10 Breeds of Chicken That Will Lay Lots of Eggs for You

10 Breeds of Chicken That Will Lay Lots of Eggs for You Blog Cover

For many people the main incentive of raising backyard chickens is a fresh supply of eggs. I still remember walking down to my chickens’ nesting boxes for the first time and picking up those warm fresh eggs!

But one thing most beginners don’t know is that the breed of chicken you get makes a huge impact on the amount of eggs you should expect to receive each day.

Certain breeds, such as Japanese Bantams tend not to lay eggs at all, whereas Hybrid hens can lay more than 280 eggs per year- nearly an egg every day.

Choosing the right breed is crucial if you want fresh eggs all year long, so we’ve drawn up a list of our favorite top 10 egg laying chickens. We have updated this article to include an 11th breed – the Easter Egger. See why below.


Best Feed For Egg Laying Chickens

Mile Four – Non GMO Certified Organic Layer Feed

  • Complete ration for laying hens
  • Corn and Soy Meal Free – By removing corn and soy meal we can guarantee the finest quality of feed free from genetically modified organisms that your hens simply don’t need

See Price on Amazon

Top 10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

1. Hybrid

Hybrid Egg Laying ChickenThere are many different hybrid breeds and one of the most common is known as the Golden Comet. Hybrids have been bred to lay huge amounts of eggs whilst only consuming small amounts of food. This makes them cheaper to feed than other breeds.

Eggs: You should expect for a typical hybrid hen to lay around 280 eggs per year. These eggs will be medium sized and brown coloured.

Colour: Hybrids are normally a golden, brown colour with soft white tail feathers.

Character: They tend to be a very tough and resilient chicken and rarely ever turn broody. If you are looking for an all year round egg layer who is easy to look after, a Hybrid chicken is definitely the pick for you.

2. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red Chicken BreedsRhode Island Red’s originated from America and are known as a ‘dual purpose’ chickens. This means they can be raised for either eggs or meat. They are one of the most popular backyard chicken breeds because they are tough and lay lots of eggs.

Eggs: You should expect a young Rhode Island Red to lay 250 eggs a year. These eggs are brown and medium sized.

Colour: Contrary to their name, Rhode Island Reds actually have brown and black feathers giving them a dark appearance.

Character: They are more than capable of looking after themselves, and are well known for being tough. Rhode Islands are very friendly and are commonly picked by first time chicken keepers.

3. Leghorn

Leghorn Chicken Breeds
© Frankie

Any child who grew up in the 50s or 60s will know what a Leghorn looks like from the popular TV show Foghorn Leghorn. Leghorns were brought to the States from Italy back in the 1800s and have made the perfect backyard chicken ever since.

Eggs: They should lay around 250 eggs per year. These eggs will be white and medium sized.

Colour: They are one of the most unique breeds going, with a full white body and a large thick red comb.

Character: Whilst they would still make an ideal pick for a beginner, anyone looking to tame their chickens shouldn’t choose Leghorns as they are known for being shy and hard to tame.

4. Sussex

Sussex Chicken Breed
© Norman

Like the Rhode Island Red, the Sussex is a ‘dual purpose’ hen which means they can be raised for either eggs or meat.

Eggs: A Sussex is easily capable of laying 250 eggs a year. The colour of the eggs will vary from brown through to creamy white.

Colour: The Sussex breed has eight different colours, the most common one being a pure white body with black neck and tail feathers.

Character: They are a very calm breed who would happily free range in a garden without destroying it! If you want a tame breed which would eat from your hand the Sussex is for you.

5. Plymouth Rock

© David
© David

The Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock) is an ideal pick for a first time chicken keeper who is looking for a hen that lays eggs roughly once every two days.

Eggs: A healthy Plymouth Rock should lay around 200 eggs a year. These eggs will be small to medium sized and are a light brown colour.

Colour: They are predominately grey with white stripes wrapping around their body.

Character: Plymouths are a large bird that is much better suited to the free range lifestyle. Like the Sussex they are very friendly birds who can easily be tamed.

6. Ancona

Ancona Chicken BreedThe Ancona is a small hen which originates from Italy but is now much more common in the United Kingdom and the US.

Eggs: It will lay around 200 eggs per year. These will be small white eggs.

Colour: In feather appearance, it looks very similar to the Plymouth Rock except it is less than half the size.

Character: The Ancona isn’t a breed to be picked as a pet. It is skittish and will need its feathers clipping often as it’s notorious for flying out of chicken pens!

7. Barnevelder

Barnevelder Chicken BreedThe Barnevelder is a cross between the Dutch Landrace and Asian jungle fowl. It is native to Holland and is known for its glossy feathers.

Eggs: It is capable of laying around 200 eggs per year. These eggs will be small to medium sized and a light speckled brown colour.

Colour: The Barnevelder is predominantly a black chicken with brown tipped feathers.

Character: This is a great garden bird that is much better suited to a garden pen. It isn’t a great flyer so you don’t need to worry about clipping their feathers.

8. Hamburg

Hamburg Chicken Breed
© Jacinta

The Hamburg (also spelt Hamburgh) is a chicken native to Germany and is one of the most attractive chicken breeds around.

Eggs: They will lay around 200 eggs per year. These will be small to medium sized eggs and will have a white glossy shell.

Colour: Their feathers resemble the coat of a Dalmatian and are white with black feathers. Hamburgs also have another colour variation which is black with golden tipped feathers.

Character: Hamburgs need lots of space to roam around in and don’t do well inside a chicken pen. They are known to be aggressive in small spaces and are much better as a free range chicken.

Make sure to read How Much Space Do My Chickens Need if you are unsure about what counts as a small space.

9. Marans

Marans Chicken Breed
© Steve

Marans are another dual purpose hen and are renowned for their vibrant dark brown eggs and exception meal quality.

Eggs: A Maran will lay around 200 eggs a year. These eggs are a vibrant dark brown colour and are medium sized.

Colour: They are very similar in appear to Plymouth Rocks and are mostly dark grey with white flutters.

