Good Egg-Producing Chickens: The 12 Most Wanted!

If you’re thinking about having backyard chickens, one of the most important factors to consider is their ability to lay eggs. With countless breeds to choose from, it’s important to select those that are most productive and consistent when it comes to egg-laying.

In this article, you will be guided through 12 of the most sought-after egg-laying chicken breeds that could be perfect for your backyard flock.

Australorp chickens

Not only will the breeds in this guide provide you with a steady supply of fresh eggs for your family, but they’ll also add charm and variety to your backyard setup. By focusing on your specific needs and wants for you and your family you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful backyard chicken keeper.

So, let’s dive into the world of egg-laying chickens and explore the breeds that will yield the best results.

For those looking for the fast facts on egg numbers and egg colors, I created the following table.

Table of 12 Chicken Breeds And Respective Egg Quantities And Colors

Chicken BreedAnnual Egg QuantityEgg Color
Rhode Island Red200-300Brown
Buff Orpington180-200Brown
Golden Comet250-300Brown
Barred Plymouth Rock200-280Brown
Red Star250-300Brown
Black Star250-300Brown
Isa Brown250-300Brown

Choosing The Right Breed For Egg Production

Top Five Chicken Breeds For Egg Production | Best Egg Layers With Great Attitude!

Egg Laying Chickens

When it comes to egg production, we find various breeds of chickens that are excellent layers and perfect for many backyards. Some favorites include the Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Golden Comet, Leghorn, Australorp, and Wyandotte.

These breeds are not only hardy, but they also adapt well to different climates and can be fantastic foragers in a free-range situation.

Depending on the breed, the egg-laying capacity can range from 180 to 300 eggs per year. For example, Rhode Island Reds are known to produce up to 300 eggs annually, while Buff Orpingtons average around 180. Each breed’s temperament is an important factor to consider, as some chickens are more docile and family-friendly than others.

Chicken Egg Colors Of 12 Breeds

Another interesting aspect I discovered when choosing the right breed for egg production is the variety of egg colors produced by these chickens. For example, Ameraucana and Araucana lay stunning blue eggs, while breeds such as Sussex and Barred Plymouth Rock lay beautiful brown eggs. Also, the Leghorns lay white eggs.

Dual-Purpose Chickens

Lastly, You’ll find it important to consider dual-purpose chickens that not only excel in egg-laying abilities but are also suitable for meat production. Breeds like Orpington, Sussex, and Black Star are excellent examples of dual-purpose chickens.

Having a variety of dual-purpose breeds in your backyard not only ensures a constant supply of fresh eggs but also provides a sustainable source of meat, making them an ideal choice for a self-sufficient lifestyle.

Combining the right breeds in your backyard makes it easy to enjoy fresh and delicious eggs daily while also ensuring that you’re raising healthy, happy chickens in the process.

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red

I find that Rhode Island Reds are a beloved chicken breed due to their hardiness and egg-laying abilities, as well as their friendly nature. Originating from New England, they were created by cross-breeding birds of Oriental origin with brown Leghorns.

They are an adaptable breed, making them a popular choice around the world. Rhode Island Reds can lay 200-300 brown eggs per year.

Leghorn and Varieties

Leghorns are another excellent egg-laying chicken breed. White Leghorns, in particular, are known to lay up to 280 eggs annually.

The large white eggs they produce are a favorite for many egg consumers. They’re a hardy breed, sharing similarities with Rhode Island Reds in terms of their origins, as they were also developed by cross-breeding with birds of Oriental origin.

Leghorns generally begin their egg-laying process as early as 16 weeks, making them a popular choice for those eager to start collecting eggs quickly.

Orpington and Its Popularity

Orpingtons, especially the Buff Orpington, have gained quite a reputation for their friendly temperament and excellent egg-laying capabilities. Their docile nature makes them ideal family pets and an easy breed for beginners to handle.

They typically lay around 200 eggs per year with a focus on quality rather than quantity. Their eggs are often larger than those of other breeds, making them a fantastic option for people who enjoy bigger, more satisfying eggs.

In addition to these popular breeds, there are many others worth considering such as Sussex, Plymouth Rock, Ameraucana, Speckled Sussex, Australorp, Isa Brown, and Wyandotte. Each breed has unique characteristics and egg-laying abilities, so it’s important to research and select the one that best fits your specific needs and preferences. We’ll be looking at all 12 of these breeds below.

