Are you searching for some best egg laying chicken breeds for your backyard farm? If that is the case, then this guide will help you find the few best chickens for eggs with their pictures and name.
Selecting an excellent egg laying chicken is most important if you need many fresh eggs all year long. So, let’s start the list of chickens that will lay plenty of eggs with their pictures and name.
Every poultry farmer wants to rear chickens that will lay as many eggs as possible on a daily basis. For every farmer to achieve this, they must choose the right chicken breed.
However, this doesn’t happen automatically or miraculously: farmers must play their role of ensuring they provide the hen with a conducive environment and all the essentials they require.
Your chicken must feed well, have a safe and comfortable nesting space, and be provided with the right temperature for them to lay eggs appropriately. Eggs are the cheapest source of protein and hence are highly sought after, hence rearing an egg laying chicken can be a lucrative project.
When you provide all that is required for your hen, you can be sure to collect eggs daily. Chickens have several benefits apart from the production of eggs. The egg laying chicken will also provide you with meat and manure, which you will use to do organic farming at no extra cost.
Chicken is a common meat worldwide and tops the list of the most eaten meat in America. Now, if you want to raise egg laying chicken, you must be worried about choosing the best chicken breed.
List of 19 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds (With Pictures and Name)
There are numerous best egg laying chicken breeds, so you should stick around to know which one to select from the list. Below we have provided 19 best chickens that lays lots of eggs:
Leghorn originated from Italy and was first exported to North America in 1828. Leghorns are easy to take care of since they like foraging and lay 260-280 eggs yearly.
Their eggs are white and weigh 55-67 grams. There are 12 color varieties of these chickens, although the white leghorn is the most common.
That’s why Leghorns are one of the most popular egg laying chicken breed used worldwide. They are shy and unfriendly and hate being handled. The hen starts laying eggs at five months.
The average weight for a leghorn rooster is 7-8 lbs, while the hen weighs 5-6 lbs. As they constantly lay eggs, they have a lifespan of 5-6 years of age.
This chicken is good for eggs and meat (dual-purpose chickens), and they are found in three colors, white, black, and blue. The Australorp rooster is 8.5-10 lbs, and the hen is 6.5-7.9 lbs in weight.
They are docile and very friendly, hence safe to live with children. They lay 250 jumbo size eggs per year that are brown/tinted. Likewise, they are fast growers and begin laying eggs at 5 months.
Australorp is the most bred chicken in America due to their good temperament, egg laying prowess, and beautiful appearance. They are good foragers and hence love feeding freely in an open place. They have a good lifespan of about 6-10 years.
3. Austrawhite Chicken
Austrawhite is another best egg laying chicken breed which is result of crossbreed from black Australorp and white Leghorns. It is originated from Oregon, United States.
They are a calm chicken that lays 250 white eggs every year. Their eggs are large and weigh 50–59 grams. They are kept for eggs and meat. They have the same lifespan as Australorp, i.e., about 6-10 years.
An Austrawhite rooster weighs 6.5-7 lbs, and it’s purely white, while a hen is 5 lbs and white with some black dots. Austrawhites are docile and friendly, and they are omnivorous.
They are good backyard birds and are suitable for those with small spaces. However, even though they like roaming freely, they are prone to predators because of their bright colors and big bodies.
The gray Barred Plymouth rock are free-range birds that lay 250 eggs annually. The hens of this breed start laying eggs at the age of 18-20 weeks. Their eggs are medium in size and brown.
It’s one of the chickens that beginners can breed, since it doesn’t need a lot of attention. A male Plymouth Rock weighs 7.5lb, and the female 6.5lb.
They are calm and friendly birds. The average lifespan of this chicken breed is about 8-10 years. That’s why it’s one of the most popular egg laying chicken breeds.
Golden Comets are calm chickens that freely integrate with other farm animals in an open space. They lay 250-300 eggs yearly that are medium and brown.
They are reddish-brown flecked with some white feathers. Likewise, they are light or medium chickens, with a grown male weighing about 6 lbs and a hen 4 lbs.
Golden Comets are a hybrid chickens results from Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn chicken. They love to free raging in the yard.
They have a short lifespan like Leghorns, i.e., around 4-5 years. The Golden Comets are one of the best egg laying chicken breeds.
The RIR chicken breed is kept for meat and eggs. They produce 260-280 eggs that are brown and medium in size.
They originated from the United States, and have a tough temperament. RIRs are one of the best egg laying chicken breeds which tolerate all types of weathers.
These chickens are good to rear since they have fewer expenses and are highly resist diseases and are free rangers. That’s why this chicken is raised all over the world for its best egg laying nature and meat purposes.
They are large chickens; the hen is 6.5 lbs, while the rooster is 8 lbs. Their large size makes them suitable for meat, and their meat is delicious.
The hens of this breed lay perfectly for three years. Rhode Island Reds have a lifespan of about 5-6 years.
Speckled Sussex are dual-purpose; one can keep them for meat or eggs, which are super tasty. They have eight colors, although most are white with black necks and tails.