Character: Marans don’t require much space to roam in and are a very gentle hen. With this being said they aren’t very tame and don’t make good ‘pets’.

10. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington Chicken Breeds
© Elias

In tenth place is the Buff Orpington, which is my personal favourite chicken breed. They originate from Kent, England and are a backyard chicken keeper’s dream!

Eggs: Orpingtons will lay around 180 eggs a year. They have a tendency to get broody during the summer months which is why they lay less than the other breeds mentioned on this list.

Colour: They are a glorious golden-yellow colour and have a thick layer of feathers.

Character: Buff Orpingtons are one of the tamest breeds you can get and will make a great garden pet. Within no time you can train them to eat from your hand and socialise with you.

11. Easter Eggers

While Easter Eggers are a hybrid breed, they deserve a shout-out of their own. These inquisitive, and savvy, chickens are the famous blue egg layers, and if you want a lot of blue eggs, this is your gal.

Eggs: You can expect about 250 eggs per year from an Easter Egger. They range from medium to large. And yes, they can be anywhere from a greenish-blue color to a bright light blue. Gorgeous for spring decor!

Color:  Easter Eggers range widely in color variations. They tend to be brown, and have flecks of other colors on their feathers. They are known to resemble a hawk, thus tend to be a favorite free-range chicken. EE’s are also known for their quirky beards which often contrast in color from the rest of the chicken’s body.

Character: Easter Eggers have a reputation for being a friendlier bird. With that being said, their temperament spans widely across the spectrum. I’ve found them to be a nervous breed, preferring to stay at arm’s length from people. This is also what attributes to their ability to evade predators.

How to Keep Egg Production High

Just because you have a breed who can lay lots of eggs, doesn’t mean they will lay lots of eggs.

Many things can affect how many eggs a chicken lays. Their diet, age and access to daylight are all important.


It’s a sad fact of life that older chickens just don’t lay as many eggs as younger chickens.

A chicken’s first year of laying eggs is always their best.

Chickens Egg Laying Reducing Over Time
Chickens Egg Laying Reducing Over Time

You can see in the graph, once a chicken hits the age of three the amount of eggs they lay really slows down.

If your chicken laid 250 eggs in their first year, then by the third year it will only lay 160 eggs.

There is nothing you can do to stop this; it’s just nature’s way.


Best Feed For Egg Laying Chickens

Mile Four – Non GMO Certified Organic Layer Feed

  • Complete ration for laying hens
  • Corn and Soy Meal Free – By removing corn and soy meal we can guarantee the finest quality of feed free from genetically modified organisms that your hens simply don’t need

See Price on Amazon




Chickens need around 20 grams of protein every day for them to keep laying eggs. If their diet isn’t providing them with this protein then they won’t be able to lay many eggs.

To ensure your chickens are getting plenty of protein make sure you are feeding them layers pellets.

Layers pellets have been manufactured to contain all the key minerals, nutrients and minerals that hens require.

If you are looking for how to increase the amount of protein your chickens get read 9 Healthy Treats Your Chickens Will Love.


In addition to a good diet, chickens need at least 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs.

If they don’t get this amount of daylight their egg laying will be limited.

To ensure they get this amount of daylight make sure you are letting them out as close to the sun rise as possible- even if it means those early morning starts!

During the winter there won’t be 14 hours of daylight and many chicken farmers will use artificial lighting to keep their chickens laying eggs. I would never do this because chickens need this downtime during the winter for their body to recover.

If you are forcing your chickens to lay by using artificial lighting it means their bodies don’t recover and your hen’s health will progressively get worse.

Let me know how many eggs a day your hens lay in the comments below!

Chicken Raising Book

  • How to choose the perfect breed of chicken for you- including our top 5 beginner picks.
  • What to feed them for optimal health and egg laying, including if you’re on a tight budget.
  • From bringing your chicks home for the first time to putting eggs on the table, we’ve got it all covered.

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Read More Eggcellent Articles