Overview of the 12 Most Wanted Breeds of Egg Laying Chickens

-Rhode Island Red

My Rhode Island Red Lap Chicken

My Rhode Island Red lap chicken

The Rhode Island Red is a popular breed known for its deep, rich red plumage and sturdy build. They are excellent layers, producing large brown eggs consistently throughout the year. These chickens are known for their friendly and docile nature, making them a great choice for backyard flocks.

Rhode Island Red chickens are known for their excellent egg-laying capabilities, typically producing around 200 to 300 brown eggs per year.

-Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington
Buff Orpington – Photo Credit: ‘Good Egg’ on Twitter

The Buff Orpington is a large, gentle breed known for its fluffy, soft feathers and friendly disposition. They are good layers, producing medium to large brown eggs.

Buff Orpingtons are well adapted to cold climates due to their thick plumage and are known for their calm and easy-going nature, making them a popular choice for backyard flocks. They produce 180-200 eggs per year.

-Golden Comet

Golden Comet Chickens
Golden Comet chickens

The Golden Comet is a hybrid breed known for its excellent egg-laying abilities. They are known to produce a high quantity of large brown eggs, making them a popular choice for commercial egg production.

Golden Comets have a friendly and calm temperament, making them suitable for backyard flocks as well. They produce 250-300 eggs annually.


White Leghorn Chickens
White Leghorns

The Leghorn is a Mediterranean breed known for its sleek, elegant appearance and active nature. They are prolific layers, known for their ability to lay large white eggs frequently. Leghorns are relatively small in size and have a bright red comb and wattles. Their strong flying abilities make them well-suited for free-range environments. They lay 280-320 eggs per year.


Australorp Chickens

The Australorp is an Australian breed known for its excellent egg-laying abilities. They are known to produce a high quantity of large brown eggs, making them a valuable addition to any flock. Australorps have a docile and friendly nature, making them easy to handle and suitable for backyard settings. Australorps lay 250-300 eggs yearly.


Wyandotte Chickens

The Wyandotte is a breed known for its laced plumage and sturdy build. They are good layers, producing medium to large brown eggs. Wyandottes are known for their cold-hardy nature and are well-suited to colder climates. They have a calm and gentle temperament, making them a popular choice for backyard flocks. This breed lays 200-220 eggs annually.


Ameraucana Hens
Two of our Ameraucana Hens

The Ameraucana is known for its colorful eggs, laying blue or green-shelled eggs. They are good layers, producing medium-sized eggs and are valued for their friendly and docile nature. Ameraucana chickens typically produce around 150 to 200 eggs per year.

Barred Plymouth Rock

Barred Plymouth Rock chicken
One of our Barred Rock hens.

The Barred Plymouth Rock, also known as Barred Rock, is a dual-purpose breed known for its distinctive black and white striped plumage. They are reliable layers, producing large brown eggs consistently. Barred Rocks have a calm and friendly temperament, making them a popular choice for both egg production and meat. Barred Rocks lay between 200 and 280 eggs per year.

-Red Star

Red Star Chickens
Red Stars

The Red Star, also known as Red Sex Link, is a hybrid breed known for its prolific egg-laying abilities. They are specifically bred for high egg production, laying a large quantity of brown eggs. Red Stars are known for their friendly and adaptable nature, making them well-suited for backyard flocks. Red Stars lay 250-300 eggs yearly.


Sussex Chickens
Sussex chickens

The Sussex chickens are known for their attractive speckled or solid white plumage with black or brown markings. They have a broad, deep body and are well-suited to foraging. Sussex chickens are good layers, producing medium to large brown eggs.

They are active and hardy birds, making them well-adapted to a variety of climates and suitable for free-range or confined environments. Sussex lay 200-240 eggs per year.

-Black Star

Black Star Chickens
Black Star chickens

The Black Star, also known as Black Sex Link, is a hybrid breed known for its excellent egg-laying capabilities. They are known to produce a high quantity of large brown eggs, making them a popular choice for both commercial and backyard egg production.

Black Stars have a friendly and calm temperament, making them easy to handle and suitable for various flock sizes. They lay 250-300 eggs yearly.

-Isa Brown

Isa Brown Chicken
Photo by Green Acre Cottage Chickens on Twitter

Isa Browns are known for their exceptional egg-laying abilities, with hens typically laying between 250 to 300 large brown eggs per year. This high level of productivity makes them a top choice for those seeking a reliable source of fresh eggs.

Additionally, Isa Browns are known to start laying eggs at a relatively young age, often beginning around 16-20 weeks old. Their efficient egg production, combined with their friendly and docile nature, makes them a popular choice for both small-scale and large-scale poultry operations.