They have a calm temperament and can be good pets. Not only that, but they don’t need a coop to feed; they are free rangers.
The hen produces 250-280 large brown-colored eggs yearly. A fully grown rooster weighs 8 pounds, and a hen 6-7 pounds.
The hybrid was developed in France and is one of the best egg layers. They lay 250-300 extra-large brown eggs every year.
They are medium size chickens; the rooster weighs 6 lbs, while the hen weighs 5 lbs. Hens are brown, but the males are white, and these chickens are friendly, docile, and broody.
The downside of these chickens is their vulnerability to prolapse and kidney-related diseases. They almost resemble Golden Comet, Rhodes Island Red, and Red Star chickens.
These are not the kinds of chickens that are noisy when they lay eggs. They are not suitable for meat, but are edible. The downside of this chicken breed is its life expectancy. It has a lifespan of about 2-3 years.
9. Lohmann Brown Chicken
Lohmann Brown is a common chicken breed found worldwide, but are more common in South Africa. They are a friendly chicken and one of the best egg laying chickens.
The hens of this breed lay about 250 large brown eggs every year. They live well with other pets/domestic animals, and baby chicks are known for their friendly nature.
Furthermore, they are low-feeders and consume 110 grams in a day. They are small birds, weighing 4.5 lbs for a hen and 8 lbs for roosters.
They are one of the best egg laying chicken breeds which have an excellent life expectancy. The average lifespan of this chicken is around 9-10 years.
Black Star is a hybrid of a Rhode Island rooster and a Barred Plymouth Rock hen. This is the chicken you will see in most homesteaders and backyards due to its extraordinary qualities.
They are good foragers that go about looking for their preferred food. It lays several eggs, which is why it was produced during world war 11 to increase food since there was a shortage.
It can lay 250-280 large brown eggs every year. They are friendly and docile chickens. Males are 8 lbs. while females are 6 lbs. by weight. They have a small lifespan of about 5 years.
These chickens are a crossbreed of numerous hens and wild animals. They are considered the chicken with the healthiest eggs.
Their eggs are bluish-green, which is why they are referred to as Easter eggs. The Ameraucana chicken is similar to Araucanas, the difference is the beards and muffs in Ameraucanas.
These chickens lay 250-300 eggs that weigh 53-60 grams. The hen weighs 5.5 lbs while the rooster is 6.5 lbs, their eggs have low cholesterol levels and are expensive.
They are calm, friendly, and aggressive. They forage for food and are good backyard chickens. The average life expectancy of Ameraucanas is around 7-8 years.
12. Delaware Chicken
The Delaware are a healthy breed of chicken kept for meat and eggs. They are also called India River Chicken and are a crossbreed of Barred Plymouth Rock and New Hampshire Red hen.
The hen’s weight is 6 lbs, while the rooster is 8 lbs. They range freely, and they can stay comfortably in a small space.
Hens lay 220-250 large, light-brown eggs yearly. These hardy birds are calm, friendly, and curious. The Delaware chickens live around 5-6 years in average.
13. Marans Chicken
Marans produces 200 medium brown eggs every year that weigh 60g. They need a small space to roam and feed, which is why small backyard farmers prefer them.
However, they are hard to tame and shouldn’t be left with children or kept as pets. The roosters weigh 7 lbs, and the hens 6.5 lbs. They are docile and friendly chickens.
The hens of this breed stop laying eggs after 3 years. The Marans chickens have a life expectancy of about 7-8 years.
It came from Northern New York and Southern Canada. Wyandottes have different colors, but silver and golden are the most common.
The Wyandotte hens produce 200 eggs yearly and are docile, though occasionally, they can be broody. Their eggs are medium and light brown.
The hen weighs 6 lbs while the rooster weighs 9 lbs, and they are used multi-purposely for meat and eggs. The Wyandotte chicken can live between 6 and 12 years, dependent on their care and feeding.
15. Ancona Chicken
The Ancona hens lay 200 small white eggs yearly and were first bred in Italy. It’s a jumpy and nervous chicken, so it can’t concentrate on one place.
Hence, it’s not good as a pet or around children. Ancona male chicken weighs 12-13 lbs, while females weigh 8.8-9.9 lbs.
Their body is yellow and is covered with a blend of black and white feathers. The average lifespan of Ancona chickens is about 8 years.
16. Barnevelder Chicken
It’s a crossbreed between the Dutch Landrace and the Asian jungle fowl that originated in Holland.
They are one of the best egg laying chickens. The hens of this breed lay 200 light-speckled brown eggs or chocolate-colored eggs weighing 2.1-3 ounces yearly.
The male chicken is 6.6-7.7 lbs, while the female is 5.5-6.2 lbs. They are docile, friendly, and curious birds, but are broody occasionally.
They are beautiful chickens with different colors, double-laced silver and double-laced blue, a mixture of black and brown, white, silver blue, and chamois.
Likewise, they are easy to maintain, and it is reared for both meat and eggs. The average lifespan of Barnevelder chickens is about 7-8 years.