          • Lisa Veneziano says

            Having a crazy mixed-Up flock is so much fun. You can have many types of gentle natured breeds in the same flock. Although, larger flocks often form competitive cliques, with a lead hen, that is often smarter, more pushy or bossy than th
            e others. This is my experience & observation.
            Just like people, girls in high school or whatever current : THE HOUSEWIVES OF….(add your own city of choice)
            HAVE BEEN & ARE…
            My mixed breed flocks of chickens that I’ve had throughout my life since nursery school. About 50 yrs now ! Half a century of CHICKENS!!!
            The different shapes, sizes, colours & especially my favourite, ALL OF THE DIFFERENT QUIRKY, FUNNY & ENDEARING, PERSONALITIES !!
            I am proud to say , many people say , even visiting veterinarians & their techs, comment on how beautiful my chickens are. I do take pride in their bright , alert eyes/ smooth, glossy, full,
            undamaged, (now that I have a rooster, not always the case now) plumage/ jaunty strutting gait & easy movement/ large (varies with breed ) uniform ,clean, eggs with thick , durable, shells, large deep yellow orange firm standing yolks, tensile albumen & THE NUMBER OF EGGS I GET IS CRAZY!! EVEN IN WINTER! My primary flock is 12 Hens, 1 rooster ( my rooster lays eggs too! He is a hermaphrodite ) one hen
            or another has always gone broody, all considering, I get 9 – 11 eggs A DAY ! They’re coming out my ears! I use them for barter for goods & services.
            When planning a community flock, consisting of many different breeds & types of Chickens ..IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO RESEARCH the typical varying traits & characteristics, of each individual breed, BEFORE purchasing, hatching, or adopting, your chicks & adults.
            The longer I am involved with raising poultry , there are more new & wonderful breeds, that come to my attention, such as Cochins & Wyandottes to name some. Despite being ancient , heritage, or original all American breeds.. I was not familiar with all the different breeds available. My updated flock now consists of 16 chickens, 2 of which are home, hen,-hatched chicks, 2 recently & locally purchased, that are under a year
            ( pullets?) & not laying yet. One of the last chickens I got, was under a year old, as a house warming gift, from my brother-in-law, began to lay eggs, the very day she arrived , from her nearly 200 mile journey here! Here is the breakdown of my CRAZY MIXED-UP FLOCK MEMBERS : given name/ size/colour/breed/sex
            (given as birthday & Christmas gifts & purchased by me as tiny chicks )
            SHILOH – Bantam Golden Silkie Rooster
            CHEYENNE – Bantam Golden Silkie Hen
            SHADOW – Standard Blue Wyandotte Hen
            (THE BOSS OF HER FLOCK )
            CHERIE – Giant Blue Cochin Hen
            SHANTI – Giant (she was the runt of her brood )
            Silver-Laced Cochin Hen
            Recent Newcomer (house warming gift):
            VLADIMIR – Bantam White-Crested Black Polish Hen
            ‘BAMA – Giant Golden-Laced Wyandotte Hen
            RASHA – Standard Australorp Hen (all Australorps are a glossy green-black)
            HOSANNAH – Standard (runt of her brood) Australorp Hen
            BAD ASS – Standard Ausralorp Hen (THE BOSS OF HER CLIQUE)
            SITKA – Standard
            Red-Splash White Americauna Hen
            OREO – Large Cuckoo French Maran Hen
            Recently Purchased :
            SAFFRON – Standard Golden-Penciled Wyandotte Hen
            SESAME – Standard Golden-Penciled Wyandotte Hen
            Just Hatched/Fledging Feathers:
            CAYENNE – (daughter of CHEYENNE) Bantam Golden Silkie (sex undetermined)
            SAGE – (daughter of Cherie) Giant/Bantam hybrid Blue Partridge Blue Cochin x Golden Silkie Hybrid / ( sex undetermined) this chick looks exactly like the Blue Partridge Pekin Bantams, that I’ve researched on-line.
            ( I’ll call it a she &/or her 4 the sake of hoping)
            She is blue, fluffy, pillow-backed , rumpless, shaggy legged & footed & has deep-golden, black-centered, hackles & a pale golden breast. This is not a standard, recognized, Cochin colouration. BUT… a Bantam Cochin is NOT a Cochin, but called a Pekin Bantam. SAGE’S plumage, is a common colour of Pekin Bantams, which I call Blue Partridge. I don’t really know what colour it is properly called.
            I PERSONALLY THINK since she is a Giant Cochin x Bantam Silkie hybrid, the Bantam gene dominated & the Pekin Bantam traits became the genetic outcome. Cochins were used in developing Pekins, or vice-versa, Pekins were used to develop the Cochin standard, not really , very, sure there.
            Interesting how the alleles & markers numbers, come up on the genetic roulette wheel of hybridized breeds & colour varieties.
            Have fun with your CRAZY MIXED-UP FLOCK
            OF CHOOKS!!
            I chose my flock#1 for broodiness traits, as I always planned on raising game birds & the breeds I chose will hatch & raise ANY egg you put under them, EVEN REPTILE EGGS !! Heck, I’ve even heard of these breeds, keeping newborn kittens warm & protecting them!!
            It is very, very, cold in Winter where I moved to
            last year, I have 98% mostly COLD HARDY breeds. But the Summers here, are fiercely brutal, so I have to run cooling fans in Summer & offer cold circulating spring water. THE Polish hen, that is NOT cold hardy, she knows this & happily, gets into her little heat lamp crate, all on her own, every night.
            I LOVE MY CHICKENS & THEY ARE AS MUCH A PART OF OUR FAMILY , AS OUR HUMAN FAMILIES & THEY ARE TREATED AS SENTIENT, FEELING & EMOTIONAL BEINGS, THAT DESERVE TO BE TREATED HUMANELY, WITH RESPECT, PATIENCE & KINDNESS . EVEN IF BEING RAISED FOR SLAUGHTER. I used to slaughter mine very swiftly & always in the first attempt, with the most, also swift, method, in their deep, sleep, late at night… far away from the others.
            Bless all of the creatures, The Creator made to sustain us in every way with their companionship, beauty,,
            home/property protection & as living alarm systems, pest control talents some creatures have, meat & by-products, we use for food, fertilzer, clothing & accessories, products to to sell, barter & trade with as well. It gets longer into creative sub lists. But not me.
            I am retired & my husband & I are living the old fashioned way in a wild frontier , like we grew up in as young people. Him mega ranching & industrial scale farming & me organically & communally farming . We put our philosophies & methodologies together, to come up with what works for us humans & creatures alike. He’s nearly done DIY chicken coop, run & house (mansion) building, right now . He just got done running electricity out to them for heat , light & A/C & put up the rain gutters on it yesterday. He just wants his darn garage back from the flock!! SO HE SAYS.
            Toodles!! HAVE a6 CLUCKIN’ GREAT NEW YEAR !!

        • Peter Larson says

          My son wanted lots of different chicks. So he ordered 3-5 of 20-25 different breeds. Even some bantam breeds. All did well.

          • gavin says

            i have a lot of chickens we have this easter egger that is broody and some eggs in the incubator and some chicks ,i have alot of mixes

        • Hailey says

          Yes u can but if they are broody they cross breed with other chickens and make different type of chicks!!

          • Ria says

            Actually the “broodiness” has nothing to do with the resulting breed, that is specifically the rooster & hen. Broody refers to a hen sitting on a brood of eggs, attempting to hatch them out.

          • Sandy says

            We have a chicken that adopted us. She came from our neighbor and just never went back. She lays an egg a day. We believe she is a Black Astralop. We decided to get babies and raise more.

        • P////Dub says

          Yes that’s half the fun with chickens unless u want to hatch out eggs to sell they should be fine

        • Reba says

          I have 16 hens two of each of my favorite breeds. Makes colorful egg collecting . I average from 8 to 10 eggs each day. Some of my hen are four years old. My Golden Lace Wyandotte’s are my oldest and still lay .

      • Julius says

        I just got my chicks today. 5 Road Island Reds n 5 Buff Orfingtons. I was raised on a farm in Iowa n now in Houston Tx. I have always wanted some for brooding n eggs. They will have free range in my back yard.

