10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
It is the dream of every individual to get a good supply of fresh eggs from their chicken. Indisputably, eggs are one main ingredient in various meals in our kitchens. Therefore, rearing chicken in your backyard gives owners an opportunity of saving money on family consumption.
However, before picking any chicken breed, remember that some species like the Japanese Bantams do not lay eggs. On the other hand, hybrid hens can comfortably give you close to 300 eggs each annually. For this reason, choosing the best laying breeds is fundamental to an abundance of eggs throughout the year.
We have compiled a list of the ten best egg layers. Keep reading and find out why these species stand out among others.
1. Lohmann Brown Chickens
Lohmann Brown chicken is a crossbreed of various species from the white rock and Rhode Island hens developed by a genetics company based in Germany. Most Lohmann birds have brown feathers and white feathers at the tip of their feathers and around the necks.
Often, the hen starts laying brown colored eggs when they hit 19 weeks up to 72 weeks. This translates to one egg daily and about 320 eggs by the end of the year. Amazingly, Lohmann Brown starts laying jumbo eggs when they reach four to five months.
In addition, they are very friendly and docile, making them one of the most preferred eggs-laying species. Furthermore, they can cohabitate peacefully with other chicken species in the vicinity.
2. White Leghorns Chickens
White leghorns stand out among the best layers of quality white eggs. It is not clear the exact origin of the White leghorn species. However, some individuals believe that the birds came from Livorno, the famous Tuscan port known for exporting birds to North America in the 1850s.
Initially, they were referred to as the Italians until 1865, when the name changed to Leghorns. You can get at least 280 eggs from one white leghorns bird annually. The only thing you need to do is keep them warm and provide enough water and food.
Unfortunately, Leghorns cannot handle environmental changes or the cold season well. Instead, they perform much better as penned birds. Generally, they are friendly birds who start laying eggs from around 16 weeks.
3. Rhode Island Red Chickens
Originally from America, Rhode Island Red birds are also referred to as the dual-purpose hens. The main reason behind this is because they are ideal for either meat or eggs. Other than that, they are pretty hardy and capable of taking care of themselves by scavenging around.
One main reason why first-time keepers prefer these birds is their friendly and pleasant nature. All told, a healthy Rhode Island Red’s hen can produce about 150 to 250 medium-sized brown eggs annually. Although some birds start laying eggs as early as 16 weeks, others delay up to 20 weeks. Most birds have black and brown feathers leading to a dark appeal.
4. Australorp Chickens
The Australorp chicken is a crossbreed between the Orpington and Rhode Island Red Chickens. The gentle and calm birds were first developed around the 1920s in Australia to beat the cold weather and lay lots of eggs. As a result, they are egg-laying leaders, with one particular bird holding the world record of producing 364 eggs annually.
Apart from that, they are predominantly disciplined and calm that you can feed them by hand. Although Australorps are pretty shy initially, they can become extremely friendly when they get used to a new environment. You should anticipate at least 250-300 from one Australorp bird. Note that Australorp chicken comes in blue, white, and black varieties.
5. Golden Comet Chickens
Most likely, you have come across a Golden Comet bird roaming around in your vicinity. Beyond any doubt, these birds are some of the most widespread species because of their friendly nature. Most impressive is that they do not shy from mingling with humans and rarely fall into scuffles with other chickens.
Golden Comet is a crossbreed of a New Hampshire cock and White Rock hen. The hen starts laying from 16 weeks, leading to about 250 to 300 brown eggs annually.
6. Ameraucana Chickens
The bird is a resultant of the blue Araucanas chicken breed. Luckily, Ameraucanas do not have similar breeding issues as their predecessors. It is almost impossible to spot an Ameuracana chicken in your neighborhood. Given that they are even rare than the Araucanas, you can only find them from specific breeders.
Nevertheless, thanks to Ameuracana’s sweet and hardy nature, they are more preferred than the other breed. Typically, the hen lays about 150 uniformly large eggs annually. If you notice other colored eggs from blue, most likely, the parents are not purebred Ameraucana birds.
7. Speckled Sussex Chickens
From the first glance, Speckled Sussex chickens are a sight to behold. They are excellent layers that will give you a good supply of eggs even in cold climates. You can either place them in smaller spaces or leave them foraging in free-range. Apart from their striking feathering, Speckled Sussex birds are also entertaining, chatty, and friendly.
It is not uncommon to find them sitting around humans as they chat and sing warbling songs. Since Speckled Sussex comes from the excellent laying Sussex family, most adult hens weekly lay four to five eggs. Mainly, this translates to about 250 eggs annually, depending on the specific strain. Averagely, the breed starts laying tinted or light brown eggs from 20 weeks.
8. Golden Laced Wyandottes Chickens
One thing you may not miss about the Golden Laced Wyandottes is their stunning plumage. The breed is relatively new in the market, specifically made as a dual-purpose bird. The idea was to develop an excellent utility breed perfect for laying eggs and as a source of meat.
Unfortunately, since the breeding experts did not keep records on the variety of genes used, it is nearly impossible to define the exact composition of these birds. Altogether, Wyandottes are good layers that give about 200 brown eggs each year. You should expect to find the first egg from as early as eight weeks.
Nonetheless, depending on the weather and living environment, some species can start giving eggs from 20 weeks. Although they are excellent mothers, Wyandottes do not become broody quickly.
Hence you have to prepare well enough to stimulate them and keep an incubator nearby for the nesting process. This characteristic can vary from one species to another.
9. Plymouth Rock Chickens
A Plymouth Rock bird makes ideal choices for beginners because of its pleasant nature. This is one of the oldest breeds in the States, with the first original birds first seen in Massachusetts around 1849. For ages, the friendly bird has become a primary source of eggs and meat in most households.
Most chickens have grey feathers with white stripes across the body. While the breed is reasonably sociable, there are particular variations where the roosters become bullies. On the other hand, all Plymouth Rock hens are amazingly friendly and would not mind human interaction. Also, they are respectable large eggs layers that start from six to eight months old.
It is worth pointing out that your birds may give up to 200 brown eggs annually for the first three years. The productivity may slowly decline for the next seven years and come to a halt. Akin to the Sussex birds, they have a pleasant character and are easily trainable.
10. Buff Orpington Chickens
A sneak preview of a Buff Orpington chicken walking majestically around your background is pretty thrilling and relaxing. From their onset in the 1800s, Buff Orpington’s chicken depicts royalty because of their flurry appeal. More so, their prowess in laying numerous eggs and increasing the flock very fast is an instant attraction.
While the bird appears large, most body density is made up of feathers that keep them warm in a cold environment. This works perfectly in ensuring that the egg productivity is not affected during winter. As the weather improves in autumn and winter, you may find them seeking shelter under shades because of their excess feathers.
Even if Buff Orpingtons are not foraging experts, you can keep them in free-range for a chance to indulge in insects and greens. Still, they are adapting well to urban life because of their docile temperament. Your Buff Orpington hen would probably give you three to five weeks weekly and 175-200 brown eggs yearly.
Depending on your location, rearing chicken mostly starts from securing permission from governing bodies and the local community. Luckily, there are several good layers options from reliable breeders.
However, before making any investment, it is prudent to confirm a breed’s hardiness, egg production, body size, demeanor, and egg color. The well-thought list above will be an excellent pedestal as you venture in a fulfilling and rewarding experience with your bird friends.