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Chicken Breeds

The 10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

by Alexa Lehr | 07.07.2022
eggs from best egg laying breeds

For many of us, raising chickens is much more than just keeping chickens for the eggs they lay. However, it does give us a feeling of self-sufficiency to walk out to the chicken coop and collect a basket of fresh eggs right from our own flock. Collecting fresh eggs from your own backyard flock helps you put good, nutritious food on your table and can even turn into a money-making endeavor if you start selling eggs from your backyard flock! In order to be collecting a full egg basket on a regular basis though, you need to choose the right chicken breeds.

Certain chicken breeds excel in the area of egg laying. If eggs are your top priority, we’re breaking down the most prolific egg laying breeds to seek out for your flock.   

Best Hybrid Chicken Breeds for Laying

There are many hybrid chicken breeds which have been 'designed' for the optimal egg output! These beautiful girls can produce baskets of eggs every week. Hybrid hens also offer other benefits that you may not find in heritage hens.

Benefits of Hybrid Chickens 

#1: Isa Browns 

Isa Brown Chicken

Eggs Per Year: 300+ 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Isa Brown chickens are a hybrid breed of chicken developed by the commercial industry for the purpose of producing large quantities of brown-shelled eggs*.

While their exact genetic makeup is unknown, they are thought to have genetics from Rhode Island Reds, white Leghorns, and other white variety breeds in their genetic history. Being a hybrid means that Isa Browns do not have a breed standard as set by the American Poultry Association. However, the breed is ‘copyrighted’ and random breeders can’t just make up a similar hybrid and call them Isa Browns.  

#2: The Golden Comet

Golden Comet Chicken

Eggs Per Year: 250-300 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large  

Golden Comet chickens are a crossbreed that are usually bred from a cross between a New Hampshire Red rooster and White Rock hens. This combination results in sex-linked chicks who can be sexed as soon as they hatch based on the coloring of their down feathers. This breed was created by the commercial egg industry in order to have a breed that excelled in laying brown-shelled eggs. Golden Comets also mature quickly and start laying sooner than many heritage or purebred chicken breeds. 

#3 Austra White 

Eggs Per Year: 250+ 

Egg Color: White 

Egg Size: Large  

Austra White chickens are a hybrid chicken breed created from crossing white Leghorns and black Australorps. One advantage that Austra Whites have over their purebred relatives, the white Leghorn, is the fact that Austra Whites have a calm, docile personality compared to the flighty disposition of white Leghorns.  

#4: Lohmann Brown

Eggs Per Year: 320+ 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Lohmann Brown chickens are a hybrid breed of chicken which was thought to originate in Germany. The breed was developed by crossing New Hampshire Red chickens or Rhode Island Red chickens with White Rock chickens. The result was a prolific, brown egg laying breed of chicken. Lohmann Brown chickens mature quickly and start laying as soon as 21 weeks of age.  

#5: Black Star 

Black star chicken

Eggs Per Year: 300 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Black Star hybrid chickens are a popular sex-linked chicken breed to choose for egg laying! Black Stars are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red rooster and a barred Plymouth Rock hen. The cross results in chicks who can be sexed as soon as they hatch based on their down color. As the chicks mature, the roosters will have barred coloring and the hens will be black with some gold streaks in their feathers.  

Best Heritage Chicken Breeds for Eggs

In addition to hybrid breeds, you will find many heritage chickens breeds that produce ample eggs. These hardy hens also have many benefits you may not find in hybrid breeds.

Benefits of Heritage Chickens

#1: Australorps 

Eggs Per Year: 250 

Egg Color: Pinkish brown to light brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Australorps are a heritage, dual-purpose chicken breed who can be raised for egg production. While most heritage and purebred chicken breeds can’t compare to hybrid chicken breeds when it comes to how many eggs they lay in a year, the hens of heritage chicken breeds have a longer productive lifespan than hybrid hens. Australorps are known for their calm, friendly disposition and are great for young chicken keepers.  

#2: Plymouth Rocks 

Plymouth rock chicken

Eggs Per Year: 200 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Plymouth Rocks are another heritage breed that can be raised for egg laying. There are several different varieties (colors) of Plymouth Rock recognized by the American Poultry Association. The barred variety is known to be the best egg layers. Plymouth Rocks have a friendly disposition and are a great breed for beginner chicken raisers. They are a popular egg laying breed which makes them easy to find and acquire locally.  

#3: Rhode Island Reds 

Eggs Per Year: 250 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Rhode Island Red chickens are a heritage chicken breed known for their superior egg production. This heritage breed is used for creating many of the commercial hybrid chicken breeds thanks to its naturally high egg production. Not only are Rhode Island Red hens good layers, but they also have a longer productive lifespan than many hybrid chicken breeds. Rhode Island Red hens have a good feed-to-egg conversion rate, making them an economical breed to raise.  

#4: Wyandotte 

Wyandotte chicken breed

Eggs Per Year: 200 

Egg Color: Brown 

Egg Size: Large 

Wyandotte chickens are a large, dual-purpose heritage breed who are show-stoppers and good layers! The Wyandotte breed has several recognized varieties, of which the silver-laced variety and the golden-laced variety are the most popular because of their stunning feather patterns. Wyandotte chickens are extremely cold hardy, and the hens are good winter-time egg layers. 

#5: Leghorns 

Leghorn chicken breed

Eggs Per Year: 280-300+ 

Egg Color: White 

Egg Size: Medium to large 

Leghorn chickens are probably one of the most well-known purebred chicken breeds who are excellent layers. While Leghorns come in many recognized varieties, the white Leghorn is by far the most popular and is the best egg laying variety. White leghorns are a standard breed used by the commercial egg industry for producing white eggs.  Depending on the strain, some white Leghorn hens can reach a peak production of 300-350 eggs a year.  

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs Everywhere!

Whether you are looking to have a daily supply of fresh eggs or are wanting to start a small-farm business by selling fresh eggs from your flock, these chicken breeds rank as top layers in the chicken world! When fed a wholesome, nutritious diet and pampered on a daily basis, you will get the best of both worlds from your flock: a full egg basket and happy chickens! 

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