7 Best Egg Laying Chickens to Grow on a Farm
For many years, the American Egg Board headlined its marketing efforts with a jingle that extolled “the incredible, edible egg.” Yes, they were selling – but they were not kidding. The best egg laying chickens contain protein, a plethora of vitamins, zinc, iron, and lecithin. Research demonstrates the contribution of eggs to optimal growth in young children and ideal development among the pre-born.
For those who want farm fresh eggs each morning, certain breeds are best known for the prolific generation of nutritious and delicious best egg laying chickens. If you seek to raise chickens commercially or for fun, you should invest in the best egg laying chickens.
What is the best chicken for laying eggs?
Before, small farms produced the largest egg production. Now, large corporations farm chicken breeds for eggs. So, what breeds of chickens are best for laying eggs? Continue reading to find out the best egg laying chickens and best meat chickens are.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is a hardy and rugged bird that, of course, originated in New England. As “dual purpose” chickens, they are raised for both eggs and meat. Many Rhode Island Reds are ironically deep brown and black in hue, though others still sport the deep red plumage of their ancestors. They come in the single comb (the crest of flesh atop the head) and rose comb varieties.
The hens can lay up to 250 medium-sized, brown eggs annually. The roosters, on the other hand, are temperamental and sometimes aggressive.
Unlike Rhode Island Reds, Sussex chickens are docile and even friendly. While they boast multiple colors (white, red, brown, buff and silver e.g.), they are most often found in white. A smattering of black marks the neck and tail feathers. Laying 250 eggs per year (both white and brown), Sussex hens likewise serve as both fruitful egg producers and broilers. They are among the best egg laying chickens.
Another notable fact is that Sussex birds are popular to raise with $-H and FFA clubs. Their good-nature and easy dispositions make them perfect for educational projects and contest judging. Along with their manageable size and distinctive appearance, these traits make Sussex chickens perfect for county fair competitions.
Mostly gray with white bands, Plymouth Rock chickens are large in size but friendly and manageable. Also dual purpose birds, these chickens rank high in egg production, but not at the highest tier. Since a good portion of their nutrition goes to build flesh, their light brown eggs are small to medium-sized yet lack nothing in quality.
Given their excellent temperaments, Plymouth Rock hens are easily raised in free-range environments compared to some of their more difficult cousins. In a given year, they average about 200 eggs. This is normal for the best egg laying chickens.
Despite their Teutonic name, Hamburg trace their lineage to 15th-century Holland, making their way to the U.S. in the early 1800s. They are arrayed in black and white, much like a Dalmatian dog. Alternatively, they might sport gold or silver spangles and penciling. Hens usually weigh about four pounds and these birds are primarily egg producers. Interestingly, their images – far greater than other chickens – adorn plates, cups, embroidery, and other ornamental articles.
Laying approximately 200 glossy white eggs per year, Hamburg is docile in open spaces but anxious and irritable in pens. They are competent foragers and can fly greater distances than most other breeds. Not to worry, though. Take good care of them and these best egg laying chickens will not stray.
The Buff Orpington is a variety of a larger breed. Of all the Orpingtons, the buff among them has the highest average annual egg count: 180. Originally from Great Britain, this bird has a lush coat of golden-yellow feathers. Moreover, the hen is so tame it makes – for those inclined – a fine pet. Larger than most – the hen weighs around eight pounds – the Buff Orpington is just fine either free-ranging or confined.
One reason the total number of yearly production of Buff Orpingtons is lower than some of the other best egg laying chickens listed here is that of a tendency to brood. This type of chicken breed, especially in the summer, wants chicks more than it wants to please the farmer. Consequently, during the Buff Orpington egg production, she will sit on her eggs without moving until she achieves the desired result.
In 2016, the Orpingtons were considered endangered. Orpingtons have two sizes: large fowl and bantam chickens. The bantam chickens are the largest in the breeds of chickens of the Orpington family. Bantam chickens eggs are definitely a good choice for egg production.
A Barnevelder is a cross between a Dutch breed and a fowl from the jungles of southeast Asia. Medium in size, Barnevelder hens ordinarily weigh in at six and a half pounds. This breed is hale and acclimatized to cold and inclement weather. They are less tolerant of extreme heat, their tropical heritage notwithstanding. The feathering is overwhelmingly black, though some exhibit brown tips.
While the hens are good mothers, they can also produce up to 300 eggs per year The eggs are most often reddish brown and speckled. They bear up well in close quarters and are friendly toward their pen-mates. Unlike the Orpingtons, Barnevelders are not particularly broody, as evidenced by their high yields.
Yes, Leghorn…as in Foghorn. Few know that the beloved cartoon character of old actually represents a real breed of chicken, and a prolific one at that. In fact, Leghorn hens can give up over 300 eggs in a year, making them a favorite among commercial egg businesses. The eggshell matches the predominantly white feathers in the shade. Still, there are lesser-known Leghorn varieties of varying colors.
Leghorns are named for the place in Italy from which they emerged. The hens are relatively small (4.5 pounds) but are active and interactive with other chickens when penned. However, they receive optimal nutrition when permitted to free range. If this option is preferable, it is best to clip their wings as these hens are known to head for the trees.
What are the worst chicken breeds for laying eggs?
- Belgian D’Anver and Sebright chicks- difficult to rear
- Japanese Bantam Chickens – difficult for starters
- Araucana chickens- chicks easily die even before hatching
How to care for egg-laying chickens?
Raising chickens for eggs is not an easy job. It is important to note that the breed matters and you must start with taking care of the easy ones.
- Make sure to provide enough chicken feed
- Clean the chicken coops. This is their home and if the coop is clean then the hens and chicks will be healthy
- Regularly collect the eggs
- Observe the poultry
- Practice the free-range method
What is a free-range chicken and why do farmers use this method? Free range chickens can roam freely instead of being confined in battery cages or nest boxes 24 hours a day. Backyard chickens can be considered free-range.
Also, some people prefer to have free range eggs, most especially organic free range eggs. free range chicken eggs are more nutritious. However, make sure that the free-range eggs are from pasture-fed chickens.
How to wash chicken eggs?
When raising chickens for eggs, you must know of the proper way to wash the eggs. Use warm water to clean them to prevent bacteria from getting in. No other chemicals are needed to clean the eggs, just warm water.
Frequently Asked Questions
When a chicken lays an egg, how do you know it will be a chick?
When chickens lay an egg, make sure to incubate it so that it will be a chick.
Can a chicken lay more than one egg at a time?
Chicken lay only one egg at a time. Baby chicks are born out of an egg that takes 26 days to be fully formed.
Which breed of chicken lays the largest eggs?
The following breeds lay the largest eggs and also lay the most eggs per day:
- Rhode Island Red
- Isa Browns
- Barred Plymouth Rocks
How Long Does It Take For Chickens To Start Laying Eggs?
On an average, pullets or young hens will start laying eggs at about 6 months
Final Thoughts on 7 Best Egg Laying Chickens to Grow on a Farm
The best egg-laying chickens to grow on a farm differ in size, appearance, and temperament, without a doubt. Furthermore, variations in diet, environment, and climate can all affect egg production – for good and for ill. Investing in any of these breeds calls for research and preparation if copious egg generation is the aim. Beautiful plumage, even tempers, and rugged endurance are of little effect when the birds do not lay an adequate number.