    • MairyMai says

      It usually takes about 6 months for your chicks to fully mature and to be regularly laying eggs. However, you can expect your flock to start slowly laying eggs any time now.

      • Jheta Chandler says

        Yes that is true, but they first start at about 5 months and become regular at 6 months of age

      • Barb says

        Not necessarily. I’ve read about two hybrids that begin laying regularly between 16 and 18 weeks. Red stars and black stars. I’m getting them next, I’ll let you know.

    • margie miller says

      You had mentioned that the Leghorns are not so tame but out of all my chickens I have my dirty purdy that’s her name leghorn who wants to talk all day and be carried around. Shes very funny and helps me clean every day and then shows me how to go into the nest box. Hillarious she is.

      • Linda C. Draginis says

        When I was a kid (1950’s) we had a hatchery used to give us kids little leghorn chicks…we loved those chickens..kept them as pets..most loveable birds, just wanted to sit in our laps and follow us around the yard! Maybe breeding more for egg production has changed them..but I remember ours as excellent pets!

    • Joel Baer says

      Ours didn’t lay until they were almost a year old . There is no rhyme or reason cause we keep our chickens as happy as possible. Don’t get discouraged… it will happen when it happens

      • Louise says

        Ours were the same, I think it was because they got to egg laying age just as winter set in. All started laying once the days got longer though ?

    • Patty Knapp says

      Hi Chrissie,
      What breed’s of hen’s do you have? We are looking to get hens soon & I am dong some research on the best type of hen’s to get & also how do you take care of them in winter month’s?? Thank’s SOo much!!

      • MairyMai says

        White leghorns! our flock of 10 gives us about 8-9 eggs a day not to mention they are popular for laying huge double yolks. This breeds is extremely healthy and is bred for just laying eggs. They took about 5 months to fully mature and our happy chickens with happy owners.

    • Jane says

      My chickens started laying at just over four months of age, and the first eggs were so small! Within a couple months the eggs got so much larger. I have barred rocks and they are very charming and friendly, they run to my voice and their favorite treat is Cheerios.

      • CJC787 says

        That is adorable! I hope I can train my chickens to be as obedient as yours! Maybe they won’t escape every single day then.

  1. Leighe says

    I have 10 hens and I get 10 eggs 99% of the time. Maybe once or twice a month I get 8 or 9 eggs. I have Amber Stars and Amber Whites. I was laughing whilst reading your post about Broody chickens. I’ve only had these chickens since April 18, 2015 and they were approx. 5 months old then. They are a hybrid and incredibly docile and love attention. Beautiful, calm birds. I sit for two hours each evening with them, not including the time I spend during the day cleaning their baths or coop or refreshing water, lol. I already have one that went broody. I’ll be interested to see if she makes it the 21 days and what her chicks will be like. I had to move her to another coop because the one they are in normally is high off the ground and I read the chicks could die from falling out of the coop while young. So I made my original coop into a maternity coop, lol. She is on day 6 with these eggs but when she was in the other coop, she spent two days in one nest then moved to another nest and spent two days there and then moved back to the original nest and thats when I decided she needed her own coop. Not sure if she was getting up to get water and food and another hen would sit in her coop so she moved or she just moved. Being her first time being broody, I’m sure she’s a bit confused. I found her one night in one of the bathtubs, squatting. At the time I didn’t realize she was broody, but I recognize the head down look now and the glaze. I cannot begin to describe my joy and love of my girls and the rooster. Truly the blessings are all mine.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Thanks for getting in touch Leighe!

      It sounds like you are very lucky indeed- most of us would kill for an egg supply like that!

      Keep in touch and let us know if your eggs hatch,


  2. A says

    Has anyone bought great chicks from Alamo Hay and Grain? I am thinking of buying some, should I also get a rooster? Finally, do they have Golden Comet chickens?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      We haven’t Ava, but lets see if anyone else has got chickens from Alamo Hay and Grain and writes a comment back!

  3. mark says

    im looking to get started raising chickens to have a constant egg supply any advice you could give on getting started what to feed and all would be great! i have no experiance at all

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Mark,

      Take a look through our blog and we have a lot of advice about feeding!

      If there is anything specific just drop us an email 🙂

      • Pearllea says

        Hi mark,if you get baby chicks you’ll want to feed them starter feed,I person all used starter feed that’s medicated,make sure there’s always fresh water at all times,this is very important,you’ll also want to make sure the little things are housed safely,away from predictors and drafts of air,keep them away from older chickens until there 8 weeks old,keep them dry and warm,they get wet they die.say you purchased 6 chicks at 3 weeks you can hard boil 2 eggsand mash them up real fine and add to there food for extra protein,save all your egg shells rinse them with cold water and let dry,use coffee grinder and grind them up fine,once your chick are around 15 weeks old add a little egg shell to there food its extra calcium,once your chickens have all the down feathers gone and Adair feathers in place and they’ve been in the CCP for at least 3 weeks its safe to let them out in the run,1st week of life temp should be 95*f2nd week 90*f 3rd week 85*f 4th week 80*f 5th week 75*f. Raising chickens are such a joy and loads of fun,treat them like you would want to be treated and you’ll make friends,good luck

        • Joyce says

          I’m a city girl out on a 96 acre farm land. I enjoyed all your comments, we are going to tray our hand at raising chickens. Husband is building a chicken coop/big run for about 19 chickens. Any other advice is appreciated. Trying to not kill them LOL I decided to get Aystrakiros as they look the most tamable.

  4. Miss match hens says

    I’ve just hatched out 10 baby chicks some (most) are from my redstar pullets so will these offspring be good egg layers? My roosters is a large silkie white, the other daddy is a small to medium size barred rock yet he has light feathers down his legs don’t know if he’s a cross as well. Some chicks are all black, some are white and some are cream.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Congratulations that is great news.

      Yes I would expect them to lay quite well- Silkies aren’t known for great laying but the redstar genes will hopefully counter that!

