Are you looking for the best egg producing chicken breed for your backyard chickens? While every hen lays eggs, not all breeds are as productive as others. If you’re hoping to have eggs every day from your hens, you’ll want to make sure you have the right breed.
This breed is one of the world’s most popular chickens. This breed lays about 300 eggs per year. Leghorns can begin laying at 4-5 months of age as they mature early.
The Leghorn’s eggs are large and slightly off-white in color. These chickens do not make good pets, however, as they are nervous around people.
Hatching and breeding Leghorns isn’t easy, as although they are good layers, they are not good brooders.
These are warm weather hens, Leghorns can easily get frostbite in their combs in winter.
Rhode Island Red
These are one of the best laying chickens for brown eggs, but they are aggressive (especially the roosters).
Prone to frostbite in their combs, this breed is hardy in hot or cold climates and does well in confinement.
This breed is usually laying by five to six months of age and are productive producers of medium brown eggs.
Red Star and Black Star Sex linked
The Red and Black Star has earned the title of best laying chickens, being prolific layers of large, brown eggs. They are docile and make very good pets that do well with children.
The breed’s conversion rate of food intake to eggs is excellent, and they usually continue laying through the cold winter months, when a lot of other breeds don’t. When raised from chicks, you can expect to see the first eggs when they are about four and a half months old. By six months old they will be producing eggs every day.
The breed gets its name because of its breed-specific gene that causes chicks to have different colors, making it easy to separate females from males. This trait, however, makes it easy to avoid buying unwanted roosters.
This breed is a good choice for small egg sellers and family projects.
Roosters or No Roosters?
For a purely egg producing production, there is no need to keep roosters. For egg fertility, however, you will obviously need roosters. Hatching baby chicks can increase your flock size or allow for broilers, but there is no reason to house a rooster if you do not plan to do this.
Productivity Limits of Hens
Most hens will produce eggs for about three to four years. Hens will usually start to decline in egg production at about 3 years of age. Older chickens can be slaughtered as food.
Some may prefer to make friends with their hens and put the older ones out to pasture instead. It’s up to you.