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    Best Egg Laying Chickens

    Authored by Jemma Petts

    Building your backyard flock is one of the most exciting parts of raising chickens. If your chickens are going to be raised for eggs, you’ll have a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing your birds. If you are a beginner at raising chickens, some breeds will be easier to learn with than others. You’ll also want to keep chicken breed temperament in mind. Keep reading for a comprehensive list of the best egg laying chicken breeds.

    Best egg laying hen breeds for beginners

    Stick to a hardy chicken for your first bird, especially while you are getting used to your flock and raising poultry. Egg production can be tricky to manage, so start small. These breeds are known to be great introduction egg layers:

    • Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White - Dual purpose, high producer of brown eggs, can be confined or free range
    • Sex Links (Black Star and Red Star) - Cross breed, high producer of a brown egg, can be confined or free range
    • Golden Comets - Dual purpose chicken, very high producer of brown eggs, can be confined or free range
    • Plymouth Barred Rock - Dual purpose, brown egg layer with high production, can be confined or free range
    • White Leghorn - High producer of a white egg, can be confined or free range, heat tolerant
    • Ameraucanas - Moderate producer of light blue eggs, can be confined or free range

    Your egg basket will be stocked with chicken eggs from this chicken breed list. Egg production is strong with each, and most are considered dual purpose chickens. Dual purpose chickens are hardy enough they can be raised for eggs or table birds. Each breed listed here make great backyard chickens due their flexibility in living quarters.

    Docile egg laying chicken breeds

    A docile hen can be easily handled. The temperament is great for beginners or for backyard chicken owners with kids. Most are friendly and lend themselves well to being picked up and examined without much fight.

    White egg and brown production

    • Amberlink - Brown-color egg layer, prefers free range, forager
    • Bielefelder - Dual purpose, moderate producer of brown color, calm and curious hen
    • Black Australorp - Dual purpose and hardy hen, brown eggs, can be confined or free range
    • Calico Princess - Ornamental bird with brown eggs, can be confined or free range, mixed breed of Rhode Island Red and Light Sussex
    • California Grey - Winter layer of white eggs, can be confined or free range
    • Columbian Rock Cross - Calm and hardy hen that produces cream to brown eggs, cross breed
    • Golden Comet – Dual purpose, very high producer of brown eggs, commercial quality that does well confined or free range
    • Isa Brown - Commercial quality producer of brown eggs, can be confined or free range
    • New Hampshire Red - Moderate producer of a brown chicken egg, can be confined or free range
    • Speckled Sussex - High producer of creamy light-brown eggs, can be confined or free range with a calm

    Colored eggs

    • Easter Egger - Moderate production of green to blue eggs, great for backyard chickens, dual purpose hen
    • Olive Egger - High production of green eggs, can be confined or free range

    You will have a huge variety of docile hens to choose from. For a complete list with pictures, notes on temperament and production, check out our docile egg-layers guide.

    Active egg laying chicken breeds

    Active breeds can be movers and shakers. These chickens will want room to roam and could be flighty and energetic.

    White or brown production

    • Ancona - Moderate production of large white eggs, prefers free range and hardy in cold weather
    • Black Sex Link - Very high producer of brown eggs, can be confined or free range
    • Blue Andalusian - Moderate white colored egg producer, prefers free range and is heat tolerant

    Colored egg

    • Cream Legbar - High producer of large blue-color eggs, prefers free range with a curious personality
    • Prairie Bluebell Egger - High producer of blue colored eggs, lightweight and great at flying
    • Welsummer - Moderate producer of dark brown speckled eggs, can be confined or free range

    Check out the full list of these active chickens in our chicken breed directory for active egg layers.

    Before you make breed selections, make sure you understand the production capability of your flock. A hen will only lay one egg a day, and some days no eggs at all. The number of eggs your flock produces will depend on a few things: breed, light, nutrition and space. Knowing the egg production you want from your flock will make it easier to choose your breeds and number of hens.

    With so many chickens to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. You have so many hen options to add to your flock. Don’t be shy to find a fellow chicken owner and swap notes. You can even find assorted bird packages that make raising your chicks even more exciting. These assortments are not labeled, so as the chicks grow, you and your family can figure out just what breeds you've welcomed home.

    More about egg production

    Laying an egg is a big job! Read more to find out how your eggs are produced in a hen's reproductive system.
    Have you ever wondered how an egg becomes a chicken? Gail Damerow gives us the details on chicken mating, and if a hen needs a rooster for fertile eggs.