There are lots of reasons why you might be interested in having your own flock of hens, but the most popular reason is fresh eggs!
Keeping chickens for their egg production can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you have chosen the best breed(s) for the job.
Whether you are looking for high production layers, layers with uniquely colored eggs, or even layers based on egg size, there is a perfect breed out there for every backyard flock.
If the number of eggs is your sole goal then there are only a handful of breeds you should consider.
In the list that follows we share 15 of the best egg laying chickens…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- Chicken Breeds For Egg Laying
- 15. Araucana
- 14. Ameraucana
- 13. Wyandotte
- 12. Easter Egger
- 11. Welsummer
- 10. Sussex
- 9. Speckled Sussex
- 8. Buff Orpington
- 7. Rhode Island Red
- 6. Plymouth Rock
- 5. Leghorn
- 4. Australorp
- 3. ISA Brown
- 2. Sapphire Gem
- 1. Golden Comet
- FAQs About Egg Laying
- Which Chicken Breeds Are Best For Eggs?
Chicken Breeds For Egg Laying
|Species||Beginner Friendly?||Price||Egg Laying Rank|
|Rhode Island Red||Yes||$3-4||7|
There is no other breed quite like the Araucana.
This rare and unique bird is only one of 4 breeds that lay blue eggs. This blue to light green color is found on both the outside and inside of their shells.
She will average about 3 eggs a week (around 150 per year). You can start to expect your Araucanas to lay their beautiful medium to large eggs at around 20 weeks of age.
These birds are difficult to breed and good quality Araucanas are quite expensive. If you plan to add this beautiful bird to your flock then expect to pay at least $30 per chick.
The Ameraucana is one of the most fun egg laying chickens to keep.
This breed can lay different colored eggs from traditional cream to bright blue. It is worth noting though that a single chicken will only lay one color their entire life.
These eggs are slightly smaller than other eggs however they will lay 3-4 eggs per week.
Perhaps the only downside of this breed is that you will have to wait for them to start laying. It can take up to 7 months before they start providing you with any eggs. They will lay all year round but you should expect them to slow down during the colder months.
If you want a good egg layer that thrives in cold weather then the Wyandotte is for you.
The Wyandotte was bred specifically to withstand harsh northern winters.
Although they are less affectionate than other breeds they are beginner friendly and beautiful to observe.
She will provide you with around 3-4 large cream and brown colored eggs each week starting at around 18 weeks old. They are not known for their broodiness so you can expect them to lay all year long.
12. Easter Egger
The Easter Egger is a one-of-a-kind breed with a name to fit its description.
This hybrid is an extremely popular choice for two reasons: you never know what type of plumage each individual chicken will have, and you never know what egg color you will get either!
You can expect about 4 medium sized eggs a week from the Easter Egger starting at around 18-20 weeks of age. These eggs can range from blue to green to olive and even pink. It is important to note that any individual hen will only lay one color for the rest of her life, meaning the more Easter Eggers in your flock, the more egg colors you will get.
Though not technically considered a true breed the Easter Egger is exceptionally unique and will serve as a good egg layer.
The Welsummer is well known for laying chocolate colored eggs.
Depending on the strain they will lay 4 large dark brown/terracotta-colored eggs each week. Another benefit is that they tend to lay almost all year long.
This breed loves to forage and will gladly help in the garden or in any outdoor pen. As a bonus, this breed survives well in both hot and cold climates. What this breed lacks in quantity compared to some other top laying breeds, the Welsummer surely makes up for in temperament and unique egg color.
The Sussex Chicken is one of the best egg layers around.
You can expect them to lay more than 250 eggs per year. This works out to around 4-5 large, brown eggs every week. They will start to lay eggs anywhere from 16-20 weeks old.
Sussex are heavy birds and weigh in at 7-8lbs for hens and 9lbs for roosters. However, despite their size this breed is incredibly gentle and is known for being docile.
You can find them in 8 different colors but the most popular is the speckled.
9. Speckled Sussex
The Speckled Sussex is well known for their dependable egg laying and calm and docile temperament.
Speckled Sussex will get along well with other breeds in your flock as well as their owners, so feel free to cuddle this beautiful bird if you feel the need.
Expect around 4-5 tinted or light brown eggs each week starting at around 20 weeks old.
The only thing to note about this breed is they are known to go broody so they can stop laying during spring.
8. Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons are best known for their motherly instincts.
They are extremely gentle and make a wonderful choice for families with children.
Orpingtons are also excellent egg layers and will lay 3-5 eggs a week. These eggs are light brown and medium sized. This comes out to around 200 eggs a year per hen. Unlike other breeds however, Orpingtons may reach 28 weeks of age before they decide to sit.
