As a chicken keeper, I have always been fascinated by different breeds of layers and wondered which was the best backyard chicken for eggs. After a few discussions with other like-minded chicken owners, I concluded that different keepers have mixed feelings about backyard chickens for eggs. Inasmuch as we all have our choices when it comes to our favorite breeds, the bottom line remains that some are a must-have.
Now, the question is which are the best backyard chickens for eggs?
There are a dozen choices that come to mind. Some of those include the following:
- White Leghorn
- White Rock
- Black Star
These breeds make it to this list based on several factors key among them their feather coloring, egg-laying rate, mothering ability, temperament, hardiness, feed conversion and lack of broodiness. Certainly, you can agree with me that countless factors can make a breed of chickens stand out from the rest and be counted on this list.
Most of the chicken keepers choose their breeds carefully perhaps based on their preference, needs, and budget. But the most important thing for anyone looking to start rearing backyard chickens is the right attitude and passion for these domestic birds.
Arguably, the whole idea of acquiring backyard chickens for eggs is based on an individual’s personality and other underlying factors as those highlighted at the beginning of this discussion. For instance, you may have a flock that is somewhat varied in terms of different breeds while your neighbors could be raising a specific breed for reasons known best to them. No wonder you can come across a flock of Rhode Island Reds in one backyard and get a couple more breeds in another backyard. Perhaps the Rhode Island Red keeper settled for this breed particularly for its tendency to lay a large number of eggs and nothing more than that.
When it comes to keeping chickens, there are trends that are followed by almost every chicken owner. These trends come hand in hand with the specific breeds of chickens that display some unique characteristics such as temperament, hardiness, and egg-laying capacity among other attributes.
Whichever the case, the bottom line is that every chicken owner enjoys keeping different breeds and that any of those breeds can become a good choice for backyard flocks. This is possible if the owners have the right facilities and knowledge about different breeds of chicken available today. And of course, the choice of their breeds matters the most when it comes to achieving success in this practice.
As you know, nothing good comes on a silver platter unless you are willing to make a sacrifice. This is the same case with keeping chickens because they need your close attention from time to time. With numerous breeds out there, you can have a hard time deciding which one is right for you. Luckily, we are here to guide you accordingly on your quest to land the most perfect and ideal breeds of chickens that you can keep in your backyard. Read on and find out what you have always wanted to know.
Best Breeds of Backyard Chickens for Eggs
This is my personal favorite. The White Leghorn breed is the best egg producer of all other chickens. White eggs that you buy at your local grocery store are more than likely from a white leghorn egg farm.
They got their name Leghorn the word Livorno. Livorno is a city in Italy where White Leghorns were first raised. It was believed that a Captain Gates bought a boatload and brought them to America in the early 1800s. He had a dock at Mystic Harbor, Connecticut.
They soon became very popular with the local farmers because they lay a very hard-shelled egg that was resistant to breakage in the straw nest. Because they were thin they ate less grain but still produced an abundance of eggs. White Leghorns were not known for their meat and soon were considered an egg producing chicken. They were crossbred to try to make a meatier bird but were unsuccessful. The result was the White Leghorn of today which is a well-known egg producer.
If you have ever raised White Leghorns and liked them, then you will definitely like White Rock even more. These breed of chickens is generally larger and fairly laid back. Why should you choose it?
Temperament-White Rock birds are on the same level as the Brahmas and Speckled Sussex as far as their temperament is concerned. You can attest to this fact by observing the roosters which come out as docile, polite and calm. Maybe when they age things could be different.
Dual Purpose Breeds-Despite the fact that you might be looking for egg layers, you can give White Rocks a second thought. This is because they are dual-purpose breeds and you can use them as a source of meat when the need arises. You can enjoy raising a breed that will provide you with both meat and eggs and White Rocks is definitely that breed.
From the name, you can easily guess the origin of this breed. Sussex is a breed from England with Roman roots. But a number of chicken owners have associated it with Dorking as being its possible ancestor. Besides being a layer, this breed is also kept for meat. This means it’s probably a dual breed although it’s not yet known why. The reason for this argument is that most of the Sussex breeds are known to be smaller in size and not meaty birds. Let’s look at the reasons why you should have it at your backyard.
