10 Best Backyard Chicken Breeds for Maximum Egg Production
If you’re looking for the best chicken breeds for egg-laying purposes, then you’re in the right place. Below are the top 10 chicken breeds that have been known to lay a large number of eggs consistently.
FUN FACT: Contrary to the popular internet myth, ayam cemani do not lay black eggs. Ayam cemani eggs have creamy beige-ish shells and are medium in size.
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As more people than ever before are choosing to raise their own backyard chickens, selecting the right breed for your specific needs has become increasingly important. If you are looking to raise chickens primarily for their eggs, then it’s essential to choose a breed known for its egg-laying capabilities.
A variety of breeds exist that are known to produce a higher number of eggs over an extended period of time compared to others. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top 10 chicken breeds best suited for maximum egg production, providing you with everything you need to know to make the best decision for your backyard flock.
1. Rhode Island Reds
Rhode Island Reds are a popular breed among chicken farmers and backyard flock keepers because of their excellent egg-laying abilities. They are a hardy and adaptable breed that can thrive in a variety of environments. They have a gentle disposition, making them easy to handle and care for, making them a great choice for novice breeders.
Rhode Island Reds lay around 250-300 eggs per year, making them one of the top 10 chicken breeds for optimum egg-laying. They start their egg-laying early, usually at around six months old, making them one of the fastest laying breeds. Their eggs are brown in color and are of medium to large size.
Leghorns are a widely recognized breed known for their high egg production. Originating from Italy, they are now commonly raised in many countries worldwide because of their benefits. They are active and hardy birds that can tolerate different environments and climates, making them a great choice for backyard flock keepers.
Leghorns are prolific layers, producing up to 280-320 eggs per year with small to medium-sized white eggs. They have a small body, consume less food, and are efficient layers, taking less time to start laying their first egg than other breeds.
3. (Barred) Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock breed is an ideal choice for backyard chicken enthusiasts looking for a reliable layer of large brown eggs. The Plymouth Rock breed was first developed in the United States in the 19th century and has since become a sought-after breed for both its egg-laying capabilities and its striking appearance.
One of the most significant benefits of raising Plymouth Rocks is their consistent egg production. They are excellent layers and can produce up to 280 eggs per year. Additionally, they are hardy birds that can tolerate a wide variety of climates and adapt well to different living environments.
The Australorp chicken is a popular breed known for their excellent laying abilities. These friendly and gentle birds originate from Australia and are popular among backyard chicken keepers. They have black or blue plumage which gives them a striking appearance and are known for their docile personalities.
Australorps are heavy birds and have a good feed to egg production ratio. They are capable of laying up to 300 eggs per year and start laying at around 6 months of age. They are also good foragers and are great at finding their own food.
The Orpington chicken is a popular breed for backyard chicken keepers due to their friendly personalities and their ability to lay a high number of eggs. They originate from England and are known for their fluffy, feathered appearance and calm temperament.
Orpingtons lay large brown eggs consistently throughout the year, with a yearly production of around 220 eggs. They begin laying at around 6 months of age and can continue laying for up to 5 years. They also have a good feed to egg production ratio, making them a economical choice for those looking for a reliable egg-laying breed.
The Wyandotte chicken breed is a popular and recognizable breed of chicken known for its distinctive plumage and excellent egg-laying abilities. Originating in the United States in the late 1800s, the Wyandotte was bred as a dual-purpose bird for meat and egg production.
In terms of egg production, Wyandottes are considered to be excellent layers, with hens typically laying between 200-250 eggs per year. Their eggs are medium to large in size and are brown in color. Overall, the Wyandotte chicken breed is an excellent choice for backyard chicken keepers looking for a friendly, dual-purpose bird with solid egg-laying abilities.
The Ameraucana chicken breed is a relatively new breed, having been developed in the 1970s in the United States. It was created by breeders who wanted a chicken that laid blue and green eggs, similar to the South American Araucana chicken. The breed was developed by crossing several breeds, including the Araucana, the Leghorn, and the American Game.
In terms of egg production, Ameraucanas are known for their colorful eggs. They typically lay about 250 eggs per year, which is slightly lower than some other breeds. However, their eggs are medium-sized and have a bright, colorful shell that can range from blue, green, or even occasional shades of pink or cream. Overall, Ameraucanas are a unique breed with a fun personality and beautiful eggs that make them a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers.
The Maran chicken breed originates from the town of Marans, France. The breed became popular for its ability to produce both excellent quality meat and dark, rich-colored eggs.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Marans chicken breed is their egg color. They are noted for producing eggs with deep chocolate-brown shells, making them a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers and egg enthusiasts. Marans chickens are also known for their egg-laying capabilities, with some hens producing up to 200 eggs per year.
Brahma chickens are one of the most preferred breeds of chickens for farming and egg production. They are known for their calm temperament and are very easy-going in nature. Brahmas are sizable chickens and can weigh up to 12 pounds, which makes them ideal for both meat and egg production.
Brahmas are a highly sought-after chicken breed for their exceptional egg-laying capabilities. These chickens produce large, brown eggs regularly and can lay up to 150-280 eggs per year or four times per week. Beginning around 5-6 months of age, Brahmas will continue laying eggs for several years, providing excellent productivity for farmers who prioritize top-notch egg production. With their consistent output, Brahmas are the optimal choice for farmers who prioritize efficiency and quality in their farming operations.
The Sussex chicken breed is renowned for its exceptional egg production, making it a favorite among poultry enthusiasts and farmers alike. These charming birds are not only known for their beautiful feather patterns and calm temperament but also for their remarkable ability to lay a large number of eggs throughout the year.
The Sussex breed's egg production is truly impressive, with hens consistently laying a substantial number of eggs. On average, a healthy Sussex hen can lay approximately 250 to 300 large brown eggs annually. This outstanding productivity makes them highly sought after for both small-scale and commercial egg production operations.
One of the reasons for the Sussex breed's remarkable egg-laying capabilities lies in their genetic makeup. They have been selectively bred over many generations to prioritize prolific egg production while maintaining overall health and vitality. This careful breeding has resulted in hens that possess a strong internal drive to lay eggs consistently, ensuring a steady supply of fresh, nutritious eggs.
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