In the world of poultry farming, understanding the different breeds of egg laying chicken breeds is essential for both beginners and experienced farmers alike. The diverse world of egg laying chicken breeds offers a range of characteristics, from temperament to egg production rates, making it crucial to choose the right breed for your specific needs.
Whether you’re a small-scale backyard enthusiast or a commercial farmer, knowing the distinct features of various breeds can significantly impact your farm’s productivity and overall success.
We will explore here the most popular egg laying chicken breeds, shedding light on their unique traits and the benefits they bring to poultry enthusiasts and the farming industry.
Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
With over 1,600 chicken breeds worldwide, centuries of breeding and selection have given us a diverse flock. Some lay over 300 eggs a year in commercial settings, while others, like indigenous hens, produce just 40-60. In this article, we’ll focus on the top 15 egg laying chicken breeds to help you make an informed choice for your poultry needs.
The Araucana chicken is one of the best egg laying chicken breeds and quite special. It’s one of only four chicken breeds in the world that lays beautiful blue eggs, which have a unique blue color both inside and outside the shell.
On average, an Araucana hen lays about three eggs every week, adding up to approximately 150 eggs in a year. You can expect these medium to large-sized eggs to start coming around 20 weeks after the chicken hatches.
Breeding Araucanas can be a bit challenging, and getting high-quality ones can be costly, with each chick costing at least $30. So, if you’re thinking about adding these unique birds to your flock, be ready for the investment.
However, the rare blue eggs they lay and their distinctiveness make them an appealing choice for people who are into raising chickens.
The Ameraucana chicken is a great choice if you love collecting eggs. These lovely birds lay eggs in different colors, like creamy and even bright blue! It’s important to remember that each chicken will always lay eggs of just one color for its entire life.
Although their eggs are a bit smaller than usual, you can count on getting around 3-4 eggs per week. But here’s the catch: you’ll need to be patient with this breed. It can take up to 7 months for them to start laying eggs.
They lay eggs all year round, but in colder months, you might notice a slight decrease in egg production. Despite the wait, the Ameraucana chickens’ colorful eggs and steady egg production make them a valuable addition to your flock. As a beginner, you can select this breed as one of the egg laying chicken breeds.
If you want a chicken that’s excellent at laying eggs and can handle cold weather, then the Wyandotte is a great choice as egg laying chicken breeds in your farm.
They were bred to do well in harsh winters up north. While they might not be the most affectionate chickens compared to others, they’re perfect for beginners and really nice to look at.
At about 18 weeks old, your Wyandotte will start giving you around 3-4 large eggs every week. These eggs are usually creamy or brown.
Unlike some other chicken breeds, Wyandottes don’t tend to sit on their eggs all the time, so you can rely on them to lay eggs consistently throughout the year. Wyandottes are a fantastic addition to your flock, especially if you live in a colder area.
12. Easter Egger
The Easter Egger is a unique type of chicken, and its name tells you why. This special breed is quite popular for two main reasons.
First, every chicken in this breed has a distinct appearance, which makes raising them a delightful surprise.
Second, the eggs they lay come in a wide range of colors, adding even more excitement to your flock.
When your Easter Egger chickens are around 18-20 weeks old, they’ll start laying eggs. On average, each chicken will lay about four medium-sized eggs per week. These eggs can vary in color, ranging from blue and green to olive and even pink.
It’s worth noting that each hen will consistently lay eggs of a specific color throughout her life. So, if you have multiple Easter Eggers, you’ll enjoy a beautiful assortment of egg colors.
Even though the Easter Egger isn’t officially classified as a distinct breed, it’s truly unique and an excellent choice if you want chickens that produce colorful eggs.
The Welsummer chicken is well-known as egg laying chicken breeds that resemble chocolate. Depending on the specific type of Welsummer, they can lay about four large eggs each week, which are either dark brown or terracotta-colored.
What’s impressive is that they keep laying eggs for most of the year. These chickens love to search for food and will happily help in your garden or outdoor space. What’s even better is that they are quite sturdy and can thrive in both hot and cold weather.
While they might not lay as many eggs as some other top breeds, the Welsummer more than makes up for it with its friendly nature and the unique color of its eggs.
The Sussex Chicken is well-known for its impressive egg-laying skills, laying more than 250 eggs each year, which translates to about 4-5 decent-sized brown eggs every week. They usually start laying eggs when they’re between 16 to 20 weeks old.
In terms of size, Sussex chickens are relatively hefty, with hens weighing around 7-8 pounds and roosters reaching up to 9 pounds. Surprisingly, despite their substantial size, they are known for their gentle and easygoing nature.
These chickens come in eight different color variations, but the speckled Sussex is the most favored choice among enthusiasts.
9. Speckled Sussex
Speckled Sussex chickens are known for two great things: they lay a lot of eggs and have a chill and friendly vibe. They’re like the cool kids in the chicken coop because they’re easy to get along with, whether it’s with other chicken types or their human owners.
You can even snuggle up with them! These birds will bless you with about 4-5 beautiful tinted or light brown eggs every week once they hit around 20 weeks of age.
However, there’s a little hiccup – in the spring, they might get a bit broody, which means they take a break from laying eggs. But don’t worry, they’ll be back to their egg-laying routine soon enough!
8. Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons are known for being great with kids and are very gentle. They’re also excellent at laying eggs, giving you about 3-5 light brown, medium-sized eggs every week, which adds up to around 200 eggs per hen each year.