      • Miss match hens says

        16 chicks total now, my neighbour gave me some of her eggs for my last little girl that went broody she hatched 5 cuties all pullets and 1 little roo. So I’ve increased my flock that’s for sure, I want eggs in return for my love and care and best friend ship.

  5. Michele says

    I don’t raise hens nor do I know much about it. But found a hen (she looks just like a Buff Orpington) laying eggs in a small grassy area in the corner of our front porch. She just got off her eggs today and there were 23 eggs there! Is this normal!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Wow that sounds like a great find Michele!

      It sounds to me like she has turned broody… this is normal behaviour and nothing to worry about 🙂

  6. Michael Ford says

    I have 2 red leghorns that are 5 weeks old. One’s comb is slightly larger and turning pink. They were supposed to be sexed pullets. Is it too early to know if it’s a rooster? Are there any tell tale signs I should look for besides the comb?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Michael,

      It’s still quite earlier to tell. What is their behavior like- are they pushy and dominating the other chicks? This would be a tell tale sign of a rooster!


  7. Jackie says

    I’m 14 years old and we built a chicken coop and we were wondering what type of chickens we should get and what accessories are necessary for raising healthy hens

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Jackie,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      I would recommend either Rhode Island Reds or Buff Orpingtons, they are great beginner chickens and will lay lots of eggs for you too 🙂

      Happy chicken keeping,


  8. Jujubara says

    Very nice Article. I currently have 16 chickens and own a few different breeds. That being said, I must say the Sussex, Leghorns, and Barnevelder(recently passed), have laid the best! But none can replace our White Leghorn for production! She is also the most friendly, seeing as we hatched her ourselves and have handled her since day one.

  9. Deana Kolbaba says

    Hi, there! I gave a Buff Orpington and a Red Star, which are both 2 years old. We’re trying to add 2 more great egg layers. What do you recommend?

  10. Dave says

    My family about to receive our first set of four hens, thank you for posting the site this is been most helpful!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Godwin,

      Hybrids normally start laying at around 20 weeks old, providing their diet is correct 🙂


  11. Clare Taylor says

    We got 2 brown 19 week olds (Rangers) and 1 black 16 week old (Rhode Island we think-black with blue/green tinge on feathers in certain lights). They are hybrids and the farm said both breeds good layers.

    We’ve had them for 10 weeks now, the brown girls have been laying for 7 weeks pretty much one a day each, however the black one still isn’t laying. Any advice?

    They’re on layers pellets, have half cup of corn and meal work scattered each night and usually a treat of rice and corn on top of their main food. They come out for an hour+ each evening.

    All three seem happy, have grown well, red combs etc. Infact, the black one is the biggest.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Clare,

      So the black hen is around 25 weeks old now? It could be once of two things I’d think:
      1) She hasn’t started laying egg and will start laying within the next few weeks- this seems unlikely…
      2) She is already laying eggs and has a ‘secret’ nest somewhere else in the run.

      Let me know how you get on,


    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Sue,

      I’ve tried it in the past and would not recommend it. The newspaper stuck to the eggs and sometimes the ink transferred onto the egg shells.

      You could use pine wood shavings if you’re worried about mites,


  12. Carol says

    Hi am thinking of getting 2 hens as just going to get medium coop . Need to be very friendly as I have 6 grandchildren who would love to help me look after them as pets and for they eggs of course. Which hens would be best for me?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Carol,

      My favorites are the Rhode Island Red and they have a very docile personality so will be great with the grandchildren!

      Good luck,


  13. carol says

    I have just started with chickens and have a mixed group of eight, but mainly orpington and rhode island red. Also have black and a pure white but cannot remember what type they are although they did tell me. They are doing really well and seem very happy eating, drinking and are outside all day on free range.etc., They are around 12 weeks old I believe – what age do they start laying?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Carol,

      Well done on making the decision and getting chickens 🙂

      You should expect your first eggs from them in around 8 weeks!

      Good luck,


  14. Vicki says

    I have 28 chickens. They were free ranging and always laid 24 eggs per day. They were destroying my plants and flowers so we leave them in the pen most days now, (large 40′ x 40′ pen). Now they only lay 20 to 24 per day. They are all first year layers. Could they just be mad cause we don’t let them out any more? I have no clue as to why they wouldn’t continue as before. Any insight on this?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Vicki,

      When chickens free roam they get a lot of key minerals from the ground. When they are in a pen the ground can run of these minerals once the chickens have ‘pecked’ there long enough!

      I would make sure that the feed you are using is a commercial feed which provides them with all their key nutrition and minerals and they will be fine 🙂


  15. Sandie says

    I have two Americauna Roosters that were supposed to be pullets. They are beautiful but the city does not allow Roosters. What can I do with these chickens? They are extremely nice boys and used to people. I found a home for the third. Our local store sold us 3 of 3 roosters when we purchased our Americaunas. They are more like pets but cannot keep them. Have had them since Feb.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Sandie,

      I’m so sorry to hear about this 🙁

      I would try and find somebody you trust who can take them off your hands, as you don’t want to get in trouble with the city for keeping them…


      • Jennifer Cole says

        I need help!!
        A friend gave me a black hen and I’m convinced it is her laying the white egg because all of my other breeds lay brown. I can’t find her breed or anything that looks like her that lays a white egg. Please help!?

  16. Alexia says

    I have 14 chickens that are not even 1 year old, we are starting to get eggs and we have 2-3 chickens that we don’t know if they are roosters or not

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Alexia,

      Look at their sickle feathers- at 20 weeks old or so it should be a dead give away!


    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Tyler,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      I don’t personally know any breeders in your area- I would suggest either joining or speaking with a local poultry club because they will know who has a good reputation in the local area.

      Or have you considered purchasing from a national breeder and getting them delivered to you?


  17. Whitney says

    My younger sister is planing on raising chickens just like I do , I raise road island reds and I love EM, but she doesn’t want the same breed as me, she says she wants to raise them for eggs but she’s 5 and I think she just wants a friendly backyard pet breed what do you recommend

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Whitney,

      I would recommend buff orpingtons.

      They don’t lay as many eggs as road islands but they are very friendly and easy to care for.

