The 12 Best Breeds of Chickens for Egg Laying

The 12 Best Breeds of Chickens for Egg Laying

Planning your chicken coop means taking into account what kind of chickens in you are raising.  In this article we take an overview look at the 12 most common chicken varieties as well as a variety of factors that can impact your chicken farming experience.   I also take into account factors such as tolerance to winter conditions and their reputation as egg layers as well as personality habits.

The 12 Most Common Chicken Breeds

1. Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock)

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Light brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 6-7 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Plymouth Rocks are known for their friendly nature and ease of care, making them ideal for beginners. They are hardy birds that can tolerate cold climates well.

2. Rhode Island Red

  • Egg Yield: 5-6 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 6.5-8.5 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Rhode Island Reds are versatile birds, excellent for both egg production and meat. They are hardy and adaptable, making them a popular choice among homesteaders.

3. Leghorn ( White ) 

  • Egg Yield: 5-6 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: White
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Size: 4.5-6 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Moderate
  • Class: Egg-laying
  • Characteristics: Leghorns are prolific layers known for their high egg production. They are active and efficient foragers but can be flighty and nervous.

 

4. Wyandotte

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Cream
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Size: 6-8 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Wyandottes are known for their beautiful plumage and calm temperament. They are good for both eggs and meat, and they thrive in cold climates.

 

5. Sussex

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Light brown, cream
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Size: 6-8 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Sussex chickens are friendly and easy to manage, making them ideal for beginners. They are dual-purpose birds, providing good quality meat as well.

 

6. Australorp

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Light brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 6-8 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Australorps are renowned for their consistent laying and friendly nature. They thrive well in various climates and are known for their hardiness.

 


 

7. Chantecler

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 6.5-7.5 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Chanteclers are hardy birds developed in Canada for cold climates. They are calm, good layers, and dual-purpose birds.

 


 

8. Minorca

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: White
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Size: 6-8 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Moderate
  • Class: Egg-laying
  • Characteristics: Minorcas are known for their large white eggs and striking appearance. They are active birds that do well in warm climates but can be a bit flighty.

 


 

9. Delaware

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 6-8 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Dual-purpose
  • Characteristics: Delawares are friendly and curious birds, good for both eggs and meat. They are hardy and do well in various climates.

 


 

10. Easter Egger

  • Egg Yield: 4-5 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Green, blue, olive, pink, tan, cream
  • Egg Size: Medium
  • Size: 4-5 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Moderate
  • Class: Egg-laying
  • Characteristics: Easter Eggers are known for their colorful eggs and friendly nature. They are adaptable to various environments and make excellent backyard birds.

 


 

11. Isa Brown

  • Egg Yield: 6-7 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Size: 4-5 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Moderate
  • Class: Egg-laying
  • Characteristics: Isa Browns are prolific layers known for their friendly and docile nature. They start laying eggs at around 4-5 months old and produce large, brown eggs. However, they have a shorter lifespan of about 3-4 years.

 


 

  • Egg Yield: 5-6 eggs per week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium to large
  • Size: 5-7 lbs
  • Winter Tolerant: Yes
  • Class: Egg-laying
  • Characteristics: Black Stars are hybrid birds known for their high egg production. They are good foragers, friendly, and easy to manage, making them popular among homesteaders.

Comparison Table of Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

Breed Eggs per Week Egg Color Egg Size Size Winter Tolerant Class Key Characteristics
Plymouth Rock 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-7 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, hardy, cold-tolerant
Rhode Island Red 5-6 Brown Medium to large 6.5-8.5 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Dual-purpose, hardy, adaptable
Leghorn 5-6 White Large 4.5-6 lbs Moderate Egg-laying Prolific layers, active, flighty
Wyandotte 4-5 Cream Large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Beautiful plumage, calm, cold-tolerant
Sussex 4-5 Light brown, cream Large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, easy to manage, dual-purpose
Australorp 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Consistent layers, friendly, climate resilient
Chantecler 4-5 Brown Medium to large 6.5-7.5 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Hardy, calm, dual-purpose
Minorca 4-5 White Large 6-8 lbs Moderate Egg-laying Large eggs, active, warm climates
Delaware 4-5 Brown Medium to large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, curious, dual-purpose
Easter Egger 4-5 Green, blue, olive, pink, tan, cream Medium 4-5 lbs Moderate Egg-laying Colorful eggs, friendly, adaptable
Isa Brown 6-7 Brown Large 4-5 lbs Moderate Egg-laying Prolific layers, friendly, shorter lifespan
Black Star 5-6 Brown Medium to large 5-7 lbs Yes Egg-laying High egg production, friendly, good foragers

Easiest Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds for Beginners

Starting a backyard flock can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to choose the right breeds, especially if you’re a beginner. Some chicken breeds are known for their friendly demeanor, ease of care, and reliable egg production, making them ideal for those new to raising chickens. Here are some of the best egg-laying breeds for beginners:

Breed Eggs per Week Egg Color Egg Size Size Winter Tolerant Class Key Characteristics
Rhode Island Red 5-6 Brown Medium to large 6.5-8.5 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Hardy, adaptable, friendly, dual-purpose
Plymouth Rock 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-7 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, hardy, cold-tolerant
Sussex 4-5 Light brown, cream Large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, easy to manage, dual-purpose
Australorp 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Consistent layers, friendly, climate resilient
Orpington 3-4 Light brown Large 7-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Calm, friendly, hardy, good for meat and eggs

These breeds are not only prolific layers but also have temperaments and characteristics that make them easy to manage, even for novice chicken keepers. Choosing any of these breeds will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable start to your chicken-keeping journey.

Hardiest Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds for Cold Climates

Choosing the right chicken breeds for cold climates is essential to ensure your flock remains healthy and productive throughout the winter. Here are some of the best egg-laying breeds that are known for their hardiness in colder temperatures:

Breed Eggs per Week Egg Color Egg Size Size Winter Tolerant Class Key Characteristics
Plymouth Rock 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-7 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, hardy, cold-tolerant
Rhode Island Red 5-6 Brown Medium to large 6.5-8.5 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Hardy, adaptable, friendly, dual-purpose
Sussex 4-5 Light brown, cream Large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Friendly, easy to manage, dual-purpose
Australorp 4-5 Light brown Medium to large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Consistent layers, friendly, climate resilient
Wyandotte 4-5 Cream Large 6-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Beautiful plumage, calm, cold-tolerant
Orpington 3-4 Light brown Large 7-8 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Calm, friendly, hardy, good for meat and eggs
Chantecler 4-5 Brown Medium to large 6.5-7.5 lbs Yes Dual-purpose Developed for cold climates, calm, dual-purpose

These breeds are well-suited to colder environments due to their hardiness, feathering, and overall resilience. They not only thrive in winter conditions but also continue to lay eggs consistently, ensuring a steady supply of fresh eggs even in the cold months. Choosing any of these breeds will help you maintain a productive and healthy flock throughout the year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.