Can’t decide which breeds to choose for your Spring flock?Of all the breeds that have been on our farm, these 10 were by far the best egg layers.
Leghorn: These chickens are the most popular breed for commercial egg production, known for their high egg-laying rates and large, white eggs. Rhode Island Red: These birds are popular for backyard flocks due to their good temperament and consistent production of large, brown eggs. Easter Egger: This is not an actual breed but rather a type of chicken that can lay eggs in a variety of colors, including blue, green, and pink. They are popular for backyard flocks due to their egg color and good egg production. Plymouth Rock: These birds are also dual-purpose and known for their brown eggs, good meat quality, and calm temperament. Australorp: This breed is known for its docile temperament and excellent egg production, laying large, brown eggs. Orpington: These birds are known for their calm demeanor and are popular for backyard flocks due to their good egg production and meat quality. Wyandotte: These birds are known for their hardiness and consistent egg production, laying medium-sized, brown eggs. Marans: This breed is known for its dark brown eggs, which are highly prized by many egg enthusiasts. Sussex:These are dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be raised for both meat and eggs. They are known for their sweet disposition and good egg production. Ameraucana: These birds are popular for their blue and green eggs and are known for their hardiness and good egg production.
Breed Choices for High Yield and Excellent Egg Quality
Leghorn / Hen: 4 pounds
The best egg layer and the feed-to-egg conversion ratio are excellent, holding down the cost of egg production. These birds start laying earlier than most at 41/2 – 5 months and on average lay 10 -12 weeks longer than most good laying hens. If you’re looking for the breed that’ll give you the most eggs of superior quality in the smallest amount of space, consider the Leghorn. They are a white egg layer of top-grade eggs with good size. Although these birds aren’t usually found in your local feed store, you can ask a feed store to order them for you when THEY buy chicks, they’re often willing to oblige.
Rhode Island Red / Hen: 6 lbs
R.I. chicks are readily available in almost all feed stores. They are excellent layers of sizable brown eggs. They do quite well in confinement but can be a bit bossy. These dual-purpose heavy birds are a dark mahogany color and have earned their reputation as a favorite among chicken keepers for years. No other heavy breed lays more or better eggs than the Rhode Island Red.
The Dominique / Hen: 5 1/2 pounds
This is my favorite breed on the farm. They are hardy in extreme heat, confine well, are extremely docile, friendly, and brown egg layers. You can expect the Dominique to lay every other day, and here in Arizona mine lay most all winter.
My Dominique hens are non-aggressive to other members of the flock, and I’ve introduced new birds with only minor confrontations. This particular hen is now three years old and still laying quality eggs every other day.
You can also buy pullets (hens at their point of lay) if you want to skip raising chicks altogether. Check your local Craigslist under Farm & Garden, you may find just the breeds you’re looking for right in your own neighborhood. Expect to pay $15 to $25 each. Beware of buying chicks though… they’re usually not sexed and you might end up with a rooster, finding yourself in violation of local city codes.
Don’t know what time of year to start your flock? Watch your local feed stores, when they start carrying chicks, it’s time.