It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it, to be able to go out into your backyard and collect fresh eggs to eat. With backyard chickens on the rise, it’s important to know which breeds of chickens will produce the best eggs.
Best egg-laying chickens: Having backyard chickens is a great endeavor for many reasons. Not only do you get an extra sense of companionship, but you also get fresh, edible eggs every day. Most chickens are able to lay between three and five eggs a week, although the cold winter months can impact this production. Different breeds will produce different sizes and colors of eggs. Leghorns, for example, produce large white eggs while Easter Eggers produce large eggs in four different colors, including pink and blue. When caring for your backyard chickens, be sure to give them nutritious food and plenty of space to roam and forage. The happier and healthier your chickens are, the more eggs they will produce.
How long until egg layering chicken lay an egg?
While you might be excited to start eating delicious eggs once you get your chickens, you will have to wait a while. This is especially true if you start with baby chicks, which most people do.
Chickens won’t lay eggs until they are about 18 weeks old. However, hens do not need roosters to lay eggs.
How many eggs does a hen lay a day?
Once your chicken is old enough, about 18 weeks old, she will start to lay an egg every day or two. However, this will change drastically during the winter months.
Even if you keep your chickens nice and warm, which is important, egg production drops drastically during the winter. Expect a chicken to lay an egg every two to three days at this time.
Furthermore, chickens will molt annually, and during this time egg production can stall.
If you have chickens that stop laying eggs at different times of the year, there may be underlying causes. This can include sickness or poor nutrition, so be sure to monitor your chickens and adjust their habitat if need be.
10 Best Egg Laying Chickens to Choose From
Leghorn chicken breed
Eggs come in all different colors but if you are looking for a crisp white egg, then Leghorns won’t disappoint. Leghorn chickens are a very famous breed, and there is even a cartoon character named after them.
Leghorns are excellent producers and you can expect between five and six eggs per week, even during winter.
However, Leghorns are not often found in backyard coops, for good reason. These birds are not the best with children. If you want a chicken that can produce eggs and cuddle, you will have to select a different breed.
Buff Orpington chicken breed
Even though chickens have a purpose, they can also easily become pets. Indeed, many people love the chance of going into their backyard for a cuddle with their chickens.
If you are interested in a dual-purpose chicken, Buff Orpingtons are a great option. They are fluffy and have a gorgeous light brown color.
You can expect up to five eggs per week from a hen, which is amazing. Just be careful as these hens are broody. You may have to get creative when taking the eggs out of the coop as they will want to sit and wait for them to hatch.
Ameraucana chicken breed
Perhaps one of the more notable breeds of chickens. Ameraucanas are a fan favorite. While they only produce medium-sized eggs, the shells are a gorgeous blue color.
This is a chicken breed you want if you love to display your eggs out on the counter.
As for the chickens themselves, they are lightly colored in shades of blue and wheat. They are also quite fluffy.
You can expect to get between three and four eggs a week from Ameraucana chickens. However, they don’t lay eggs as early as other breeds. You may have to wait until the hens are at least six months old before they start to lay eggs.
Australorp chicken breed
Hailing from Australia, Australorp chickens have a gorgeous black color with an undercoat of purple and green. They are quite pretty to see.
Their eggs are a lovely brown color and are large in size. Amazingly, you can expect at least five eggs per week from this breed, which makes them some of the best-producing hens on our list.
Overall, Australorp chickens are very sweet and friendly. They can be a bit shy, so if you have small children, be sure to teach them how to walk quietly around the chickens.
One benefit of Australorp chickens is that they are very heat tolerant. This is a great breed if you have hot summers.
Barnevelder chicken breed
Quite unique in appearance, this is a breed of chicken that will quickly get noticed. Barnevelder chickens have dark coloring with light brown patterns on their feathers They also have dark green feathers on their necks.
Barnevelder chickens are a rarer breed, so if you are interested in them, you will have to look around. They do exist but your local chicken breeder probably won’t have any in stock.
As for egg production, their eggs are brown in color and medium in size. Hens lay about three eggs per week.
Easter Egger chicken breed
Every spring, Easter is a delight as you look through the grass, trying to find brightly colored eggs. If you want to recreate that feeling every day, then you should definitely get Easter Egger chickens.
These chickens are able to produce eggs in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, olive, and aqua. While the eggs are medium to large in size, you can expect up to four per week.
Easter Egger chickens are also very friendly and are great for both hot and cold climates.
Rhode Island Red chicken breed
Dubbed the work-house breed, Rhode Island Reds are pretty remarkable. They produce eggs that are extra-large in size, and you can expect up to five eggs per week.
These chickens are almost entirely red-brown in color and are quite friendly. They do well in flocks and while there is a suggestion they may be a bit aggressive, most backyard farmers don’t have any problems with them.
Rhode Island Red chickens do well in the cold and are generally happy to be in their coop. This is a great, all-around chicken.
Marans chicken breed
If you are looking for sweet and intelligent chickens, Marans are a great way to go. This breed includes all types of Marans, including Blue Copper Marans and Black Copper Marans.
As you would imagine from their name, Marans have copper necks and either blue or black feathers along with their head and body. The feathers are almost iridescent in color.
You can expect to get at least three eggs a week from a Marans chicken, more so if the temperature is warmer. They are also quite large eggs.
Plymouth Rock chicken breed
Gorgeous in appearance, with black and white ribbed feathers, this is a real stand-out chicken breed. Plymouth Rock chickens lay brown eggs and can produce up to four or five eggs a week.
They are also great for your backyard as they will happily follow you around on your chores and even cuddle up with you once you sit down.
Plymouth Rock chickens are great with children and you can also add them to a flock with different breeds.
Sussex chicken breed
Those wanting chickens that are naturally curious will love the Sussex breed. They are happy to roam around and investigate their habitat. Furthermore, they will want to follow you around as you go about your chores.
For coloring, Sussex chickens are speckled, with brown and white feathers that are quite fluffy. They lay light brown eggs and you can expect up to four per week.
If you live in a colder climate, this is an excellent breed as they can withstand colder temperatures. Furthermore, their egg production is not as affected by the cold.
What is the best egg laying chicken?
While the chicken that lays the most amount of eggs is the Leghorn chicken breed, they are not the best for backyards as they do not do well with children.
Rhode Island Red chickens give you the best of everything. They are happy to cuddle up as a pet and can also produce up to five large eggs a week.
How long do egg laying chickens live?
Overall, chickens will live to be between five and eight years old. Backyard chickens have long lifespans as they are generally well cared for.
While chickens will continue to lay eggs for their lives, they will slow down their production as they get older. Expect egg production to start to slow around five years of age.
As food production becomes more uncertain, many people are now turning to backyard chickens. These birds produce tasty and nutritious eggs and will also give you a cuddle. It’s the best of everything.