      I wish your sister all the best luck 🙂


      • Mark says

        I raise australorps they’re excellent layers hybrids are good layers but not very healthy don’t waste on them herritage breeds are far better than hybrids.

    • Maddie says

      I plan to get chickens, very soon when we have more space to raise them. I’ve read a lot on this site and I’ve decided I want to raise both Sussex and Buff Orpingtons. Do they do well together? Will they be able to be in the same coop and not fight with each other? I’ve never raised hens but I know a couple people who do they just have different breeds.

  18. Michael says

    My Six new hens are Black Stars and are four months+ and healthy. I have always raised Sex Lnks which roost readily. These Black Star hens huddle in the corner of concrete floor of coop at night and never go near the laying nests. Any thoughts as to why?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Michael,

      Do they have any light in the coop during the evening?

      I’ve heard of this before and it was caused because the hens couldn’t see the roosting bars inside the coop at night.


  19. Wendy says

    Hi my hybrids stopped laying three months ago. Nothing since except a few shell less eggs crushed. On layers pellets, no corn, excluded all fatty treats just pellets. Tried++ protein, cider vinegar, not broody, no lice, no mite, plenty light, space, all is well but no eggs. At 18months could this be the end of eggs. ?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Wendy,

      Definitely not- they should still have plenty of eggs left at only 18months old.

      However 18months old sounds very close to their first major molt- are they molting, as this would stop their egg production…


  20. Mary Spencer says

    We have 4 buff orpington ladies, about 5 mo. old. Yesterday we got our FIRST egg(s)—Two of our girls laid an egg within 5 min. of each other! What was completely unbelievable was that I saw one egg and thought it was Prissy’s because she was the only one in the nesting box with an egg beside her. I picked her up to stroke and praise her and SHE CALMLY DROPPED HER EGG INTO MY HAND!!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      It’s such an excitement isn’t it Mary!

      You were very lucky and timed this to perfection 🙂

      Good luck on your chicken journey,


  21. Steve says

    Loads of great advice on here. We are getting 4 hens but are novices so thank you for all the advice. My wife has gone chicken mad. Lol

  22. Steven says

    I live in Anola Mb. Canada, the weather goes from +40 deg Celsius to -40 deg Celsius before wind chill. I am wanting to get some dual purpose (eggs, then when they get older meat) chicks for myself. Was just wondering what types would be best that can handle the temps.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Steven,

      I always recommend rhode islands as the best beginner hen and then can also handle very hot and cold weather.


  23. Cassandra says

    I am new to raising chickens. My chickens have laid their first eggs yesterday. I thought my chicken were brown egg layers. Buff Orpington is actually what I thought they were. They are laying white large eggs. The chickens are a red orange with black in their tails. How can I find out for sure what kind of chickens I have?

  24. Demrie Alonzo says

    My son and I plan to raise 4-5 chickens this coming year. We would like to start them as chicks. Do you recommend that? Ours will have a fairly small hen house but a fenced in yard area to roam during the daylight hours. We are very excited and haven’t yet picked what type yet. Your article was extremely helpful!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Glad to hear the article has helped you Demrie.

      Yes absolutely- remember we are here if you need any help along the way!


    • Laura Bunyard says

      Meagan, I would ask if you know the breeds. Some lay all year and some will stop in the winter. Also, what are the ages and their diet? Some hens are not good layers. You can tell if they are supposed to have yellow legs and beaks that are still yellow after a year of laying and look dull or sleepy. Also, how long have they been laying? Lots to consider and you can sleuth your way through this problem.

  25. Les VamBrunt says

    On this page you wrote not to use lights to force your hens to lay. In the comments you told a commenter that her chickens may need some light in the coop so the can see the roost. I don’t want to compromise. My girls health so they’ll lay more eggs but I noticed they might also need a bit of light. I put a 60 watt bulb in a 10’X10′ coop. Is that too much?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Les,

      If you don’t want to comprise your girl’s health then the safest choice is to not fit a light in their coop.


  26. Dawn Leith says

    We have an Orpington that keeps going after one specific hen when they enter the coop. We inspected the other hen for any signs of injuries or possible sickness but we are going on 5 months now that this aggresive behaviour has been happening. The other hens don’t attack her until the main hen starts. We eventually moved bullied hen into her own coop which she clucks for a good hour or two until the sun sets. Has anyone any suggestions why this maybe happening? Also, my daughter is wanting to add to the bunch but I’m worried the little ones will also be bullied once we can introduce them to the older hens. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated

    • Dan says

      Hello Dawn,

      We had very good luck with introducing or rescued Buff Orpington into our flock of Barred Rocks by keeping her separate until she was fairly close in size to our other girls then I got a 8×8 dog run and we would put her in that in the same area as the other chickens and after a while of that we would let her run with them while we were outside watching then we gradually let them spend more time unattended until they were all one happy flock.

      It took time and patience but worked out great.

  27. Chad Herring says

    We have a nice small variety of “hobby” chickens. It gets sub zero temperature here. What is the harm in a small heating lamp?

  28. Barbara says

    I have 3 blue splash Orpington’s. Born 9 April 2016. One hen has matured faster than the other two. We are getting eggs from her EVERY day. Is this unusual? (Not that I’m complaining!

  29. Chrstine says

    Help! Help! Help!
    I’ve been raising chickens for about seven years now. I haven’t lost a chicken to anything but a coon now and then when one refuses to go into the pen at night.
    I have about twenty partridge rock and ten misc. breeds (all documented good layers).
    They are all about eleven months old now. They started laying well and suddenly stopped. The food is the same, plenty of water, clean roosts, nesting boxes and plenty of space for ranging.
    I am stumped.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Christine,

      Generally there are three things that would cause a stop in production like this:
      • Change in environment (coop move or bringing in additional hens).
      • Some form of illness (mites, lice etc).
      • Change in seasons (moving into winter).

      Any of these sound familiar?