Each of these breeds has its own unique characteristics, temperaments, and egg-laying abilities, making them suitable for different preferences and purposes, whether for egg production, meat, or as friendly additions to backyard flocks.


Health and Wellbeing of Your Flock

Your flock’s health is very important so keep a close eye on their behavior for any signs of illness, and make sure to practice proper pest control to avoid infections or infestations.

I use food grade diatomaceous in their feeders to control internal parasites and I use chlorine dioxide tablets in their waterers to disinfect their drinking water since they love to stand on their waterers and crap in their water, yuck. Give them enough dry ground so they can take regular dirt baths, which they love! This helps them control external pests.

A critical aspect of maintaining my flock’s health is providing their living space with proper sanitation. Keeping their area clean helps prevent the spread of diseases, and I regularly clean their nesting areas and remove any dirty bedding.

My Tips For Raising Chickens

chickens in the yard

When I decided to raise backyard chickens for egg-laying purposes, I had to consider several factors before getting started. One of the first things I thought about was the climate in my area.

Chickens are pretty adaptable creatures, but it’s important to choose breeds that can thrive in your particular climate. For example, some breeds are better suited for colder temperatures, while others are more heat-tolerant.

As a side note, I live in the desert southwest and I have to actually give my chickens a shallow water pan to stand in during the summer heat here when it gets up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This cools their feet and then their bodies and works well to relieve heat stress.

Our Ameraucana’s are seemingly the most affected by the extreme heat of our varied flock. I feel that no chickens handle this kind of heat well so it’s critical to provide a means of keeping them cool such as the shallow water pan I mentioned above.

It’s also important to think about the purpose of raising chickens. If you’re primarily interested in a productive flock that yields a steady supply of eggs, then chicken breeds for eggs are your best bet. However, if you also value the visual appeal of your birds, you may want to consider ornamental breeds, although they may not produce as many eggs.

Rhode Island Red Chickens
Rhode Island Red

After deciding on the main purpose, the next step for me was to consider the size of my flock. Should I have a small farm or just a few chickens roaming around? The flock size will determine the space needed for a comfortable coop and run.

Guidelines suggest around 4 square feet of space per bird in the coop and around 10 square feet per bird in the run. Also, make sure the coop is well-ventilated and free from drafts.

I find that heritage breeds are a great option, as they are often excellent foragers and are well-suited for backyard settings. Bantam breeds might also be worth considering if you have limited space or prefer smaller eggs.

Bantam eggs can be just as tasty as their full-sized counterparts, albeit in smaller portions. We had silkies and they are cute and funny to watch as they kind of waddled when they ran (they had feather covered feet).

Rhode Island Red

Frequently Asked Questions

Which chicken breeds are known for their exceptional egg-laying abilities?

I think some popular egg-laying chicken breeds are Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and Plymouth Rock. These breeds are well-regarded for their consistent egg production.

What are some unusual but efficient egg-laying chicken breeds for backyards?

An efficient but less common egg-laying breed is the Isa Brown. Not only are they affectionate in nature, but they also start laying eggs at 16 weeks of age. Another lesser-known breed that produces a fair number of eggs is the Sussex, known for their calm demeanor.

How many chickens would you recommend for a small family to have a steady egg supply?

For a small family, I would recommend starting with around 3-5 hens. This should provide a steady supply of eggs, considering each hen can lay 3-5 eggs per week, depending on the breed.

Can you suggest chicken breeds that are great for both egg production and meat?

Dual-purpose chicken breeds like the Sussex and Plymouth Rock are great for both egg production and meat. These breeds are known for their excellent egg-laying capabilities as well as their suitable size for meat.

Are there any chicken breeds that can lay around 300 eggs per year?

Yes, the Isa Brown breed is known to produce an impressive average of 300 to 350 eggs each year. This makes them an excellent choice for backyard egg production.

Which chicken breeds are gentle and suitable for backyard environments?

Certain breeds like the Sussex chicken and Barred Plymouth Rock are known for their friendly nature and adaptability, making them ideal for backyard environments.

The Takeaway

I hope this comprehensive guide to selecting your egg-laying chickens helps you to choose the right ones for your home or homestead. By outlining the factors to consider when choosing a chicken breed, such as egg production, climate suitability, and space requirements, you are hopefully now able to take the next steps to getting your own flock of chickens.

Our flock of laying hens have provided us with many healthy eggs to eat as well as hours and hours of entertainment and enjoyment watching them do what chickens do in our backyard every day and I know you all will enjoy having them too!

You May Also Like:

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Rhode Island Red: An In-Depth Guide to Raising a Beloved Chicken Breed

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