Deathlayer chickens are beautiful birds with undoubtedly the coolest name of all chickens. While it may sound like something that belongs in a movie, the name “Deathlayer” refers to the fact that these chickens will lay eggs every day until they die. As you might expect, they make good egg-laying additions to any flock.

Let’s learn more about this unique chicken.

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Quick Facts About the Deathlayer Chicken

Breed Name:Westfälische Totleger
Place of Origin:Germany
Rooster Size:5 pounds
Hen Size:4 pounds
Color:White, black, green, gold, silver
Lifespan:10–12 years
Climate Tolerance:Cold AND hot
Care Level:Easy
Egg Production:150–250 per year
Temperament:Nervous, active, roaming

Deathlayer Chicken Origins

The Deathlayer Chicken originated in Germany. They were named the Westfälische Totleger, which translates to “Westphalian Deathlayer.” Their true origin is a bit of mystery, as this chicken seems to have just appeared naturally, as opposed to being specifically bred.

Their history goes back more than 400 years, although there aren’t many of these chickens in their native country.

Deathlayer Chicken Characteristics

The Deathlayer Chicken is active and energetic. They like to forage and roam. They are skittish by nature and prefer to keep to themselves rather than interact with people. They prefer living spaces with plenty of room. They can tolerate hot and cold climates.

These are vocal chickens that are always making noise. They’re curious and enjoy being social with other chickens.


The Deathlayer Chicken is primarily used for eggs and makes a beautiful addition to flocks. They are nervous around people unless they’ve been socialized with them from a young age.

The Deathlayer Chicken could be used for meat purposes, but that’s not common. They are small chickens, so they won’t produce much meat. They are efficient egg layers, though, laying eggs daily until the day that they die. Since they lay eggs well into their old age, compared to most egg-laying hens that only lay eggs for 3 or 4 years, they are ideal to have on an egg-producing farm.

Appearance & Varieties

The Deathlayer Chicken is visually striking. They appear regal in their stance. They have solid black eyes and black, green, and purple iridescent tails. The feathers are either gold or silver. Their legs are gray or bluish-gray.

The gold Deathlayer is rarer and more sought after. They have flat combs and orange-and-gold feathers with a green-and-purple sheen. Their unique markings and egg-laying abilities make them highly desirable.

The silver Deathlayer is more common but still beautiful, with a cape of white feathers leading down to a penciled body.


There are only around 1,500 of these rare birds left in Germany today.

Deathlayer Chickens are new on the scene in the United States. Greenfire Farms imported them into the U.S. in 2016 and 2019. It hopes to promote the breed’s popularity among American homesteaders and expand its population.

Currently, only a handful of breeders own Deathlayer Chickens in the United States.

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Are Deathlayer Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Deathlayer Chickens are good for small-scale farming if you’re looking for egg layers. These chickens get along well with other chicken breeds and can fit into any flock. They’re small, so they don’t take up much room. They’re also stunning additions to have. Their beautiful colors and markings are pleasing to the eye.

They prefer roosting in trees rather than indoor coops. While this might not be possible, especially for safety purposes, if the chickens can have access to trees during the day, they will be happy.

These chickens do best on farms that have plenty of room for them to roam. They like to wander and explore during the day and don’t do well in confinement. These chickens are not suited to be good pets. They aren’t aggressive, but they prefer to steer clear of people unless they are well socialized from the time that they hatch.

If the chickens are scared, it will affect their egg production. It’s best to not expect much friendliness from these birds, but they still make useful and pretty additions to farms.

The Deathlayer Chicken is a beautiful bird that will produce eggs throughout their lifetime. If you’re interested in adding this chicken to your flock, you will help expand their dwindling population and stop the threat of them going extinct. They are easy to care for and don’t require anything special, making them perfect for beginners. We hope that you enjoyed learning about this unique chicken.

Featured Image Credit: Westfälischer Totleger (Silber) – DerBauer2310, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International