Egg Laying Chicken Breeds: 10 of the Best Egg Laying Hens

Brown hen hatching eggs

Raising chickens for eggs can be incredibly rewarding, but choosing the right breed is crucial for maximizing egg production. Different breeds have varying capabilities when it comes to laying eggs. Curious which hens will lay the golden eggs for you? In this guide, we’ll explore why some chicken breeds lay more eggs than others and highlight the top breeds known for their prolific egg-laying.

Why do some Chicken Breeds Lay More than Others?

Several factors can influence the number of eggs a chicken lays, but one of the most significant is breeding. Chickens are bred for different purposes, and selective breeding has led to breeds that excel in specific areas.

Breeding Purposes

  1. Egg Production: Breeds specifically bred for egg production tend to lay more eggs consistently. These chickens have been selectively bred over generations to enhance their egg-laying capabilities. This selective breeding focuses on traits such as early maturity, frequency of laying, and longevity of productive years.
  2. Meat Production: Some breeds are bred primarily for their meat rather than their egg-laying abilities. These breeds, often referred to as broilers, generally lay fewer eggs. The focus here is on rapid growth, large body size, and meat quality rather than the quantity of eggs produced.
  3. Dual-Purpose: There are also dual-purpose breeds that are good for meat and egg production. While they may not lay as many eggs as specialized egg-laying breeds, they still provide a reliable number of eggs. These breeds are ideal for small farms and homesteads where both meat and eggs are desired from the same flock.

What Chickens Lay the Most Eggs?

If you’re looking to maximize your egg production, here are some of the best egg-laying chicken breeds to consider:

1. Wyandotte

Wyandottes are attractive birds that can lay 200-240 eggs per year. They are friendly and make great pets, in addition to being reliable layers. Their laced feathers come in various colors, adding visual interest to their practical benefits. Wyandottes are known for their cold-hardiness, making them suitable for colder climates.

2. Plymouth Rocks

Plymouth Rocks are dual-purpose birds with good layers, producing around 200-280 eggs annually. They are hardy and adapt well to different climates, making them a versatile addition to any flock. Their distinctive barred plumage makes them easy to recognize, and their friendly nature makes them popular among backyard chicken keepers.

3. Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Reds are among the most popular breeds for eggs and meat. They lay about 200-300 eggs annually and are known for their resilience and strong laying capabilities. Their deep red feathers and robust build make them a standout breed for those seeking egg production and a sturdy bird.

4. Austra White

A cross between the Australorp and White Leghorn, Austra Whites are excellent layers, producing approximately 250-280 eggs per year. They combine the hardiness of the Australorp with the high egg production of the Leghorn. This hybrid breed benefits from the best traits of both parent breeds, resulting in a resilient and productive hen.

5. The Golden Comet

Golden Comets are another top choice for prolific egg production. These hens can lay around 250-300 eggs annually. They are also known for their docile nature and adaptability to various environments. Their golden-red plumage makes them an attractive addition to any flock, and their reliable laying makes them a favorite among hobbyists and farmers alike.

6. Black Star

Black Stars are hybrid chickens created for high egg production. They can produce around 250-300 eggs annually. These birds are also known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in various conditions. The Black Star’s striking black plumage with a greenish sheen adds beauty to their practicality.

7. ISA Browns

ISA Browns are renowned for their exceptional egg-laying capabilities, often producing up to 300 eggs per year. These hens are friendly, hardy, and relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice for both backyard enthusiasts and commercial producers. Their consistent laying habits make them a staple in many egg-producing operations.

8. Lohmann Brown

Lohmann Browns are commercial hybrids specifically bred for egg production. They can lay up to 300 eggs per year and are known for their consistent performance and easy-going temperament. Due to their reliability and high productivity, these hens are widely used in commercial egg production.

9. Australorps

Australorps are famous for their record-setting egg production, with some hens laying more than 300 eggs yearly. They are a great choice for those looking for a reliable and steady egg layer. Their calm and friendly disposition makes them an excellent addition to family flocks, and their glossy black feathers add to their appeal.

10. White Leghorns

White Leghorns are prolific layers, often producing more than 300 eggs annually. They are hardy, efficient, and one of the best choices for high egg production. Their sleek white feathers and active personalities make them a lively addition to any flock. Due to their exceptional productivity and feed efficiency, White Leghorns are widely used in commercial egg production.

11. Nutrition for Egg Production

For the best nutrition to support your flock’s egg production, visit Kalmbach Feeds®. Our high-quality feeds are designed to keep your hens healthy and productive. Shop now and give your chickens the best care possible.


Hattie Hartschuh

A Sycamore, Ohio native, Hattie Hartschuh grew up only 25 minutes north of Kalmbach Feeds on her family's farm. Over the years, she and her family have raised cattle, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, rabbits and chickens. Growing up on the farm also gave her the opportunity to show multiple species through 4-H and FFA. She pursued both her B.S. and her M.S. in Animal Science at Kansas State University, where she specialized in Ruminant Nutrition. Hattie joined the Kalmbach Feeds team in January of 2015 and thoroughly enjoys helping customers and dealers provide the best possible nutrition to their herds.