However, it’s important to remember that these Orpingtons might not start sitting on eggs until they’re around 28 weeks old.
It’s important to note that there are two types of Buff Orpingtons. If you want chickens that lay lots of eggs, make sure to choose the utility strain when you’re buying them.
7. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds are great at laying eggs, and they can give you about 300 eggs every year, depending on the type you choose. If you go for the production strain, you’ll get a lot of big, light brown eggs, nearly one each day (around 5-6 eggs per week).
But if you choose the heritage strain, you’ll get a bit less, around 3-4 eggs every week. These hens usually start laying eggs when they’re about 18-24 weeks old.
While they’re good at laying eggs and can handle tough situations, they can also be a bit bossy and may need enough space to avoid bothering other, shyer chickens. It’s a good idea not to keep them with gentler breeds like Wyandottes or Orpingtons.
Make sure your Rhode Island Reds have plenty of room to move around and a setup that’s good for their health and happiness.
6. Plymouth Rock
If you’re looking for chickens that are excellent egg layers, consider getting Plymouth Rock chickens. These birds are not only large and charming but also reliable when it comes to egg production. You can expect them to provide you with 4-5 light brown eggs each week, totaling more than 200 eggs annually!
Plymouth Rock chickens are known as a heritage breed, which makes them an ideal choice for beginners in poultry keeping. They typically continue to lay eggs for approximately 2-3 years, and sometimes even longer, although the egg production might decrease after the third year.
Moreover, Plymouth Rock chickens have a friendly and easygoing temperament, so you can count on them to consistently lay eggs without sudden disruptions. In summary, if you desire plenty of eggs and a pleasant feathered companion, Plymouth Rock chickens are an excellent option for you.
The Araucana chicken breed changed the egg industry in the 1900s by laying eggs differently. They’re famous for consistently laying eggs. Among the various types of Leghorn chickens, the White Leghorn is exceptional at laying eggs.
White Leghorns usually lay 4-6 large white eggs every week. But, they might not be ideal for beginners because they are independent and easily startled. These chickens tend to be nervous and jumpy around people, and they don’t like being touched or picked up.
If you’re experienced in raising chickens and want top-notch egg production, White Leghorns could be a great choice for you.
Australorps are fantastic egg laying chicken breeds, and they’ve even set a world record by laying an incredible 364 eggs in just 365 days! No other chicken breed can beat them in egg production.
When they’re young, Australorps might appear a bit shy at first, but they’ll quickly become comfortable around your family and show their gentle side. While they may not be the type to sit on your lap like some other chicken breeds, they get along well with other types of chickens in your flock.
You can rely on them to give you about 4-5 light brown eggs every week. So, if you’re searching for chickens that lay lots of eggs and are friendly, Australorps are a great choice for your poultry group.
3. ISA Brown
ISA Browns are well-known in the egg industry for their impressive egg-laying abilities! These hardworking birds produce around 6 medium to large brown eggs per week for the first 18-24 months of their lives. What’s even more remarkable is that they have successfully adapted to being backyard pets, a transition that few other chicken breeds have mastered.
After their initial 24 months, their egg production gradually decreases to a still respectable 3-4 eggs per week. In a cozy backyard environment, you’ll appreciate their friendly and sociable nature.
Additionally, they tend to be quiet and don’t have a strong inclination to fly, making them an excellent choice for those new to raising poultry. Whether you’re an experienced chicken keeper or just starting out, ISA Browns are a dependable and amiable addition to your flock.
2. Sapphire Gem
The Sapphire Gem Chicken is a truly exceptional bird because of its stunning feathers! Imagine seeing a chicken covered in lavender and blue feathers or with a beautiful necklace-like design of gold or gray around its neck. That’s the unique and eye-catching beauty of the Sapphire Gem Chicken.
These chickens aren’t just pretty; they’re also great for beginners. They have a gentle and easy-going temperament, which makes them perfect for people new to raising chickens.
Plus, you can expect to collect around 5 to 6 large to extra-large brown eggs from these lovely birds every week. So, if you want a chicken that’s not only visually striking but also a reliable egg producer, the Sapphire Gem Chicken is an excellent choice!
1. Golden Comet
The Golden Comet is a much-loved type of backyard chicken! They were originally bred for use on big farms, but now people really like having them in their own home flocks.
These chickens are well-known for two things: they’re really good at laying eggs, and they have friendly and charming personalities. You can count on them to lay about 5 to 6 medium to large brown eggs every week.
Unlike some other chickens, they don’t tend to sit on their eggs, and they can handle tough weather without a problem. In the first couple of years, you’ll get eggs almost every day.
These delightful chickens bring happiness to people who raise chickens in their backyards because they’re both great at making eggs and tough enough to handle different weather conditions.
Selecting the best chicken breeds for egg laying is a crucial decision for poultry enthusiasts and backyard farmers alike. The choice should align with specific needs, such as egg production quantity, egg size, temperament, and environmental considerations.
Breeds like the Rhode Island Red and Leghorn excel in prolific egg laying, while the Orpington and Sussex breeds provide a more balanced approach with friendly temperaments. Ultimately, the ideal breed depends on individual preferences and goals.
By considering the characteristics and requirements of each breed, one can create a thriving flock that consistently delivers a bountiful supply of fresh, delicious eggs for years to come.