Have you ever thought about raising chickens as your main source of income? Many people invest in raising chickens in their backyards because of the eggs they can produce. Unfortunately, beginners are normally not aware that the chicken’s breed has a huge effect on the amount of eggs it can produce each day.
Some breeds like the Japanese Bantam don’t lay eggs at all. On the other hand, some hens that come from a mixture of two breeds could lay more than 280 eggs annually. Picking the right breed is important if you want a fresh supply of eggs all year. If egg production is consistent, you’ll get a huge return of investment. Here is a list of the top 10 best egg laying chicken breeds you should own.
1. Sussex Egg Laying Chicken
The Sussex is a popular British breed. It nearly became extinct in the early period of 20th century. Thanks to a farmer who persevered in breeding his remaining flock of Sussex for 10 years.
It is one of the biggest hens. It has an average weight of 6 to 8 lbs. Ironically, it doesn’t need a huge space despite its size. It can lay more than 250 to 300 eggs every year. It starts laying eggs when they are 16 to 20 weeks old. The color of its eggs varies from creamy white to brown.
A Sussex is confident, friendly and curious in terms of temperament. You should take extra caution when you raise a Sussex with other breeds. It is normally targeted by bullies. It comes in different varieties such as buff, white and speckled. It is a dual purpose chicken. This means that you can raise it for its eggs and meat.
2. Golden Comet Egg Laying Chicken
The Golden Comet chicken is a result of the hybrid between the White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red. It contains the best traits of the two breeds. It starts laying eggs earlier than other breeds like the White Leghorn at 15 weeks old. It can tolerate other breeds pretty well like the Rhode Island Red. It is a great pet due to its gentle and quiet disposition. They prefer to mingle with their owners more than their coop mates. Children can pick them up and carry them around unlike other breeds.
The average female Golden Comet weighs 5 to 7.5 lbs. It should be on the top of your list if you like deep red brown-colored eggs. It lays around 330 eggs every year. This means that you’ll get around 7 eggs per week! Most breeds only lay 3 to 5 eggs every week. This is why it is a highly preferred brand by most egg sellers in the market.
3. Ameraucana egg laying chicken
The Ameraucana is also known as the Americana. Don’t be misled by its name. This breed actually originated from Chile during the early period of the 20th century. The colors of this chicken may vary. It can be blue, black or brown. Some may have a hint of silver on their feathers. The males usually have an orange tint in them.
This chicken is one of the most interesting egg laying chicken breeds. It was deemed as the “Easter Egg Chicken” because it can lay multi-colored eggs, usually green or blue in color. The eggs it produces tastes as good as they look. The average female is small as compared to other breeds, weighing around 4.5 to 5.5 lbs. It starts laying eggs at 25 to 30 weeks old. It can lay around 250 eggs every year. Its meat is also a good source of income. It is usually likened to quail meat in terms of taste.
Experts recommend keeping this chicken isolated. There are cases wherein it becomes hostile to other chickens and to those who try to handle it. The male Ameraucana may try to rape other hens.
4. Rhode Island Red Egg Laying Chicken
The Rhode Island Red is one of the most popular egg laying breeds of chickens. It was specifically developed to address the needs of farmers in Compton district, Rhode Island. It quickly rose in popularity because of its attractive appearance and excellent laying ability. It has a beautiful red plumage, having a subtle salmon color once you look at the under-fluff. It is also highly valued for its meat.
A female Rhode Island Red weighs around 6.5 lbs. It starts laying eggs at 18 to 24 weeks old. It can produce 250 to 300 big and brown eggs each year. The best thing about it is that it can adapt to any climate, whether in a winter snowfall or steamy tropic. It has a bright and sweet disposition, making it a great pet for children. However, it can be bossy at times specially to small chickens. It is best to separate them from the other breeds. It is also an active forager. It likes to roam around, searching for seeds or grubs.
5. Australorp Egg Laying Chicken
The Australorp hails from Australia. It is more practical and productive than the British Black Orpington. It is a well-loved breed in its country because of its brilliant blue, black or white plumage. The blue variety is quite hard to find. It weighs around 5 to 7 lbs and starts laying eggs at 22 to 24 weeks old.
Some people say that it holds the top record for laying the most number of eggs. An Australorp was once able to lay 364 eggs in one year! The average number of eggs it lays is usually 250 to 300. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on it too much for hatching the eggs. You might need the assistance of an incubator from time to time since it likes to roam around.
This breed is easy to raise since it can interact well with chickens and other animals. It is a very strong chicken. It can withstand strong rains, high winds and extreme heat. It doesn’t need too much protection like the frizzles and silkies.
