattles. Their legs are slate or blue-grey with four toes on each foot.

Unlike the Silkies and Marans, these birds are clean-legged. The colors of their limbs are either blue-grey or slate.

Personality And Temperament

The Deathlayer chicken is a friendly and non-aggressive bird. They also have boundless energy, making them ideal free-range chickens.

Because of their high energy levels, they may not enjoy being confined in a coop. They rather roam around in the garden or roost on trees.

Since they are active foragers, you will want to keep them safe from predators. Deathlayer chickens need taming from young chicks to be genuinely comfortable around people and other birds.

They tend to be skittish around unfamiliar faces. Once they are tame, your Deathlayer chicken will often come and peck food from your hand when offered.

These birds are both heat and cold-hardy and can thrive in any climate if given proper care. Thanks to their tiny comb, Frostbite will not be an issue if you raise them in cold climates.

However, as with most chicken breeds, their egg production is affected when stressed. The more these chickens socialize with you and other birds in the flock, the more productive they will be.

Egg Laying

Deathlayer chickens are a favorite for most chicken keepers because of their egg-laying abilities. They are good, steady egg layers.

Under good care and proper nutrition, a Deathlayer hen can lay up to 250 eggs per year.

If you are looking for a chicken that will provide you with plenty of eggs throughout the year, this is one of the best breeds. 

They usually lay white, medium-sized eggs. As mentioned, their name insinuates they will lay eggs regularly until the day they die.

Although they tend to lay more steadily longer into life than other chicken breeds, there is no actual proof for the claim that they will lay right up until death.

They mature fast in approximately 20 weeks, although the season will dictate when they start to lay. Often, these stunning chickens will not start laying eggs until the following year.

These birds are generally good mothers to their baby chicks. However, their broodiness depends on several factors, such as personality, strain, and the environment they were raised in.

Health And Diseases

Deathlayer chickens are healthy and hardy birds with not so many health issues. There don’t appear to be any specific health concerns related to Deathlayer chickens.

However, as with other chicken breeds, your Deathlayer chicken can be susceptible to various health issues, especially those common to egg-laying chickens.

The common illnesses in Deathlayer chickens include:

  • Rickets
  • Egg drop syndrome
  • Caged layer fatigue
  • Egg peritonitis
  • Fatty liver syndrome

Generally, poultry diseases can hamper or stop your chickens from producing eggs. The diseases affect the birds’ overall health, including their reproductive system.

But how can you manage or prevent these poultry diseases? You will want to ensure your chickens have proper nutrition and housing to keep them disease-free.

You will also want to provide them with plenty of clean water. While they are hardy in any weather, they often get sick when dehydrated.

In addition to diseases, your Deathlayer chickens can be prone to common poultry parasites, such as mites and lice. 

Diet And Nutrition

Deathlayer Chicken Breed

As with other chicken breeds, your Deathlayer chicken needs a good diet and nutrition to live a long, more productive life.

You can purchase complete chicken feeds that support robust egg production from poultry supply stores. Commercial feeds have all the vitamins and minerals that promote healthy egg-laying capabilities.

Deathlayer chickens are active birds, so you can expect them to consume more food than most other chicken breeds.

Their appetite tends to increase significantly during the cold season because they need the energy to maintain their body temperature to combat the cold.

Once your Deathlayer hens start laying eggs, you will want to offer them calcium-fortified layer feed to aid in producing higher-quality eggshells.

You also want to ensure they get at least 14% protein for a consistent egg supply.

Once in a while, you can offer them treats to make them happy and preoccupied. Consider treats that can boost eggs production, such as

  • Scratch grains
  • Cracked corn
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Japanese beetles
  • Mealworms
  • Watermelons

In addition, Deathlayer chickens are known to be excellent foragers. So, if you have a larger backyard, you can allow them to roam freely as they free range.

Allowing them to free-range will save you the costs of poultry feed.

Coop Setup

These productive chickens thrive when they have a home fit for their needs. So, it is important to ensure their coop is well-designed.

They need to have plenty of space to accommodate their daily activities. Since they are medium-sized chickens, a coop floor space of four square feet per bird will be okay.

Providing your birds with enough coop space makes them feel safe and comfortable. Crowding your birds in the coop can lead to unwanted behaviors like cannibalism.

Another consideration is the chicken’s safety and protection. You must install barriers that will keep predators out. Also, it is advisable to allow optimal air circulation to prevent respiratory diseases.

In addition, your birds will need a place to roost and sleep. You can use an older ladder for this purpose. You will also want to provide enough nesting boxes.

Each nesting box can serve 2 to 3 hens. Deathlayer chickens produce the most eggs when they are happy and comfortable in their coop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called Deathlayer chickens?

A literal translation of their German name, Totleger, means “death layer.” It is believed that the name was bestowed because the hens of this chicken breed are so productive that they lay an egg each day until the day they die.

How many eggs can Deathlayer chickens lay?

Under good care and proper nutrition, a Deathlayer hen can lay 4 to 5 eggs per week. This translates to about 250 eggs per year.

They usually lay white, medium-sized eggs. These prolific layers are known to lay eggs for almost their entire lifespan.

Are Deathlayer chickens rare?

Deathlayer chickens are still rare in the United States. To date, they are not recognized by the American Poultry Association.


The Deathlayer chicken is a unique bird that can do well in any backyard flock. While these unique birds are rare in the US, they are very productive.

They can lay up to 250 eggs per year. As with other chicken breeds, these birds need good care and proper nutrition to live a more productive life.

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