Believe it or not, chicken eggs are quite scientifically classified.
And most people will be surprised to know that it’s not so much size that denotes Pee-wee’s classifications through Jumbo, but weight.
So what are the chicken breeds that lay large eggs?
Weight is pretty much down to the ounce—six ounces set apart small from large and large from jumbo.
Precise weight measuring is how grocery stores determine which eggs go in which cartons and get charged what prices.
As documented by the Egg Safety Center, this chart shows different sizes and classifications of chicken eggs.
What determines egg weight?
Of course, certain breeds, which we will outline later, are selectively bred for egg size.
All hens start egg production by laying Pee Wee or Small eggs and gradually increase to a mature egg grade size of Medium, Large or bigger.
In modern breeds, most hens are laying Large, Extra Large, or Jumbo eggs by 40 weeks.
However, it’s essential to realize that conditions make any hen lay larger and healthier eggs within these breeds.
As much as you’d like, you cannot alter the basic pattern of how egg size changes as hens age.
But, your hens’ feeding and management can have a measurable impact on egg size and the timing of when eggs will reach optimal size.
Chicken Feed for Chicken Breeds That Lay Large Eggs
A hen’s body weight is the most significant factor for increased egg size.
So for your best overall chance of having the largest size eggs, you want your hen to be the largest, healthiest bird she has the capability of being.
Giving her a diet that supplies all nutrients should manipulate and produce the preferred early egg size.
This is facilitated mainly by securing high protein levels.
You can use the protein level in chicken feed to alter egg size at different stages of production.
For example, feeding a high 18% to 20% protein layer ratio will increase egg size in the first couple of months of egg production.
After the flock has reached maximum egg production, high protein diets no longer promote large egg size increases.
In fact, continued high protein levels will cause unnecessary weight gain, which carries a whole host of problems for hens.
After 8-10 months, cutting protein down to 15%-17% will be the most healthy maintenance option.
Here is a chart to tell which feed has the levels of nutrients needed for your chickens to lay bigger eggs: http://www.poultrydvm.com/feeds.php
Both natural and artificial light will influence egg size by accelerating or delaying the age at which hens start to lay eggs.
Therefore, the younger a hen is when she starts egg production, the smaller her eggs will be during her first year of life.
You can delay the start of egg production by providing 10 hours or less of light each day to 19 weeks of age.
Decreasing the daily hours of light at any time after 10 weeks of age will also delay the start of egg production.
Skeletal size has some impact on egg size. Hens with bigger and longer bones tend to become bigger hens and lay bigger eggs.
Naturally, breeds with genetically directed larger skeletons are those we consider as the bigger egg layers.
Still, the protein level in the ration fed before 10 weeks of age also influences skeletal size in ANY particular breed of hen.
If you want pullets with bigger skeletons, feed a starter diet until 8 or 10 weeks of age instead of just 6 weeks of age.
Since feed intake directly impacts the hens’ intake of nutrients and the size of eggs they produce, any factor can reduce egg size.
This includes: limiting feed consumption, such as crowding, heat stress, or inadequate water supply, which will reduce egg size.
Aside from food inadequacy issues, the most significant single stressor a chicken will face in its life is the constant looming fear of predators.
Being on the lookout for predators takes time away from foraging. It sends feedback for the hen to put energy into potentially fleeing for safety rather than constructing an egg.
Creating an optimal space for keeping your chickens away from predators is critical.
If she has a safe place to roam and sit (up to 30 minutes!) to lay an egg, it will significantly improve her chances of consistently laying good-sized eggs.
These factors influence how soon the hens start to lay Large instead of Medium eggs and how many hens will lay Extra Large or Jumbo eggs.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, you will hedge your bets towards larger egg sizes if you choose breeds genetically designed for larger egg sizes.
So let’s investigate some of the best bigger eggers!
List of Top 10 Chicken Breeds That Lay Large Eggs
The Minorca is the largest of the Mediterranean breeds of chicken.
It has beautiful glossy black plumes and a rich red face with white earlobes.
It is also the friendliest and easiest to handle of the Mediterranean breeds.
The hens usually lay 200 or more eggs annually and are known to be some of the largest white eggs of any breed.
Sticking with the jumbo white egg category, the Leghorn is a good choice for egg-laying size and quantity.
Most of the eggs in grocery stores are produced by White Leghorns; depending on the age of the hen, they often lay 250-280 AT LEAST Extra large, frequently Jumbo white eggs per year.
Lohmann Brown chickens are one of the best hybrid chickens for egg-laying.
A German genetics company developed them from New Hampshire chickens’ selective breeding with other brown egg-laying hens.
These chickens are champions at what they do.
Lohmann Browns begin laying jumbo-sized eggs after 4-5 months from hatching.
So you can expect around 300 beautiful brown and very, very large eggs a year from your Lohmann brown hen.
Production Red Chickens is Bred to be a Chicken Breeds That Lay Large Eggs
Production Reds are Rhode Island Red Industrial Production strain.
They are bred mainly to be very productive layers but are also heavy enough to be good meat birds.
While Rhode Island Reds have their own benefits of excellent temperament and laying reliability, the Production Reds have added expert layers.
Large brown eggs consistently, you can expect 300 or more eggs per hen per year.
Welsummer was bred as a dual-purpose chicken.
They lay many large dark reddish-brown eggs (almost terracotta color) and are known for quick maturation in the meat category.
Their eggs from adult hens consistently hit the large and extra-large USDA weights, and so combined with their beautiful dark color, these eggs are a favorite at many local farmer’s markets.
Welsummer hens are not very excited about cold dark winter months and will typically slow production.
The Barnevelder is a medium-heavy breed of chicken named after the Dutch town of Barneveld.