Just remember that there are two strains of Buff Orpingtons. So if you are looking for good layers then you should purchase the utility strain.
7. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds can provide you with up to 300 eggs per year (depending on the strain you have).
The production strain will gift you a light brown, large egg almost every day of the week (5-6 eggs per week), whilst the heritage strain will produce around 3-4 eggs per week.
You will notice they first start to lay eggs around 18-24 weeks of age.
Although they are prolific layers and incredibly hardy, these birds are assertive and will need space to avoid any bullying amongst timid flock members. You should not keep them with other less assertive breeds such as Wyandottes and Orpingtons.
Make sure to provide them with enough space and setup for roaming.
6. Plymouth Rock
If you are looking for an egg laying powerhouse then the Plymouth Rock is the hen for you.
This large and beautiful chicken will provide you with 4-5 light brown eggs every week – that is more than 200 eggs a year!
Plymouth Rock chickens are a heritage breed. They are ideal for first time keepers and will lay for 2-3 years. In many cases your chickens will continue to lay beyond that third year, but fewer eggs.
They also have a very good temperament so they are not likely to go off lay and stop laying.
This breed’s egg laying ability single handedly changed the egg industry in the 1900s. They have an incredible reputation for their reliability as an egg layer.
Whilst all varieties of Leghorn chickens are good layers, it is the White Leghorn that really shines.
Leghorns will lay 4-6 large white eggs every week.
However, this breed is not recommended for beginners due to their independent nature. The breed can be nervous and flighty with humans and does not enjoy being picked up or held.
If you have experience raising chickens and want an egg laying superstar then consider Leghorns.
A whopping 364 eggs in 365 days!
All other breeds have met their match with the Australorp.
Young Australorps will be quiet and shy at first. However they will quickly become a great addition to your family with their gentle tendencies. Though not usually lap chickens this breed will interact well with other breeds in your flock.
Expect them to lay around 4-5 light brown eggs for you each week.
3. ISA Brown
ISA Browns are famous in the egg industry!
These are hardworking birds and will lay around 6 medium to large brown eggs each week for the first 18-24 months of their lives. They are one of the few industry breeds to have successfully transitioned to being backyard hens.
After about 24 months this hybrid breed will decrease in production to about 3-4 eggs per week.
In a backyard environment you can expect a friendly family hen.
They are reasonably quiet and not prone to flying which makes them ideal for beginners.
2. Sapphire Gem
This gorgeous chicken is surely one of a kind when it comes to its stunning plumage!
Have you ever seen lavender and blue feathering on a chicken? How about a necklace-like pattern of gold or gray around their necks?
This is the unique feathering of the Sapphire Gem Chicken.
Besides their beautiful plumage this breed is known for being great egg layers and easy going enough to be considered beginner friendly.
You can expect around 5-6 large to extra-large brown colored eggs each week.
1. Golden Comet
This breed is a true backyard favorite!
The Golden Comet was bred predominantly for factory farming but has since found its way into the backyards and hearts of many.
They are known not only for their noteworthy egg laying ability but also their endearing personality. This sweet and intelligent breed will provide you with 5-6 medium to large, brown eggs every week.
She will not get broody often and handles extreme climates well.
For the first 2 years you will find yourself with a consistent flow of eggs almost daily!
FAQs About Egg Laying
How long do chickens lay eggs for?
The length of time a chicken lays eggs will mainly depend on your hen’s breed (heritage or production).
Production hens are bred to lay lots of eggs and will do so for around the first 2-3 years of their lives. Heritage breeds on the other hand will lay fewer eggs but for a longer period of time (4-6 years).
What is the best thing to feed chickens for eggs?
Good quality nutrition is a must for laying chickens, especially if you are trying to increase egg production.
Your chickens will need a complete layer feed containing about 16% protein. Allowing your hens to forage will also allow for a greater intake of wild, nutritional resources such as bugs and weeds.
Treats should also be monitored and kept to a healthy selection (e.g. mealworms, corn, scratch, and bird seed).
Which Chicken Breeds Are Best For Eggs?
While it is nearly impossible to have a hen lay an egg every day of the year, our list consists of 15 breeds that will come close!
There is still an abundance of breeds out there that are fantastic layers but hopefully this list helped you with your selection or got you started.
Like most projects involving chickens, make sure to do additional research once you have narrowed your selection down so you know exactly what you will be introducing into your backyard.
Both you and your new breed of egg layers will be better off for it!
Let us know in the comments section below which egg layer you are going to add to your flock…