14 Best Egg Laying Chickens (Chart)

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Wondering what are the best egg laying chickens? Then this post is for you!

Many people raise backyard chickens to get fresh eggs. But one thing most beginners don’t realize is that each breed lays a different amount of eggs per year.

So in this post, I’m going to discuss:

  1. How many eggs each breed lays per year,
  2. When they start laying eggs,
  3. Egg size and color,
  4. Whether they tend to be broody,
  5. Whether they are cold hardy,
  6. Their average lifespan.
  7. And each breed’s unique personalities.
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BreedEggs/YearSizeColor
Isa Brown300LargeBrown
Lohmann Brown 320LargeBrown
Golden Comet250-300Large
to Extra Large
Dark Red-Brown
Rhode Island Red
250Large
to Extra Large
Brown
Leghorn 250-280Medium
to Large
White
Sussex250Large Brown
to Creamy White
Australorp 250LargeBrown
Ameraucana 250MediumShades of Blue
Plymouth Rock
200LargeBrown
Ancona200LargeWhite
Buff Orpington 180-280LargeLight Brown
Barnevelder 200LargeSpeckled Brown
to Dark Brown
Marans 180-220
LargeRich Dark Brown
Hamburg150-200Small
to Medium
White

List of Best Chickens to Lay Eggs

Isa Brown (Hybrid)

There are many different hybrids. But one of the most common is known as the Isa Brown.

Isa Browns are great layers but will typically stop laying eggs after two years. Nevertheless, they will continue to make great pets.

They’re reasonably low-maintenance and they love to interact with people. They’re also very docile, like to be cuddled, and are great with children.

Yet, when new chickens are introduced, Isa Browns can be extremely territorial and bossy.

Isa Brown: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 300-350 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 20 to 22 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Brown

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is between 2-3 years. Yet, in rare cases, they’ll live to be 5 to 8 years old.

Just like with all chicken breeds, how long they’ll live depends on how well you take care of them.

Lohmann Brown (Hybrid)

The Lohmann Browns are medium-sized chickens. Most of them have caramel-brown feathers with white feathers around their necks and tail.

This chicken is perfect for beginner chicken keepers because they’re low maintenance and hardy.

This breed is a great pet because it’s docile, friendly, easily handled, and good with children.

Lohmann Brown: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Up to 320 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 18 weeks

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Brown

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 6 to 8 years

Golden Comet (Hybrid)

Golden Comets are usually a reddish-brown color with white tail feathers. They’re small, so they’re not good for meat production.

Hybrids have been bred to lay a lot of eggs while only eating small amounts of food. They also typically lay eggs year round.

This breed is very calm, tame, and hardy. They’re very friendly towards people, usually like being held, and are great with young children.

They’re also friendly with other chicken breeds and other animals.

These chickens are naturally curious, so you’ll have to check up on them regularly to make sure they’re not putting themselves in any danger.

Golden Comet: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: 250-300 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 15 to 16 weeks old

Egg Size: Large to extra large

Egg Color: Usually a dark red-brown color

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 5-10

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are dark rust-brown with black tail feathers.

Rhode Island Reds are known as dual-purpose chickens. This means they can be raised for either eggs or meat. But hens are comparatively smaller in size than the rooster.

They are one of the most popular backyard chicken breeds because they’re hardy, low maintenance, and lay lots of eggs. Although they can be a bit assertive at times, they are very friendly.

They’re energetic and curious. And although they will tolerate being copped up, they love to roam around and forage.

Rhode Island Red: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 250 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 18 to 24 weeks old

Egg Size: Large to extra large

Egg Color: Brown

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: On average, they live to be 6 to 8 years old. But they have been reported to live 10 to 14 years under optimal conditions.

Leghorn

Leghorns come in 12 color varieties, but the white chickens usually lay the most eggs.

They grow fast and mature quickly. They are consistent egg layers but not good for meat production.

Leghorns are very active and efficient foragers. Although they like roaming around and roosting in trees, they’re perfectly content in a chicken run.

Although the Leghorn is a great pick for a beginner chicken keeper, they are known for being shy, hard to tame, and pretty noisy.

Leghorn: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 250-280 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 16-17 weeks

Egg Size: Medium to large

Egg Color: White

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: No. Their comb is large that you have to make sure they don’t get frostbite in cold weather.

Lifespan: Average is 4 to 6 years

Sussex

These chickens come in eight different colors. The most common color is a pure white body with a black neck and tail feathers.

Like the Rhode Island Red, the Sussex is a dual-purpose chicken.

This breed is easy to tame and will eat from your hand. They’re very calm and are known to free-range in gardens without destroying it.

Compared to other breeds, the Sussex is full of personality. They’re very curious chickens. They’re also known for following people around and begging for treats.

Sussex: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 250 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 16 to 20 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: The color of the eggs will vary from brown to creamy white.

Broodiness: They’re often broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: At least 5 years

Australorp

Australorps are quite large, dual-purpose chickens. They have very soft black, white or blue feathers. The most common Australorps are black with an iridescent green tinge.

