What are the best egg laying chickens?
When we first got chickens mom picked the breeds. She looked up which ones do well in our Arizona heat and picked Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, and Plymouth Rocks. We got about ten of each. They did great! The Rhode Island Reds seamed to be the friendliest, but all where calm and gentle birds.
I got to pick out our last batch of chicks. I chose mostly Australorps and Buff Orpingtons.
Learn which chickens are going to lay you the most eggs. Getting your flock started on the right foot will make things easier in the long run.
So let's jump in!
Read about the 12 best meat chickens here.
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Choosing Your Best Egg Laying Chickens
I prefer a heritage breed. But if all you want is a lot of eggs hybrid chickens might be great for you. They're bred to eat a small amount of food while producing lots of eggs. A few hybrid breeds to get you started are: Golden Comet, Cherry Egger, and Hy-line Brown.
Plan on about 280 eggs a year from a standard hybrid chicken. They will be brown, and medium size.
Colors, eggs, etc., are going to vary depending on the specific breed you choose.
The Australorp is one of my favorite chicken breeds out there! They lay a lot of eggs and are very tame birds. Even (most) of the roosters are great!
Australorp laying in the nesting box.
Australorp’s eggs are a nice medium brown. An amazing egg laying record for one australorp was 364 eggs a year! But you can expect more like 200-280 eggs a year. :-)
The Australorp is black with iridescent green-blue feathers. They're a large bird making them great for both eggs and meat. An amazing all-around homestead bird!
3--Rhode Island Reds
This is another dual-purpose breed. Great for both eggs and meat.
A Rhode Island Red chicken.
Rhode Island Reds lay a medium size egg and expect about 250 eggs a year.
As the name signifies they are red chickens. This very friendly breed makes a great bird for first-timers.
One of the most common egg layers. While the leghorns lay tons of eggs, they are not a dual-purpose breed. (Meaning they wouldn’t make the best roast chicken.)
Expect hens to lay 300, white eggs a year.
Leghorn's are white and rather small in body weight. Being small means they can focus more energy on producing eggs, rather than meat.
Delaware's are very calm, friendly, and funny! The only breed I've had fly up onto my shoulder while I was working in the coop! We have raised a few different breeds but she was the first to do that!
The Delaware hen is the white one on the left.
Delawares lay about 200-280 brown eggs a year. They also tend to go broody.
I love the coloring of this bird! The lovely white with black markings. Great for both meat and eggs.
6--Rhode Island Whites
A white chicken that looks a lot like the leghorn. They're an easy going farmyard addition. They make a great meat bird as well as laying. They don’t tend to go broody.
240-250 brown eggs a year from these birds is typical.
Rhode Island Whites are white. ;-) They have a similar body structure to the Rhode Island Red, but are a different breed. Both come from Rhode Island though. :-)
The dual-purpose Plymouth Rocks are another great option for backyard chicken raisers.
Expect 200-280 eggs a year. Their eggs are large and brown.
Plymouth Rocks have speckled white and gray feathers. They are also a larger breed. Great for both eggs and meat.
It was fun while we had them, to have the extra color to our egg basket. The Ameraucanas are a gentle, dual-purpose birds.
Ameraucanas lay a green/blue egg. They're good layers and can lay 300 eggs a year.
They're good foragers and add a splash of color to your egg basket! These friendly birds are another great option.
New Hampshire Reds
These look like Rhode Island Reds. I got them last time I ordered chicks, because I read they go broody. And Rhode Island Reds don't.
A New Hampshire Red chicken on our milking stand.
They can lay 200-280 eggs a year and can go broody. Their eggs are brown.
They're a calm, friendly, dual-purpose bird. They're cold hardy and seemed to do well in our HOT climate, about 120 degrees being the high.
Last but not least, I have come to really love these birds. They go broody, which means they stop laying eggs for little while to hatch chicks. But it was fun last year to have so many chicks hatch! And they're just plain gorgeous!
Buff Orpingtons make great mothers!
Expect Orpingtons to lay about 200-280 egg per year. They are a nice brown color.
The buff orpington is a beautiful golden colored bird. They're quite large and are great dual-purposed birds (great for both eggs and meat!). Amazing homestead bird! One of my favorites.
Deciding--Which breed Should You Get?
Now you need to make a decision. I put together this best egg laying chickens chart for you, so you can easily compare all of the information. It's absolutely free. No strings attached.
Download your chart, plan the breeds you'll get, and bring some chicks home!
Sneak peak. :-)
Still a lot to choose from? My favorites are...
- Australorps &
- Buff Orpingtons
We've had these kinds too and they're also great options:
- Rhode Island Reds
- Plymouth Rocks
- New Hampshire Reds
Have fun picking out and raising your best egg laying chickens...
Happy chicken keeping!