The Best Egg Laying Chickens
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is the most popular chicken breed in America today. The breed has a beautiful deep red/brown color, and as the name suggests, originated in Rhode Island. It was initially bred as a hybrid meat and egg chicken, though more recently has been bred for its egg-laying ability. The Rhode Island Red will lay somewhere between 200-300 large brown eggs per year.
The Plymouth Rock was the most popular breed of chicken in the 1900s. Its most popular form today is the Barred Rock, though there are also White, Black, and Buff varieties. Plymouth Rocks are known to be especially hardy and do well in cold weather, and are a friendly breed suitable for young kids. Another dual-purpose breed, many keep Plymouth Rocks for egg-laying. You can expect a hen to lay around 200 large brown eggs per year.
The Australorp, as the name suggests, originates in Australia. The breed shot up in popularity after winning an egg-laying contest. Six hens laid a whopping 1,857 in 365 days, or around 309 eggs per hen! As a backyard chicken keeper, you can expect your Australorps to lay around 250 light brown eggs per year. The breed has a deep black color with a beautiful green tint.
Easter Egger (Ameraucana)
The Easter Egger, or Ameraucana, is known for laying blue-tinted eggs. The Ameraucana will lay a few less eggs than the typical egg layer, but is a great breed for families with young kids. The breed originates from the Auracana chicken, which is thought to have come from Chile.
Leghorns, originally from central Italy, are exceptional egg layers. You can expect around 280 large, white eggs per year, though some hens can lay up to 300. Most Leghorns are have white feathers, though some brown varieties are also popular.
Black Star / Red Star
Black Stars, or Black Sex-Linked Chickens, are hybrid chickens bred for egg laying. The Black Star is a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Plymouth Barred Rock hen. These chickens will lay up to 300 eggs per year and have a friendly temperament. Red Star varieties are also very popular. The color of eggs will vary from cross to cross.
Originating in southeast England, the Speckled Sussex sports a beautiful dotted pattern. Hens will lay between 180-200 eggs/year.