This is an active breed, but they tend to be extremely calm, tame, and quiet. They’re happiest in a free-range environment because they enjoy foraging. Yet, they will tolerate small-spaces or chicken runs, so they’re great if you live in an urban area.

Australorps are a very gentle, docile breed that loves socializing with people. They’re known as one of the friendliest chicken breeds and are great with children.

Australorp: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 250 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 20 to 24 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Brown

Broodiness: They occasionally go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 6-10 years of age.

Ameraucana

Looking for blue eggs? Ameraucana hens lay blue eggs in various shades. They even have blue legs!

Ameraucanas come in 8 different varieties (Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, White).

They’re docile, hardy, and sweet chickens. They make great pets because they’re docile, friendly, and so much fun to have around.

However, it’s important to note that this breed’s character can vary widely. Most are curious, gentle, and tolerate both chicken runs and a free-ranging environment. Yet, some Ameraucanas can be quite nervous and shy.

Ameraucana: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 250 per year

Start Laying At: 25 to 30 weeks

Egg Size: Medium

Egg Color: Shades of blue

Broodiness: They occasionally go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 6 to 8 years

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock is usually gray with white stripes wrapping around their body. They’re large chickens happiest when free-ranging.

This breed is known to get along well with both people and other pets. They love to be picked up and cuddled. They are very friendly, calm, easily tamed, and great with children.

The Plymouth Rock is a great choice for beginner chicken keepers.

Plymouth Rock: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 200 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 16 to 20 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Brown

Broodiness: They usually go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 6 to 8 years, but many have been known to reach 10 to 12 years.

Ancona

The Ancona is an energetic and hardy chicken that looks very similar to the Plymouth Rock. Yet the Ancona is less than half the size.

Anconas are much happier when they can free-range in large spaces. They’re not a fan of being cooped up.

They also love to fly. Ancona owners often have their feathers clipped since they’ll fly out of their pens and roost in trees.

Anacona’s have nervous personalities, so they don’t make great pets.

Ancona: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 200 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 21 to 22 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: White

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: The Ancona chicken is extremely winter hardy despite its large single comb.

Lifespan: Average is 8 years

Buff Orpington

The Buff Orpington is a large chicken and usually has a thick layer of golden-yellow feathers.

Buff Orpingtons are one of the tamest breeds you can get. They are very calm, low maintenance, and great in a garden.

They are very docile, friendly, and love to socialize with people. They love attention and cuddles. You can even train them to eat out of your hands. They’re also great with children.

Because of their non-aggressive nature, they should not be put with more aggressive breeds.

They tolerate being in a chicken run or being in a small yard. They’re perfect chickens if you live in a town or city because they’re very quiet and tolerate small spaces very well.

They tend to be lazy chickens with a tendency of being overweight if they are not fed a proper diet.

Buff Orpington: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 180-280 eggs a year

Start Laying At: 19 to 24 weeks

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Light brown

Broodiness: They’re often broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 8 to 12 years

Barnevelder

The Barnevelder hens are dual-purpose chickens that have dark brown feathers with a double lacing* of black and an iridescent green tinge.

*Double lacing means two narrow, parallel lines of contrasting color found around the edge of a feather.

The Barnevelder is a docile, friendly, and laid-back chicken breed. They’re also fairly low maintenance.

Barnevelders are definitely not the most active and energetic chicken breed out there. They’re often described as lazy and can easily get overweight if they’re not fed a proper diet.

Sometimes, Barnevelders might bully other chickens.

Barnevelder: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 200 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 28 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Light speckled brown to dark chocolate-brown

Broodiness:They occasionally go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 8 to 10 years, but some have been reported to live as old as 20.

Marans

Marans are another dual-purpose chicken and are good layers. They’re known for their rich dark brown colored eggs.

This breed is very friendly, quiet, docile, not aggressive, and low maintenance. Yet they aren’t very tame and don’t make good pets.

They’re pretty active. They are good foragers and are happiest when they can roam around.

They are also hardy and disease-resistant. But they can be lazy and get fat very easily if they don’t have plenty of space to roam around. So it’s best to give these chickens a free-ranging environment.

Marans: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 180-220 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 35 to 39 weeks old

Egg Size: Large

Egg Color: Rich dark brown

Broodiness: They usually go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Lifespan: Average is 4 to 10 years

Hamburg

The Hamburg chicken is a popular breed because of their beautiful appearance and upbeat personalities.

They’re small to medium in size (standard and bantam sizes) and come in more than 10 variations.

This breed regularly needs plenty of space to roam. Hamburgs are also quite flighty and are happy to roost in trees. For this reason, owners often clip their wings.

Hamburgs are active chickens who love to explore and forage. Although they don’t tend to interact much with people, they love to play with other chickens.

Keep in mind that Hamburgs can be quite noisy.

Hamburg: Eggs and Other Facts

Eggs per Year: Approximately 150-200 eggs per year

Start Laying At: 17 to 22 weeks old

Egg Size: Small to medium

Egg Color: White

Broodiness: They rarely go broody.

Cold Hardy: Yes

Life Span: Average is 6 to 10 years