  30. Debbie Miller says

    Hi! I love the way you care about the chickens and your enthusiasm! I’m sorry if I missed this but I’m interested in learning about cleaning my coop with natural ingredients and not using toxic chemicals. I recently tried vinegar, water and sweet orange essential oil. Does anyone have a any advice or thoughts on this? Thank you

    • elaine says

      Hi Debbie,
      I’ve also heard that vinegar mixed with orange essential oil and water is good, but I haven’t tried it yet. I use the deep litter method, which means the coop only needs cleaning about once a year. (each week you add more litter, wood shavings and dried leaves from the garden. The birds mix it up when they scratch through it for bugs) It doesn’t smell, and there are no mites or anything. It’s great!

    • Muhammad R Tariq says

      Hi Debbie ,

      I’m not sure what kind of floor you’re using for chicken coops ?

      We’re using mud floor and then we use the wood shaver .It is easy to clean and it is useful for heating during winter season .

    • Dan says

      Hey Debbie,

      I use wood shavings on the floor and a piece of plywood under the roost as a poop board and dump the poop in the garden then spray that off every few days.

      I also spray the coop with water every few months and change all of the shavings.

      I also change out the plywood every year with a new piece of plywood.

  31. Gabby says

    Does anyone have a good opinion on what kind of coop should get because I want to be able to clean out their coop.

  32. Summer says

    I’m hoping to get some more breeds this spring! I loved how nice my Leghorn girls turned out this year and hoping for more! (maybe a different color this time!) Also getting Easter Eggers and Marans! I cant wait!

  33. Nick says

    Almost three years ago I picked up 12 Golden Comets (I think). At about five months old they began laying and over the next 20 months I picked up about 75 eggs a week. My neighbors and grandkids loved the girls. The girls follow them everywhere. I kept them loose in the fruit orchard and they would go into their cage to lay, eat or sleep. I feed them 20 percent laying pellets and all the fruit they can eat. Six months ago I picked up six Rhode Island Reds and they have started laying now. The eggs are smaller and less frequent. They are alright, but I am getting more Golden Comets soon. I enjoyed the article and posts, thank you.

  34. Amanda Pancake says

    I did not know artificial lights were bad for my hens it gets really cold here in the winter so I put up heat lamps. I have noticed some days I was getting more eggs. (9- hens and some days I would have 11 eggs) should I turn lights out.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Amanda,

      Please don’t turn the lights off mid season- it could cause them to molt.

      Please read my latest article on what to do with lights during winter 🙂


  35. Joana Mirasol says

    I love this post, it helps me decide on what chicken to get for both eggs and meat.. I am planning of getting a chicken – rhode island red. Atleast 10 for start up. And hopefully will be able to see the chicken hatch for the first time 🙂

  36. Drakedog says

    We have one Golden Comet who loves my wife. Follows here like the Pied Piper(-: She lays 6-7 eggs per week. All large to extra large brown eggs. Every once in a while she will lay a jumbo egg. Couldn’t ask for a better layer/pet. Am planning to get 3 or 4 more b4 winter sets in.

  37. Meeple Salad says

    My family of 7 has 8 chickens of mixed breeds. We always have plenty of eggs and occasionally give away a couple dozen eggs when we have too many. Thank you for all the great information and suggestions.

  38. HJ Ale says

    We have 8 fairly young Redrock chicks. They weren’t sexed when we bought them,and are now trying to distinguish between the Hens and the Roosters. But we definitely have at least 3 Roosters. They are all close to a bit over 12 weeks old now,and very outgoing and friendly.

  39. Rebecca says

    I have 3 buff orpington, 3 speckled sussex, and 1 americauna. They are 7 mo old and have been laying for about a month now. Today I went out to the coop, after not checking for 2 days due to the holidays. Got a dozen eggs! Seems pretty good for December at 38 degree weather.

  40. Cheri says

    I’m looking into getting my first chicken. We live in the city and I prefer to start with just 1. Do chickens live well alone or do they really need to live with other hens? I’m looking at a Golden Comet?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Cheri,

      They are social animals, so shouldn’t really be kept on their own. You should get at least 2.


  41. Stephanie says

    Hi! I got my first chickens in August. I have two Easter eggers that just started laying about two months ago. One lays every day and the other most days. I can tell because ones eggs are green and others are white. My hens are beautiful girls. I live in small town where I can’t let them free range, but let them out to walk around the yard with me. They will eat out my hand and crawl in my lap for food. Haha! Love my girls! Thanks for all the information. Have learned a lot from you.

  42. Wendy says

    I’m new to raising chickens. I got 4 barred rocks, 4 silver Wyandotte, 4 gold sex link, & 4 Black sex link. They are 6 & 4 weeks old. I’m starting to think I may have over done it when they finally start laying. Can I sell eggs? Also, do I need to worry about ferral cats hunting them if I let them in the yard?
    On another note, the Barred Rocks & Silver Laced Wyandottes are super friendly! The sex links can be a little stand-offish but still love to eat out of my hand.

  43. Sandy Miller says

    I have 2 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Leg horn and I average 2-3 eggs daily. They are about 10 months old. My Leghorn went through a molt at about 5 months old and just started laying about a month ago

  44. Jenny Sexton says

    I am looking to get 3 hybrids but we live in middle Tennesee and are worried about the winter months. Are these Golden Comets going to be okay with near-freezing temperatures outside? Are there certain things I can do to keep them warm?

  45. Ahsan says

    I come to know that Australorp is the top most eggs laying breed. ………But I’m shocked by reading this article. There is not australorp in the top 10. Please guide me. I have about 100 australorp (2months) chicks. I’m from Pakistan

  46. Carrie says

    How cold of temperature can hens handle? I live in the midwest where it often is in the teens during the winter time.

  47. Eshatou says

    Wow! This site is awesome! My husband and I are about to get baby chicks for our two girls to raise and we have been looking online to get help on how to raise healthy chickens and am telling ya, this site got all the answers we need. Thank you so much and now we know where to come when we need more help?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Thank you for your kind words. Please spread the word and share the site with others.



