Here is a list of the best egg-laying chickens. Some are popular breeds but some of the best chicken breeds for eggs will surprise you.
As winter winds down, I start thinking about getting more chickens. I typically get 5-7 a year, adding the chicks to my flock when they are big enough, usually July or so. Chickens are not (sadly) long-living birds. 6-8 years is their average lifespan. I just lost one of my girls, but she was over 8. I know she had a good life. Since I sell the eggs from my girls, I’m always looking for high egg production paired with interesting egg colors.
So which chickens are the best egg layers? Read on!
Egg Production and Color = $
For me, color and production rates dominate the reasons for picking the chickens that I do. If you’re trying to get a lot of eggs then picking the best egg-laying chickens just makes sense! I first got Golden Comets and Australorps, giving me creamy brown eggs of various sizes. The next year I got Sapphire Gems and Speckled Sussex. Again, varied brown eggs. Years before last came the Americaunas. Those were mostly blue and green. Somewhere I’m getting a pinkish one. Last year I got Copper Marans, dark brown eggs. This year, I’m not sure, so let’s take a look at who produces more. As an egg seller, I’ve found that multi-colored eggs sell the best. I’m not sure why, since my eggs taste the same. It’s probably more of a novelty thing.
Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
As I said above, they are great egg producers. Comets can lay 280 eggs a year, and those are usually medium-brown medium-size eggs.
Rhode Island Red
Another great producer at around 250 eggs a year. These are also medium size and brown in color.
Yes, Leghorns are more of a meat chicken, but they also produce a good amount of eggs, around 250 a year. These are the white eggs that you typically see in the grocery stores.
Plymouth Barred Rock
A good-sized chicken that can lay 200 eggs a year. Not the best egg-laying chickens on our list, but 200 is still a lot more than many other breeds! They lay a light brown, medium-sized egg.
From Cuckoo to Copper, Marans can produce around 200 eggs a year. These are dark brown and a bit larger. Be prepared though, Marans don’t usually start producing until they are around 8-9 months old. Most hens start at 5-6 months.
These hens can produce around 180 eggs a year, larger in size and medium brown.
These medium-sized birds can produce upwards of 220 eggs a year. They vary in color, but the eggs will always be white.
While they are larger chickens, Sussex is one of the best egg-laying chickens laying around 250 eggs a year. That’s almost one a day! The eggs are usually medium brown. I have one white Sussex and four Speckled Sussex.
Another heavy-producing hen, Australorps can also lay 250 eggs a year. The eggs are pretty large and are light to medium brown. I suspect one of my Australorps is laying that pinkish egg!
The Easter Eggers are a sub-category of the Americauna breed. They lay very colorful eggs ranging from dark to very light green or blue. Moss Eggers and Olive Eggers are also in this category. Americaunas were bred from the African Aruacana to be a more “cold-hardy” and productive breed. It must have worked because they are one of my best egg-laying chickens that produce a whopping 280 eggs a year!
I also have 6-7 Sex Links. They are a larger brown hen that lays upwards of 300 eggs a year! The eggs are an extra-large medium to dark brown egg that will surprise you almost every time. I remember thinking-who is laying these monsters?
If you want a big chicken, then Brahmas are for you! They can get up to 10 pounds (that’s a big hen!) and still produce around 160 eggs a year. And since the bird is so large, the eggs are too, most being medium brown.
The Wyandotte breed is definitely one of the best egg-laying chickens. They come in many colors, including the popular “lace” colors. I have a black-laced Wyandotte named Raven. She’s 4 years old, but still produced over 300 medium brown large eggs last year! She’ll be winding down now and not giving me so many eggs, but she’s still a great bird.
This breed of chicken originates from Haiti and is considered to be one of the oldest breeds of chickens in America. It’s said that the colonists brought them here to help them survive the harsh winters. Dominique hens can produce 270 eggs a year that are medium-sized and light brown.
These are an old Dutch breed of chicken that can lay up to 180 large light brown eggs a year. They are very pretty birds with the popular lacing that you’ll see in Wyandottes.
Smaller Egg Laying Chicken Breed
If you like a smaller breed, Bantams are the best choice. They produce only 75-80 eggs a year, but that’s the top of the scale for smaller breeds of chickens.
When Egg Production Slows
On average, peak production for hens only lasts a few years. After that, egg production slows down to maybe one or two a week, and then finally one or two a month. Around that time, some hens are relegated to the stew pot. I don’t, because these are my pets. I raise them from babies and could never eat them, though it is a thing that is frequently done.
Free Pest Control
My older girls (and Van, their rooster) get used in other ways. Most of the day, they stay in their coop and run, but about an hour before sunset, I let them out to roam the yard. Once older, these best egg-laying chickens eat bugs, turn the compost and eat grass and clovers. Since I have started doing this, I haven’t had a single tick in the yard, have seen no fleas on my dog or cats, and get my garden turned over.
I clean out the coop a few times a month, and that manure either goes to a new raised garden bed or the compost. By the time I’m ready to plant, the manure has broken down enough to be less potent. When one of the girls does finally die on me, and I have several over 7 years old now, I “plant” them at the base of my blueberries or figs.
Taking egg color and quantity into account, which one of these best egg-laying chickens are your favorite breeds?