For many people, the main incentive for 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!
Knowing the chicken breeds that lay lots of eggs is important.
Quick Look At Our 10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
|10 Breeds That Lay The Most Eggs|
|Rhode Island Red
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Most beginners don’t know that the breed of chicken you get makes a huge impact on the number of eggs you should expect to receive each day.
Certain breeds, such as Japanese Bantams, tend not to lay eggs, 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.
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Top 10 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
There are many different hybrid breeds, and one of the most common is 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.
You should expect a typical hybrid hen to lay around 280 eggs per year. These eggs will be medium-sized and brown colored.
Hybrids are normally a golden, brown color with soft white tail feathers.
They tend to be very tough and resilient chickens and rarely ever turn broody. If you are looking for an all-year-round egg layer that is easy to look after, a Hybrid chicken is definitely the pick for you.
2. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red’s originated from America and is known as ‘dual-purpose chickens. This means you can raise them for either eggs or meat. They are one of the most popular backyard chicken breeds because they are tough and lay lots of eggs.
You should expect a young Rhode Island Red to lay 250 eggs a year. These eggs are brown and medium-sized.
Contrary to their name, Rhode Island Reds actually have brown and black feathers giving them a dark appearance.
They are more than capable of looking after themselves and are well known for being tough. Rhode Island is very friendly and is commonly picked by first-time chicken keepers.
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.
They should lay around 250 eggs per year. These eggs will be white and medium-sized.
They are unique breeds going, with a full white body and a large thick red comb.
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.
As the Rhode Island Red, the Sussex is a ‘dual purpose’ hen which means you can raise them for eggs or meat.
A Sussex is easily capable of laying 250 eggs a year. The color of the eggs will vary from brown through to creamy white.
The Sussex breed has eight different colors, the most common being a pure white body with a black neck and tail feathers.
They are a very calm breed who would happily free range in a garden without destroying it! If you want a tame breed that would eat from your hand, the Sussex is for you.
5. Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock) is an ideal pick for a first-time chicken keeper looking for a hen that lays eggs roughly once every two days.
A healthy Plymouth Rock should lay around 200 eggs a year. These eggs will be small to medium-sized and are a light brown color.
They are predominately grey, with white stripes wrapping around their body.
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.
The Ancona is a small hen that originates from Italy but is now much more common in the United Kingdom and the US.
It will lay around 200 eggs per year. These will be small white eggs.
It looks very similar to Plymouth Rock in feather appearance, except it is less than half the size.
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!
The Barnevelder is a cross between the Dutch Landrace and Asian jungle fowl. It is native to Holland and is known for its glossy feathers.
It is capable of laying around 200 eggs per year. These eggs will be small to medium-sized and a light speckled brown color.
The Barnevelder is predominantly a black chicken with brown tipped feathers.
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.
The Hamburg (also spelled Hamburgh) is a chicken native to Germany and one of the most attractive chicken breeds.
They will lay around 200 eggs per year. These will be small to medium-sized eggs and will have a white glossy shell.
Their feathers resemble the coat of a Dalmatian and are white with black feathers. Hamburgs also have another color variation which is black with gold-tipped feathers.
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 than a free-range chicken.
Ensure to read How Much Space Do My Chickens Need if you are unsure about what counts as a small space.
Marans are another dual purpose hen and are renowned for their vibrant dark brown eggs and exceptional meal quality.
A Maran will lay around 200 eggs a year. These eggs are a vibrant dark brown color and are medium-sized.
They are very similar in appearance to Plymouth Rocks and are mostly dark grey with white flutters.
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
In tenth place is the Buff Orpington, which is my personal favorite chicken breed. They originate from Kent, England, and are a backyard chicken keeper’s dream!
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.
They are a glorious golden-yellow color and have a thick layer of feathers.
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 socialize 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.
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!
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.
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.
Even More Breeds of Chicken That Will Lay Lots of Eggs
While the above chicken breeds are most likely to lay lots of eggs, there are also a few other breeds with reputations for great egg-laying. These include:
- Euskal oils
- Golden laced wyandottes
- Isa brown
- New Hampshire red
- Red sex link
How to Keep Egg Production High
Just because you have a breed that 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 that older chickens just don’t lay as many eggs as younger chickens.
A chicken’s first year of laying eggs is always its best.
You can see in the graph, once a chicken hits the age of three, the amount of eggs it lays really slows down.
If your chicken laid 250 eggs in its first year, it would only lay 160 eggs by the third year.
There is nothing you can do to stop this; it’s just nature’s way.
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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, they won’t lay many eggs.
To ensure your chickens are getting plenty of protein, make sure you feed them layers of pellets.
Layer pellets have been manufactured to contain all the key minerals, nutrients, and minerals that hens require.
If you are looking 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 sunrise as possible- even if it means those early morning starts!
There won’t be 14 hours of daylight during the winter, 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.
Common Questions About Breeds of Chicken That Will Lay Lots of Eggs
Still, have some questions about chicken breeds that will lay lots of eggs? Or maybe you want some of the information above in a more compact form. These FAQs should give you the answers you need.
What Chicken Breed Lays the Most Eggs?
The chicken breeds that lay the most eggs include white leghorns, Sussexes, gold lines or hybrids, Plymouth Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds. Now remember no matter what breed you have, you always want to make sure their coop is protected. In fact, we recommend some of the best automatic chicken coop doors.
What Breed of Chickens Lays the Most Eggs Per Year?
The Australorp holds the current record for laying the most eggs per year. Any other breed mentioned above is also a strong contender.
What Chickens Lay 300 Eggs a Year?
Most of the chickens on this list lay 300 eggs a year, including Isa Browns, Rhode Island reds, Australorps, Leghorns, and speckled Sussexes.
What Are the Most Eggs Laid By a Chicken in One Day?
The most eggs ever laid in a day were seven. A white leghorn holds the record for most eggs laid in a year, with 371 in just 364 days.
What Is a Fart Egg?
Fart eggs are eggs without yolks. They are also called wind eggs or dwarf eggs. Fart eggs tend to be round and small, very similar to marbles or grapes. They are usually a young chicken’s first try at laying eggs.
Let me know how many eggs a day your hens lay in the comments below!
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