      Abram try ISA BROWN they are very good egg layers they have Rhode island red and Rhode island white and some leghorn but there is a mystery to what else they have in them the males are white at birth and the females are red at birth

  48. Francesco Wenger says

    Brilliant read. Very rare nowadays as most people just write a quick article just to get more views. This one is different! Both informative and helpful. Thank you!

  49. michelle says

    the “sussex”is actullay a cloumbian wyandotte some of this informtion is wrong that’sussex’is a columbain wyandote ive had chinckens science ive been abe to walk and i know the breeds thats a columbian wyandotte

  50. Janet Smith says

    A friend of ours bought a dozen double yolk eggs. He is wondering if there is chickens that lay them? I am an “old timer” chicken raiser and never heard of such a fowl that laid double yolks. I was wondering if in the kindling, if you still do that” they may keep the double ones in a area of there own. From the pic. he sent they looked smaller in size. Interesting. Thanks for any info. you can give me…

  51. Elizabeth Coates says

    I have 9 laying chickens. Pretty sure it’s about 4 different breeds and I get 5-6 eggs a day

  52. E. LewisI says

    Raising 10 now 9 Easter eggers. 1 damaged (animal?) leg broken @ thigh bloodied up managed to live for 2 weeks (on 1 leg @used wing as crutch ) animal came back and pull 2by4 dog cage off a high perch – door opened baby girl gone! Had she managed to grow could she laid eggs and survive in my 10by10 pen with the other babies and 3 adult Red Islands that are left.

  53. Stephen Solar says

    Our local avian vet tells me that a natural chicken lays about 15 eggs a year but humans have bred them to lay hundreds instead. That is why a chicken lives only 3-6 years instead of a natural 15-18 years. So much of their energy goes into egg production that it shorten their lives.
    On top of that, we want bigger eggs (have you seen them at the supermarkets?) but there has to be a limit. It’s like a woman giving birth to a bowling ball!
    I love the eggs from our hens but we should not treat them as just laying machines. We keep ours all their lives, well past their egg-laying period.

    • HappyChicken says

      That’s interesting. It has become quite the trend. But I have had experience with some living 9 years.


  54. Tonia says

    Just purchased a coop for chickens. Hoping to start this next spring. We are in WI… what are good laying birds that would be friendly with our 5yo? We plan on having around 3 chickens in the coop to start and hope to build runs to let them move around more. Would road island reds be ok in a commercial coop built for about 5-6 chickens?

  55. Frannie says

    Thinking about being first-time chicken keepers… It sounds like Rhode Island and Buffs are great first hens. These might be silly questions, but…
    1) Is it okay to only get 1 hen or is it best to have more than 1 so they have a ‘friend’?
    2) Will they fight?
    3) How high can they fly? We have 6ft high fence around property.

    Thank you for any and all advice!

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  57. Rob says

    Is there any specific considerations for colder climates? I’m starting a homestead in northern Idaho and wonder about the cold temperatures. Are there breeds that are bred for the cold?

  58. Abby says

    I have an Americauna that I got last year, but last year she didn’t start laying till she was 9 months old, is this normal or not?

  59. katharita says

    we have two rhode island reds and two that i’m pretty sure are golden comets. they have two coops they can go in and out of and a run of about 15′ x 25′. during the summer, i let them free range for 3-4 hours a day, but now that it’s cold (and occasionally snowy), they’re staying in the pen nearly every day.

    during the summer and fall, they laid 3-4 eggs/day. i expected them to take a winter vacation, but here it is nearly christmas, and i’m still getting an average of 2 eggs per day.

    is this common? we even have a tarp over the run to prevent snow from getting in, so they don’t get that much light. i don’t want to overwork them.

    i feed them homemade scratch and our leftover veggie and fruit trimmings, with oyster shells for calcium.

  60. Liz says

    I have 3 hens.
    2 Wyandotte’s
    1 Silkie
    They all were laying 1 a day.
    Since it’s winter and not enough light , the Silkie has slowed way down to 1 or 2 a week.

  61. Lily says

    Thanks for this article.
    My hens are still laying even in Canadian winter. I don’t give them any artificial light ever.
    Does this mean that their health will progressively get worse, as you mentioned at the end of the article?

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  63. Hansen says

    I have 105 hens and I only get about 35-40 eggs per day…
    Majority of them have lost their feathers due to pecking each other.
    What can I possibly be doing wrong or not being doing that is not making them lay..

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  65. Noel Levac says

    I have a hen similar to the golden comet but with feather on her legs laying 2 eggs à day for the last month…….can you tell me why? Thanks

  66. Elizabeth says

    My hybrid girls are all very friendly and have laid at least one, sometimes two eggs per day. That said, personality really varies between my three ladies. One roams the neighborhood, follows me around the yard and likes to be held, while the other two are a bit more cautious. All three seem to have no fear of our cat or dog and will chase the cat in the yard. Really fun animals to have around 🙂

  67. Kiran says

    Want to buy babby hen? which is more egg lying. where should I get it if anybody have knowledge please shere me

    • Mary says

      I love my buff orpington hens I have 6 and they are very friendly and dont mind my cats. I get 3 eggs a day one just started laying yesterday so I should get 4 a day.

  68. Mary says

    I get 3 eggs a day my hens just started I have buff yesterday I got 4 eggs so I should get 4 eggs a day I have 6 hens. They are brown eggs small for now

  69. Janet Davis says

    I’m pretty new to chicken keeping, love this blog, so much information.
    I got 4 Whiting True Blue
    Girls from Murray a little over a year ago. These girls lay a big blue egg nearly every day. They’re quiet, but not particularly outgoing. Lovely ladies! Never seen them mentioned in your articles, sure hope you can find the time to check them out. I don’t ever plan to not have them in my flock. My DIL is planning to add some to her flock this spring.

  70. Erin says

    Hi! I am new to the chicken world and am considering owning my own set of 5-10 hens for eggs and a hobby. Is this a hobby that requires daily cleaning and checking in on the hens? Do you find a particular breed is more “affordable” than others, based off the amount they eat? Would my hens be happy without free-range capability? Would appreciate any insight/tips/tricks as I research to figure out if this is a good hobby for me! Thanks ahead of time. 🙂

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