Kids like to keep the Australorp chicken as pets because of its sweet temperament. It also doesn’t require special grooming techniques, making it so easy to take care of.
6. Golden Laced Wyandotte Egg Laying Chicken
The Golden Laced Wyandotte was first raised in the United States during the 19th century. Farmers raised it to become a strong yet attractive and practical breed. It is quite popular in competitive poultry shows because of its appearance, which comes in a wide range of colors. Every beetle black feather has a golden edge. It looks as if it is about to walk down the red carpet while wearing a sequined gown! It weighs from 6 to 8 lbs. Its big body and fluffy feather makes it well-protected from getting frostbite during the cold season. It starts laying at 18 to 20 weeks old, producing around 200 eggs every year. The eggs may be light or dark brown in color.
You won’t get a headache in taking care of the Golden Laced Wyandotte. It is calm and gentle. It is an excellent forager, which makes them ideal for free range. However, you might have a slight problem with the noise they produce especially if you live in an urbanized area.
7. White Leghorn Egg Laying Chicken
The White Leghorn was named after a port in Italy. It is considered as one of the best egg-laying breeds in the industry for hundreds of years. It lays around 280 to 320 big, white eggs every year as long as it is given enough heat, food and water. It has an average weight of 5 lbs. It starts laying eggs at 16 to 17 weeks old.
The American Bantam Association and American Poultry Association recognize several varieties of the White Leghorn. It can also be red, light brown, black-tailed red, dark brown, light brown, silver, barred or buff Columbian. It is nervous and flighty in terms of temperament. It is usually raised as a penned chicken rather than free range. However, it is also allowed to roam around during the summer when food is available in the area.
8. Barred Plymouth Rock Egg Laying Chicken
The Barred Plymouth Rock had a life of infamy in United States before becoming popular as an egg-laying breed. It was once considered as a tacky mongrel because its genetic code is made up of a variety of breeds. It has different kinds of plumage from barred, to buff, white, partridge, blue, silver penciled and black.
This breed is the ideal choice for first time chicken keepers. It is more suitable to be kept in free range. It is a very friendly chicken that can be easily tamed just like the Sussex. This makes it a great pet for kids because it loves being cuddled by the kids.
The female Barred Plymouth Rock weighs 6.5 lbs. It starts laying eggs from 18 to 22 weeks old, producing around 280 eggs per year. It is a prolific egg layer, which means that you’ll always have fresh peach or light brown colored eggs on the table. It has a calm temperament. It can be mixed with the other breeds without causing any trouble.
9. New Hampshire Red Egg Laying Chicken
The New Hampshire Red was directly derived from the breed Rhode Island Red. It has evolved so much over the years that it has now been recognized as an entirely new breed. It differs from the Rhode Island Red in terms of the amount of meat and eggs produced. It is faster, more vigorous and matures earlier. If you want an all around chicken then you might want to consider this breed.
The hens serve as excellent mothers. The average female New Hampshire Red has a weight of 6.5 lbs and starts laying eggs at 18 to 21 weeks of age. It produces around 200 eggs every year. Its meat is considered as one of the most delicious because of its deep and broad body. If you want to earn double by selling both chicken meat and eggs, the New Hampshire Red should definitely be part of your list.
This breed is competitive and aggressive in terms of temperament. The roosters may fight with each other especially if the hens in the area are few.
10. Ancona Egg Laying Chicken
The Ancona chicken was first bred in Italy. This beautiful breed was named after the seaport city of Ancona. It thrived in its homeland for hundreds of years before it was discovered in England in the 1800s. It was brought later on to the United States.
This breed stands out from the others because of its dazzling orange-red eyes. Its feathers have a midnight black color with tips that are marked with vibrant white speckles. The average female Ancona chicken has a weight of 4 to 4.6 lbs. It starts laying eggs at 20 weeks of age. It can produce about 220 big and white eggs every year.
This breed is very active. It likes to roam around, which is why you will need an incubator in order to hatch its eggs. It is also a good flyer, so you will need to build a high fence to secure them. It must be trained and handled at a young age in order to get their trust.
Your success in chicken egg production doesn’t depend on the breed alone!
Is your preferred egg-laying chicken one of the breeds that we mentioned above? It is important to study this list well and choose carefully the breed you will raise. This is to avoid wasting hard-earned money and time. In business, every cent and second counts.
Always remember that you can’t be complacent with the fact that you choose one of the best egg laying breeds. The quality and quantity of the eggs will be substandard if your chickens are not well-nourished and have poor living conditions. If you agree or disagree with the list we’ve given above, let us know by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share this egg-citing list to other people too!