The Best Egg Laying Chickens
Want to raise chickens for producing some fresh and organic eggs for domestic consumption and even commercial purposes? The conventional wisdom when choosing chickens for egg production is to pick the best egg laying chickens or breed.
If you are keeping layers to produce eggs for home consumption, consider picking relatively docile, healthy and productive chicken varieties that produce sufficient amount of eggs for your daily needs.
For commercial layers, select breeds that have a relatively higher production.
This article gives you a general impression about some of the best egg laying hens for subsistence keeping and commercial purposes, highlighting the top egg producers as well as their features and characteristics.
Keep reading on to know which egg producers are the best.
Choosing the Best Egg Laying Chicken Breed
As a rule, your chickens will lay a certain number of eggs throughout their lifetime, and this will vary from one chicken breed to another.
Before you take home a new brood of chicken, ask your family members about their choice. If you cannot agree on one breed, you can raise different breeds.
The general idea is that the best chicken for one person may not be the best for another farmer, even though some breeds may lay more regularly compared to others.
Depending on where you are raising your chickens, your choice size of the breed may vary.
For instance, if you stay in the urban area, you may not prefer large and noisy chicken breeds unlike for someone who lives in the rural area. Large and noisy breeds may cause a lot of problems including drawing complaints from your neighbors for those in urban centers.
Also, some chickens may be less tolerant to harsh environmental conditions than others.
If you are living in a cold climate, you should consider choosing winter hardy breeds as less winter hardy birds might not survive some of these conditions.
For warmer climates, pick breeds that are well adapted to warm conditions. The idea is to enable your breeds to live, grow and give maximum production regardless of the climatic condition of your place.
When choosing your breed, you may also want to consider your preferences about chicken color, size or even the number of hens.
Here is a list of the top 7 Best egg laying chickens.
1. White Leghorn (Foghorn Leghorn, one and the same bird.)
This is pronounced Leggern by most older folks who were raised around chickens.
The white leghorn is probably one of the uppermost egg layers, producing up to two hundred and eighty eggs per year. They are resistant to harsh environmental conditions like hot and cold weather.
However, just like other livestock, their production will vary depending on how regular and the quality of feed you feed them.
Be sure to provide them adequate food, water and warm shelter throughout the year.
If you want a layer that you can keep confined most of the time, the white leghorn may be ideal for you.
This breed can do as well in a coop as in free range, even when temperatures are high as long as enough forage is available.
If you are going to keep these in a coop most of the time, always be conscious of the temperatures and provide adequate ventilation.
2. Golden Comet
This is a preferred chicken at our place. My mother in law owns these wonderful birds. They produce year round for her! (We get to benefit also ☺ )
The Golden Comet is friendly to cold climates and free range system, producing between two hundred and fifty and three hundred eggs per year.
The Golden Comet is a chicken that is easily sexed at a young as the females will have a reddish color and the males will be white.
They grow faster than most breeds and produce earlier than a lot of other breeds. The Comet is also a great multi-purpose bird as they are used for eggs and meat on many homesteads.
The Golden Comet lays brown-colored eggs so if you like brown eggs, you may want to keep this breed on your first choice list.
With an easy going temperament, this breed can make a good pet, even though they may not be broody on the whole.
3. Golden Laced Wyandottes
These chickens are great egg layers, producing medium to large eggs.
They are also generally calm, gentle and make fantastic foragers, making one of the best egg layers especially if you prefer the free range system of rearing.
This breed also tends to be broody, so if you want to raise more chicks, the Golden-laced Wyandottes bird can give you more baby chickens on a more regular basis which will also give you more eggs production for the future.
In my opinion, these are some of the most gorgeous birds around! I just love the golden lacing on these chickens!
4. New Hampshire Red
If you want to raise eggs for subsistence use, the New Hampshire Red will fit the bill, producing up to two hundred eggs per year.
These birds are also resistant to cold climatic conditions.
The New Hampshire Red also tend to be broody, making perfect mothers for those who want to breed more young chickens for egg production.
5. Amerauncana (Can be confused with the Easter Eggers)
The Ameraucana is perhaps one of the most captivating egg layers to keep, producing multi-colored eggs that are tasty and delicious.
The bird tends to be resistant against all harsh environmental conditions including cold and hot climates.
They can also adapt to most rearing systems including caging and free range system.
They can give you about two hundred and fifty eggs per year, even though new studies suggest they are capable of producing more.
6. Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is easy to care for, unlike most other breeds.
It is capable of producing up to two hundred and sixty eggs per year. They are excellent foragers, making great birds for free range system and even caged systems, provided the pens are movable from place to place for new forage.
While this breed can be hardy, they tend to get bossy, bullying other small chicken in their pen so you should arrange to separate large chickens from smaller ones if the need arises.
7. Barred Plymouth Rock
Few breeds have the idyllic characteristics like the Barred Plymouth Rock which has a friendly personality, relating well with young kids. They are also good foragers, doing well in a free range system.
In case you love brown eggs like many people do today, this breed will give you just that.
This bird will give you about two hundred and eighty eggs per year, keeping you and your loved ones well taken care of.
Additionally, this breed will do well with other varieties of chickens so you do not have to get worried about mixing them with other breeds.
While the above-listed breeds are some of the most popular in the market today, at the end of the day, you should choose which chicken breed suits your personal needs and preferences.
When choosing your ideal breed, you should put into consideration how much chicken you want to raise, the available space as well as what you want to do with their eggs.
As always the case, when considering raising chickens, the cost is always a factor. If you don’t have adequate space, lodging, fencing, etc, count the cost before buying the chickens!
Too many chickens are purchased only to be left to fend for themselves after the owners realize they don’t have the time or desire to take care of them.
Chickens are animals who need the care of their owners and will not survive in most settings without proper care.