Deathlayer Chicken – Gold & Silver, Eggs, Meat, For Sale & More

Let’s be honest, the name ‘Deathlayer chicken’ sounds like the most awesome chicken name in the world. As you can probably guess, this is a chicken breed that has managed to obtain that name from the way it lays eggs (no, it doesn’t die when it lays eggs!), but let’s take a look at the Deathlayer chicken in a bit of depth, shall we?

Deathlayer Chicken Facts at a Glance

Eggs200 per year
Egg Shell ColorWhite
TemperamentShy (early socialization is required)
Recognized VarietyGold and Silver
UseEggs
WeightMale: 5 lb. (2.2 kg)
Female: 4 lb. (1.8kg)
Country of originGermany
Deathlayer Chicken Facts

Where Did They Come From?

The Deathlayer chicken is a chicken that originates from Germany. It is a landrace chicken.

This means that it developed naturally in the environment as opposed to being specifically bred.

Its official name is Westfalische Totleger chicken. The German word Tot means “dead” and Leger means “layer”. Thus its name “the Deathlayer chicken from Westphalia” (a region in Germany).

Now, nobody really knows exactly how long this chicken has been around.

This is because like most landrace chickens, it just ‘appeared’. However, the best estimates seem to place the bred at about 400-years old.

It has only just recently managed to make its way over to the United States, though. Here, it is still only raised by a few different breeders.

The breed has only been in the United States since 2016, which is surprising considering some of the traits that the Deathlayer chicken brings to the table.

The Look of the Deathlayer Chicken

Despite this chicken breed not actually being raised for show purposes, it is a stunning looking chicken breed.

It stands tall and proud when it is wandering around.

The feather patterns look stunning too. The Deathlayer chicken is available in either gold or silver colors, with the latter being the most common in the United States.

Deathlayer chicken (Westfalische Totleger)
Gold Deathlayer chicken (Westfalische Totleger)

The eyes of the Deathlayer chicken will always be black.

Due to the area in which they grew up, they have evolved to have a smaller comb.

This makes them suitable for colder environments as they do not have to worry about frostbite.

As A Show Chicken

In the United States, since this breed was only introduced in 2016 by a single breeder 5-years ago (at the time of writing), it means that it hasn’t really managed to gain that much traction in the show world as of yet.

Most of the people that seem to be pushing this chicken as a breed are those that are looking to see whether it can be sold as a commercial breed of chicken.

That being said, if you are looking to get into show chickens, then the Deathlayer chicken may be a brilliant place to start.

Since serious breeding work hasn’t really taken place in the United States as of yet, it means that you can really get in on the ground floor with this chicken breed, and you may even end up with a chance of winning a few shows.

We can’t think of one other chicken breed where you will have an opportunity like this!

Even if you do not show off the chicken, you will be able to enjoy the fact that this breed will look great wandering around your land. It is also going to be a productive chicken too.

The Deathlayer Chicken for Meat

While the Deathlayer chicken could potentially be raised for meat purposes, we do not even really see it being used for meat.

This is due to the way in which they lay their eggs.

gold and silver deathlayer hens
Gold and Silver Deathlayer Hens (Photo Source: Eike-Claudius Kramer)

Honestly, the only Deathlayers that will ever be used for meat will be the roosters, and that will be once they have fulfilled their purpose on the breeding front.

If you are looking for chicken breeds for meat, then the Deathlayer can be suitable.

It Deathlayer rooster grows to a decent size of 5 lb. However, it seems a waste to slaughter it for meat, as you are about to see.

Deathlayer Chicken Eggs

This is where this chicken breed really does thrive.

The name comes from the fact that this breed will lay one egg every one or two days from the point that it hits sexual maturity to the day that it dies. You will get around 200 eggs per year.

Unlike other chicken breeds, the quality of the egg or the egg production will not fall. The Deathlayer hen will lay an egg that will weigh 1.7 – 2.3 oz (50 – 60 g).

This is why we never really see them being slaughtered for meat.

You would be missing out on hundreds and hundreds of potential eggs if you did that!

Deathlayer chickens (Westfalische Totleger)

Now, the thing with the Deathlayer chicken is that it is going to require a good amount of feed, particularly calcium-rich feed, in order to keep producing those eggs.

This means that the egg production can be a little bit more expensive than with other breeds.

However, due to the number of eggs that you will be getting, everything will sort of balance itself out over time.

Due to the high egg production and the predictability of the laying, you will only need a few of these chickens to keep a family sustained.

Raising the Deathlayer Chicken

As we said before, this is a chicken breed where you will really need to pay attention to the feed of the chicken in order to ensure that it can continue to lay eggs.

On the personality front, this is a very shy chicken.

This means that it probably isn’t going to be a breed that you can get too close too.

They are for egg production, not for being your friend. However, they are never going to be an aggressive chicken breed.

They just tend to run away if somebody gets a little bit too close to them and that person is deemed to be a threat.

It is important that you start to socialize with this chicken from the moment that they hatch.

If you do not, you will find it tricky to get them to trust humans and, scaring them up, would ultimately cause their egg production to plummet.

This is because this is a chicken breed that has still to be properly domesticated.

The one thing that you will want to pay attention to with the Deathlayer chicken is where you raise them.

This can make things a little bit tricky for some people. While they are fine in indoor coops, this is a bird that really loves to roost in trees.

So, if you can raise the chickens in a secure location with access to trees, then you are going to end up with far better quality eggs due to having happier birds!

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