17. Hamburg Chicken
Hamburg hens lay about 200 medium-sized white eggs a year. They are attractive birds with white feathers and black dots.
However, they have an aggressive temperament, especially when in an enclosed space. A Hamburg male weighs 4.4-5.5 lbs, and the hen is 3.5 -4 lbs.
The life expectancy of Hamburgs is about 8 years, and they may live more if raise in special care and good feed.
They are a breed of Araucanas, intended to produce a better breed that is more resistant to diseases.
This is one of the breeds that is not loved just because of the quantity of eggs it lays, but also the quality.
The Easter Egger hens lays about 200 medium to large eggs annually. The EEs hens lay different color of eggs like blue, green, white, pink, tan, or dark brown eggs.
Easter Egger roosters weigh 5 pounds, while hens are 4 pounds, and these chickens are docile, friendly, and hardy. They can live up to 7-8 years.
New Hampshire Red is a crossbreed of several breeds like Andalusia, Minorca, Sumatra, and Sebright bantam.
They lay 180-200 eggs every year weighing 50-55 grams and have broad meaty bodies, making them great for meat. Their maintenance costs are low, hence are great for small-scale farmers and starters.
They are also known for maturing fast and feathering fast. This breed is a good resistance to diseases except for common parasites that threaten all chicken breeds.
They lay large brown-colored eggs. A hen weighs 6.5 lbs, and a rooster is 8.5 lbs. They are docile but aggressive. The New Hampshire Red have a life expectancy of about 6-7 years.
Also read: Best Cold Hardy Chicken Breeds
Factors that Affects Eggs Quality and Numbers
There are different facts that affect egg production in Backyard chickens. According to the University of Florida, there are so many Non-infectious and Infectious diseases that cause a decrease in egg production.
The laying cycle of chickens is about 12 months, which starts when a hen reaches about 16-18 weeks of age. After 1 year of age, egg production gradually decreases to about 65%.
Now, let’s discuss the Factors one by one which affects backyard chicken egg production –
1. Chickens Age
Yes, As we have told you above, after 12 months of laying almost hens of every breed lay only 65% of eggs compared to the first 12 months of eggs.
Some hens stop laying eggs after 3-4 years of egg laying. It varies from chicken breed to breed.
2. Lack of Nutrition
We know chickens eat almost everything. You can read a list here: What can chicken eat? But the most important thing is whether they are getting proper nutrition from daily feed or not.
If you are raising free-range chickens in your backyard, then they eat various types of nutritious things like bugs, insects, grass, and some types of leaves. These are direct sources of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.
But if you are raising chickens inside a shed or a closed coop, then they are limited to various external vitamin sources. So poor vitamin intake may cause a lack of egg production.
In that situation, you may need some good vitamin supplements for your flocks.
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3. Poor Quality Feed
Bad quality feed really hurts your chicken’s egg production quantity and quality. If you are growing your chicken inside a shed, always remember to use a good chicken feed. Always use the first week Pre-starter then until 21-25 days age give Starter and after that Finisher.
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There are several types of salts and elements which are needed for better growth of chicken, but at balanced levels. Increased salt levels reduce egg production.
Moreover, lack of Phosphorus absorption may lead to decreased egg production because it is fully related to calcium.
Increased Vitamin D3 Levels cause hypercalcemia. This may cause reduced egg production in chickens.
Some medicines like anticoccidials were added to different types of chicken feed. These are not given to commercial laying hens. E.g., the nicarbazin drug reduces egg production in chickens, which is an anticoccidials drug.
6. Mistakes in Poultry Management
Always check your chicken waterer and feeder. Fill them before they get empty. If hens live without food and water for few hours, it directly affects negatively to the production of eggs.
If you are keeping your chickens inside the coop then proper lighting is required. Hens need about 14 hours of day length for laying a good quantity of eggs.
7. Mites, Lice, and Fleas
Mites, Lice, and Fleas cause various types of health problems in chickens. They make chickens weak by sucking blood from the skin. It causes a lack of vitamins and minerals in the body, which indirectly reduces egg production in chickens.
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8. Worm infestation in Chicken
Like human, chicken also suffers from worm infestation. Endoparasites like Roundworm, Tapeworm live inside chicken intestines and suck all nutrients. This gradually decreases the appetite of chickens and causes diarrhea or even death.
In this type of condition, you can use poultry wormer. You can read more about Chicken Wormers Here.
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9. Diseases in Chickens
Chicken gets infected with various types of diseases like Newcastle disease, Infectious Bronchitis, Avian influenza, E Coli, etc. In these types of conditions, hens stop laying eggs because of a lack of nutrients in the body.
To keep your flocks safe from these types of infections, vaccination must be done properly.
In this post, you will find a list of the best egg-laying chicken breeds for your backyard farm with their name and picture.
Furthermore, we have explained what are the major factors that mainly cause egg production.
I hope you liked this informative post and helped you to choose the best egg laying chicken breed for your backyard coop.