Temperament – Surprisingly, Sussex breed has the best birds you can think of when it comes to its temperament. They are calm and less aggressive. That explains why you may have seen them following their owners around especially when they are being fed. In short, Sussex birds are friendly although they tend to keep to themselves all the time.
Egg Laying Capacity – If you are looking for dependable layers, then Sussex should be your choice.
Feather Pattern – In the real sense, most of the chicken keepers find the confetti appearance on these chicken’s feather pattern to be attractive. In fact, when their fathers are relaxed, the white ends resemble the speckled dots that seem to contrast with black and brown. A closer look may reveal hints of blue against the black coloring.
This breed is one of the largest backyard egg layers that shouldn’t miss out on your list. Despite their late maturity and large size, Brahmas are still considered one of the best egg-laying breeds among chicken keepers. What makes them one of the best backyard chickens for eggs?
Hardiness – Brahmas can live longer than most egg layers and are reputed for their ability to withstand the harshest of weather conditions most other breeds cannot. It doesn’t mean that you should subject them to such conditions but this is just one of the top qualities that make them desirable to most chicken keepers.
Temperament – They are less aggressive and will share the same living space with other breeds without a problem. Brahmas don’t fight over nesting spaces but they might be compelled to look for another desirable space just in case.
These breeds can be sexed during the hatching period, hence their second name. One interesting thing about Black Star is that their chicks come in different colors and patterns at hatch. As a chicken owner, you should know that this phenomenon helps them take away what is known as a surprise roosters factor.
- Black Star is a crossbreed between Barred Rock Hen and Rhode Island Red Roaster and that’s why it exhibits unique features that make it different from other egg layers. What are other factors that make it a special breed among the backyard chicken layers?
- Egg Laying Capacity – Unlike most other chickens on this list, Black Star is purely an egg-laying chicken. The fact that it is not a dual-purpose breed, you can rest assured that it will not disappoint you in the egg-laying arena. In addition, this breed is reliable and a good layer. Mostly Black Stars lay brown eggs that are usually larger in size.
- Temperament – Black Stars are docile and friendly in nature. They can coexist side by side with other backyard chickens for eggs without causing any problem.
Many types of Wyandottes are a popular chicken breed that was developed way back in the 1800s. It got its name after the famous Wendat Tribe. As such, there’s a color pattern for everyone’s taste and preference. Maybe you can choose the Silver laced one or settle for Gold Laced Wyandottes depending on what you will find to be more desirable. Most of the color patterns recognized today is rather rare.
Here are the reasons you should have this breed among your flock:
Dual Purpose Breed – Being a dual-purpose chicken, Wyandottes have always been considered to be meat birds. Luckily, they have established their niche among the most reliable egg-laying hens.
Feather Patterns – You can tell them from their tinged feather patterns that are outlined with some black coloring.
Hardiness – This breed of chickens is considered to be incredibly hardy and healthy most of the time and at different places. Apart from that, they rarely wander during the free-ranging period, don’t seem stressed and they get along well with the rest of backyard chickens.
What is the main reason for raising Backyard chickens for eggs?
The main idea behind raring such chickens is to have a fresh supply of eggs throughout. You can relate this statement to the moment you walked into your chicken’s nesting boxes only to stumble upon warm fresh eggs much to your surprise.
Does the Breed of Chicken Make an Impact on the Egg Laying Capacity?
- The fact that there are different breeds of egg layers among chickens, each breed has its own egg-laying capacity. A Hybrid hen can lay as many as 280 eggs in one year. This translates to nearly one egg per day.
Even though the list above is not exhaustive as far as the best backyard chickens for eggs. You can at least have an idea of how to go about choosing your favorite breed. It depends on what you are looking for in different breeds. The ultimate decision lies within your means and desire to raise backyard chickens.
Backyard Chickens FAQ
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!