It is a breed of chicken best known for its ability to lay very dark and large to extra-large brown-colored eggs.
In addition, they are winter hardy and vigorous egg layers, which assure a constant supply of these excellent-sized, beautifully colored eggs.
The Delaware breed was developed in 1940 by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire Reds to create this beautiful brown egg-laying white bird.
They are good egg layers, starting as early as 20 weeks; Delaware lays large to jumbo brown eggs and continues throughout cold months.
Originating in the United Kingdom, Orpingtons are a well-loved heritage breed.
This is because of their sweet, calm nature, beautiful feathers, and functional purposes.
Buffs mature moderately early and are decent. You can expect about 280 per year.
They are layers of large beautiful pearlescent brown-colored eggs.
Although these chickens are quite a cold-resistant breed, they don’t do as well in warmer temperatures.
The Speckled Sussex is a good egg layer and will keep laying even during cold weather when many other breeds stop.
Sussex are excellent layers of large to extra large light brown eggs–and lay right through the coldest weather.
They are dual-purpose birds, and in addition to their large and greatly numbered eggs, they are known mainly as meat birds in England.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Golden Comet. Golden Comets are a modern-day egg-laying strain of chicken.
They are a hybrid cross between a Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn chicken and my particular favorite right now.
Comets are fast to mature and start laying at a younger age than most other chickens.
As a result, Golden Comet eggs are huge and often have a deep, red-brown color.
On top of egg size, Comets can lay up to 330 eggs a year.
I can personally vouch for this fact, as we have had a small flock of Golden Comets for over a year.
Their ability to lay consistently even in dark winter months is a delight only second to the fantastic large size my egg customers marvel at!
Unfortunately, double yolks are not uncommon with my egg customers.
Many times, I have used rubber bands to close egg cartons because my Comet eggs are too large to fit!
FAQs On Chicken Breeds That Lay The Largest Eggs
How to get chickens to lay bigger eggs?
To do this, you up the protein content and change the layers feed to a 18-20% protein layer feed. This should be done in the first 8 weeks of egg laying with your hens. You can also check this video.
22 thoughts on “Top 10 Chicken Breeds That Lay The Largest Eggs”
What could be in the feed my flock gets that would cause a lightening/fading of the lovely blue and green colors from my leghorns and American Auracanas???
This could be due to molting. Often they will molt then the eggs go back to normal.
I think your units or something are off on your chart. You have peewee eggs at 15 oz. With 16oz/lb… That would make peewee eggs nearly a pound and that’s not right. I was under the impression (from somewhere) that grade A large eggs weigh about 2 oz…
I was thinking they meant per dozen?
I believe that chart should be grams not ounces.
Thanks this was very good information.
I’m not sure quite where to begin except that unexpectedly I got 3 roosters in my group. Tractor Supply had black Copper Maran pullets for sale and I bought four and three ended up being Roo’s and only one Pullet among my six other adult buff orpingtons. I got rid of the two roosters (because the three were tag-teaming my hens and making them very upset) now have just one left… He crows most of the day. I have tried everything. Even a no crow collar which in my opinion does not work. It muffles a crow a little but not enough. I’m trying not to have him put down but that seems to be my only remaining option. I have neighbors who are not happy at the moment. Any suggestions?
There’s no way to know why he is crowing but there are some possibilities. He could be calling hens to him, he is alone as you said.
He could be bored or restless meaning you could put something interesting in the coop like toys or places to explore. They can get distracted with discovering their environment so even making their food more difficult for them to search for could help.
Don’t know where you live, but near us, there is an animal auction for farm animals. I live in a semi-rural, mixed zone area of northern San Joaquin Valley in Northern California. We have taken several unwanted/unexpected roosters there to solve noise problems! They auction them off and send you a check. It is usually surprisingly small, even for really pretty birds! But, an easy way to solve an annoying problem.
Please don’t just have him out down. There are livestock auctions you can take him to and maybe get a few dollars for him. The buyer may well turn him into stew, but at least he won’t go to waste. There are some folks who just have bachelor flocks, ask around.
What causes an egg to get a wavy shell. I got two wavy shells this week from one hen. Wondering if it is a deficiency in something.
I’m laughing my head off. You missed the decimal point!
It’s not 15 to 30oz. You meant 1.5 to 3.0oz.
At 15 ounces, a “peewee” egg would weigh 1 pound (425g)!
The scale is also very off. Peewee eggs weigh 1oz or less. Over 2.1 is already XL. 2.4+ is usually considered jumbo.
That’s what I was thinking
The article is talking about cartons of eggs. Well at least thats how I read it.
Makes more sense to weigh the carton.
I have a Sebright Rooster and he has one hen plan to get him more but he crows all day too. We purchased some chicks unfortunately from a hatchery and by day 3 over half of the 15 Sebrights were dead. I was heart broken because I just love all animals. But I have plenty of animal toys so you gave me an idea.
I would like to order a1000 Gold Comet day old chicks to start with. Please send me quotation ie, price / chick including freight etc. Thank you.
I believe that chart should be grams not ounces.
I am from Pakistan my name is Imran baloch I want to buy hens for egg purpose kindly suggest me which hens lays good number of eggs I am thank8 to you.
My WhatsApp number is 00-92-300-2548485
I am thankful to you
Hi I’m Mira , I would like to purchase baby chicks that will produce jumbo to ex Lg eggs . can you please refer a source. thnks
That’s what I was thinking 😃
Hi ! Rather than trying to import live chickens to your country and risk spreading who knows what internationally, I suggest you contact someone who is selling hatching eggs. Much cheaper to ship, not as much opportunity for disease to spread and much kinder to the hens who will be God knows where during shipping !