7 Best Chickens That Lay White Eggs
Chickens are among the cheapest animals to keep and come with many benefits. The main incentive for most people to venture into poultry keeping is having an endless supply of eggs for their tables, and some left for sale to rake in a tidy profit.
You cannot fail with eggs because they are some of the most nutritious foods. Their minerals and vitamins reduce your risk of contracting some heart conditions and promote good cholesterol levels.
When considering the best egg-laying breed for your chicken coop, one element that guides your choice is the egg color you will get.
White eggs are among the most popular because they look exceptional. Below are the seven best chicken breeds to get if you want white eggs and a guide on the difference between white and brown eggs.
Breeds of Chicken That Lay White Eggs
If you are looking for chicken breeds that lay white eggs, read on to find the seven best breeds you can pick.
1. White Leghorn
There are twelve varieties of Leghorn chicken, but the most popular is the White Leghorn. Its body is long to make it look elegant, and the chicken does not weigh much.
A rooster weighs approximately 7.5 pounds, and a hen weighs 5-6 pounds. White Leghorns are proactive and diligent, as evidenced by their outstanding ability to forage for their food when left to free range.
The White Leghorn is a prolific egg layer that can lay a maximum of 300-320 eggs annually. The chicken will start laying at about 15-18 weeks old. Your bird will keep laying large white uniformly-shaped eggs for 2-3 years before the production slowly declines.
White Leghorns have shorter lifespans compared to other birds because they are prolific layers. They live for 4-6 years.
The Andalusian chicken is among the oldest chicken breeds that lay white eggs. This breed, developed in Andalusia, Spain, is renowned for its confidence and beautiful appearance. The blue variety of the breed is the most popular. Andalusians are hardy breeds that survive in extreme cold and heat.
They are natural foragers that become aggressive and noisy when confined. A hen weighs 2-25-2.7kg, while a cockerel weighs 3.2 to 3.6kg.
The Andalusian begins laying eggs at 5-6 months old. A giant-sized bird will produce about 150 medium to large white eggs annually, while a standard-sized one lays 160-200 eggs. This might sound low for a layer, but Andulasians are primarily ornamental birds. They continue laying for an extended period and live for 5-8 years.
Polish chickens are recognized by their feathers cascading down their heads that inform their rearing as show birds. These chickens are medium-sized, weighing 4.5 to 6 pounds. There are silver, golden, black, blue, and white varieties.
Polish chickens are calm and friendly, thus suitable for places with kids. Nonetheless, they are easily frightened and should not be kept together with aggressive breeds that will bully them.
Polish chickens lay approximately four eggs weekly, which adds up to 200 eggs annually. The eggs are relatively large and will start being laid when your birds turn five months old.
Polish chickens will start laying eggs later in the season because it takes them some time to warm up, but once they start, they will lay consistently. The chickens lay eggs for 3-4 years before the production declines. They live for 7-8 years.
Ancona chickens are Mediterranean breeds originally from Marche, Italy. They have black feathers with white spots, white earlobes, red eyes, and clean legs, making them popular show birds.
They weigh 4.5-6.5 pounds and love free-ranging, thus needing less food than other egg-laying breeds. Ancona chickens are curious and active. They are also skittish, so you need a large fence to hold them.
Ancona chickens lay a maximum of 180-220 medium to large eggs yearly. Sometimes, the birds even lay through dry and cold seasons. They start laying eggs at around twenty weeks old and will lay consistently for about four years before the production slowly decreases. Ancona chickens live for more than eight years.
5. Egyptian Fayoumis
The Egyptian Fayoumi is a small, beautiful bird weighing 3.5-4.5 pounds. It has a slender body, long neck, and upward tilted tail. The black feathers of the Egyptian Fayoumi have white or silver markings, while their legs are green or blue.
The chicken is active and alert but can be fierce, making it unsuitable for kids. It loves foraging, so your space should be large enough to support this.
Egyptian Fayoumis lay about 200 eggs annually. Though small, the eggs are delicious and have high yolk content, qualities that mean a tidy profit for you.
The chickens start laying eggs at 16-18 weeks old and will continue for 3-4 years before egg production declines. Egyptian Fayoumis live for eight years on average.
The Hamburg chicken was the first breed in poultry shows. It is a native of Germany hence its name. The bird looks like a Dalmatian with black and white feathers. There is another variation of the breed with gold-tipped black feathers.
Hamburgs do not do well inside chicken coops and need lots of space to roam. The birds are flighty, active, curious, and talkative. They weigh 3.5-4 pounds.
A Hamburg lays 150-200 eggs annually. Though small, these eggs are glossy white with pointy ends, thus unique and expensive.
Hamburg hens start laying eggs at 18-20 weeks and will continue doing so for 2-3 years before production gradually drops. A Hamburg lives for 7-8 years.
7. California White
The California White looks almost like the White Leghorn because it is a result of crossbreeding a California Gray rooster and a Leghorn hen.
It has white feathers with black spots and weighs 5-6 pounds. The California White is active, docile, and friendly but often prefers minimal human interaction. It is also flighty, so it needs a lot of space to forage.
The California White lays about 300 large eggs yearly. It will start laying at about 17-18 weeks old and lays consistently for 3-4 years before the egg count starts declining steadily. The average lifespan of the California White is five years.
Brown vs White Chicken Eggs – What is the Difference?
Eggs come in many colors based on a hen’s breed. There is no difference in nutritional value between white and brown eggs though most people assume that brown eggs are healthier.
The nutritional value of eggs is only affected by your hen’s diet and activity. If the bird roams in the sun a lot, she gets more vitamin D and lays eggs with a higher nutritional value. Furthermore, your egg has a higher nutritional value if you use a quality finisher or pre-starter feed for the bird.
The color of an egg is primarily determined by a chicken’s genetics. White eggshells are often laid by hens with white ear lobes and white feathers. On the other hand, hens with brown feathers and red ear lobes usually lay brown eggs. In most places, brown eggs cost more than white ones because it takes more money and food to produce the pigment.
Moreover, most people prefer brown eggs, erroneously assuming they are healthier. The high demand increases their price.
The beauty of rearing your chickens is that you can choose the color of eggs you want. From the above article, you know the best chicken breeds if you want to get white eggs and now understand the differences between white and brown eggs. Some poultry farmers opt to bleach their eggs to get pearly white eggs. Bleach is not safe to eat, so it is unsafe to use it on eggs because the bleach can pass through the porous shell.
If you want to get colored eggs after your chicken lays white ones, you can use food coloring and edible accessories to decorate them safely.