Raising backyard chickens is a delightful and rewarding experience. Your funny, feathered backyard friends will provide you with plenty of entertainment and fresh eggs all year. In turn, you’ll provide them with food, shelter, and protection. Collecting just a few fresh eggs every day is rewarding enough, but did you know that different breeds lay different amounts of eggs? To increase your daily egg count, we’ll discuss different breeds of chickens that lay different amounts of eggs and some of their qualities, and maybe it will help you choose the best egg layers to add to your backyard flock.
1. White Leghorn
Popular because of its very noticeable white feathers and red comb, the white leghorn is the most prolific egg-laying chicken breed. They are medium-sized birds that usually reach around 4 ½ to 5 pounds at maturity, and one hen can easily lay 300 eggs a year. Their eggs are among some of the largest laid by chickens, with the Minorca coming in first for laying the largest eggs. White leghorn hens are rarely broody, so if you want to hatch chicks, you’ll likely need an incubator. Leghorns produce many of the large, white eggs that you see in the store. They are usually well-tempered and are good with humans and other pets.
2. Barred Plymouth Rock
The barred Plymouth rock chicken breed is a large breed of chicken, weighing 6 ½ to 8 pounds at maturity. These large, beautiful birds lay up to 280 eggs per year, ranking them second on our list of the top egg layers. Their eggs are dark brown and can be quite large. The hen’s eggs will grow larger as the hen ages. Though they are larger birds, they are pretty docile and do well with humans. They are also a good choice for families with kids or pets.
3. Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is a very popular chicken breed, distinguishable by its beautiful, chestnut-colored plumage. Rhode Island Reds are large-sized birds, with hens weighing 6 ½ to 7 pounds at maturity. They are sometimes known to have a bit of a temper, especially the roosters, but if the hens are handled daily, they usually are docile towards their owner. Their eggs are medium to large in size and brown in color. They were bred specifically to be dual-purpose birds–meaning they are prolific egg layers and are used as meat birds. They can lay anywhere from 280 to 300 eggs a year, putting them in our third spot for the best egg-laying chicken breed.
4. Speckled Sussex
The next egg-laying master on our list is the Speckled Sussex. Weighing about 6 pounds at maturity, these white-speckled, mahogany-colored beauties can lay 250 to 300 eggs a year. Their eggs are a creamy white to brown color and are medium-sized. They are known for being calm, easy-going birds that are well suited for a family or pet setting.
5. Golden Comet
Golden Comet chickens are excellent egg layers, laying between 250 to 330 eggs per year. Golden Comets proudly flaunt a cinnamon-colored light to a medium-red set of feathers. Their eggs are a dark, reddish brown color and are large or extra-large. Being smaller birds with hens weighing anywhere between 4 to 7 pounds at full maturity, these little hens are known for laying extra large eggs. Golden Comet chickens are relaxed, docile birds who are rarely broody, meaning they don’t show much interest in hatching their own eggs. This makes collecting their big, brown eggs daily easier for you.
6. New Hampshire Red
New Hampshire Red hens can weigh 6 to 7 pounds and are heavyset, hard-bodied birds. They come from the Rhode Island Red chicken breed, and much like them, they can have bad tempers. Roosters and hens alike are known to fight among themselves, and roosters can be especially rowdy towards people and other pets. They also have prolific egg-laying abilities in common with Rhode Island Reds–they can lay up to 280 large, light brown eggs per year–and make great dual-purpose birds. Their feathers are lighter than Rhode Island Reds, and they have flecks of pale golden highlights.
Wyandottes are next on our list. They are able to lay up to 200 large, brown eggs a year. They lay just as well in the winter as they do in other months because they prefer cold weather, which makes them great for giving you a steady supply of eggs. Adult hens weigh about 6 to 7 pounds, and they are among the heavier breeds of chickens. Their size and their dominant demeanor usually push them up toward the top of the pecking order. Wyandottes are pretty docile, but they are also very vocal birds. They are also raised for their unique, yellow-skinned meat.
Coming in at number eight on our list are Australian Black Orpingtons, also known as Australorps. They are large chickens, with hens weighing around 8 pounds and roosters nearing 10. Australorps have a beautiful black plumage that sometimes has hints of purple or green in the sunlight. They were bred with a primary focus on egg-laying, gifting their owners about 300 eggs per year. They produce their light brown, medium-sized eggs at a steady rate, so you’re sure to have fresh eggs all year long. They are great with kids and won’t bother other pets–in fact; they’ll curiously follow you around your yard like a puppy.
Though they are large, these gentle giants are one of the friendliest breeds of chickens. Since they are so friendly, you want to ensure they are protected with a sturdy aluminum automatic chicken coop door from Run-Chicken. These automatic chicken coop doors are large enough that even the giant Australorp roosters won’t have a problem using them.
Americaunas are a fairly-new American breed of chicken that comes in a wide variety of different colors, and their sizes also vary. Americauna chicken’s colors and features vary so much that almost no two chickens look alike. The Americauna can lay about 250 eggs per year. The most interesting thing about Americaunas is that they are one of only three species of chicken that lay light blue eggs, which are a beautiful sight to look at. Americauna chickens are mild-tempered birds that sometimes seem to be quieter and shyer than other breeds. They are great with all humans, children, and other chickens, as well as other pets.
10. Yellow Buff Orpingtons
One of the most common birds that come to mind when you think of raising backyard chickens is the Yellow Buff Orpington. Like their namesake, these birds are golden or yellow and are large, heavy, and buff. Though they are very large birds and can look a little menacing, these super fluffy golden sweethearts can become your best backyard buddies. They are some of the most mild-tempered chickens that you can raise, and they are very curious. On top of that, they will follow you around all day and try to be your best friend. They didn’t just make our top ten list because they are so cuddly and cute, though–Buff Orpingtons can lay 200 to 250 large brown eggs a year. This makes them one of the top ten most proficient egg-laying chicken breeds around!
There are many different breeds of chickens, each one unique in its own way. Some may lay more eggs than others, and things like diet, stress level, and space in the coop can affect your chicken’s egg-laying abilities. Always ensure your hens have enough space in the coop and adequate nesting boxes. Hens that are happy and safe in their homes will produce more eggs.
You always want to ensure your chickens are safe. We’ve talked about many larger breeds of chickens, and although they are pretty good at taking care of themselves, they could still need a little help from you. A sturdy, aluminum automatic chicken coop door from Run-Chicken is the perfect size for any breed of chicken, and it will help keep your chicken coop safe and secure during the night.
The quality of an automatic chicken coop doesn’t just end there, though. It has a light sensor that allows it to automatically shut your chickens safely in the coop at sunset, and it also opens promptly at sunrise. This will allow your chickens all the time they need to get out and stretch their legs while giving you peace of mind knowing that your chickens are let out as early as possible.
If you’re thinking about raising backyard chickens for their eggs, the amount of eggs is a very important factor. When choosing backyard chicken breeds to raise for eggs, remember you should think about things like the hardiness of the breed, whether they are suited for the climate in your area, the space needed, and the temperament of the breed, especially if you have kids, other family members, or pets who may come across the chickens. I hope this guide has helped you choose a breed of chicken that is right for you!