What are the best chickens for eggs ?
Everyone wants to know what the best chickens for eggs are before they go out to spend their hard earned cash on a bunch of ‘plugs’. What would be the use after all if you were to spend a lot of time making a nice chicken coop for your hens, if they will not produce the goods ?
However the question of what are the best chickens for eggs, is not as easy to answer as it may first seem. The reason being that if a chicken is not content then it will not lay – end of story! So even a breed that is renowned for its good eggs – such as the Rhode Island Red – will not lay if the surroundings are poor or if the bird is stressed, under fed or otherwise unhappy.
That said, here are a few chickens that warrant consideration if you are looking to populate your new (or old) chicken coop.
Rhode Island Red Chicken
This is a Hen that is very popular as it is a large chicken that produces plenty of flesh as well as a good large brown egg. Not as large as say the Plymouth Rocks, it is nevertheless very popular with chicken keepers and is a very hardy bird. More..
The Plymouth Rock
As mentioned this is a very large bird that is good for the table, weighing in at around 9.5 lbs fully grown. It also is known as a dual purpose chicken as it is good for both meat and egg production. A very docile bird that comes in several varieties both white and barred, the Plymouth Rock Chicken also produces brown eggs and is regarded as one of the best chickens for eggs.
The Leghorn Chicken
This breed is distinguished in that it is recognized as one of the highest egg yield chickens. Originally from Italy, it is also quite flighty (Italian blood ?!) and noisier than other chicken breeds.
The Jersey Giant Chicken
This is a breed of chicken that is definitely more kept for its meat as it can reach an astounding 13lbs when fully grown. A popular bird around Christmas time as you may imagine!
The Java Chicken
Known as one of the ‘old breeds’, the Java has been used in breeding programs for decades. It is hardy and reliable and produces fine eggs. Weighing in at approx. 7.5 lbs it also makes a fine bird for the table.
The Orpington Chicken
Another good bird for egg production, the Orpington is know as a big gentle bird that is quiet natured and easy to keep. Because of its docile nature it is know to be bullied by other hens so it is wise to keep a watch on it especially if newly introduced. Full grown at about 8 lbs, it produces a large brown egg.
The Plymouth Chicken
This is a popular bird that has fine barred markings and is known to be easy to care for, producing a pinkish brown egg. It also makes a fine table bird weighing in at around 8 lbs.
This is a lesser well-known bird but one that none the less is a great egg laying chicken that is also known as a good mother, and so is a good choice for a broody chicken if eggs are to be hatched. Not a particularly large bird at around 6.5 lbs, it is known for the fact that it has 5 toes instead of the usual 4.
This is of course not a comprehensive list of the chickens out there as there are indeed hundreds to choose form. Some will be familiar to you and others will be complete strangers. Choosing the best egg laying chickens is probably a little academic really, as most of us will have no real say in the matter and will have a very limited choice according to where we actually live.
Reviewing The Best Chickens for Eggs
Most chicken species are thankfully very hardy and provided they get the right amount of food, shelter and general care, will produce a good batch of eggs for 2-3 years. Egg producing will of course decline as the chicken gets older and it is generally accepted that after around 3 years they are ready for ‘the pot’; after this period they can be a little tough to eat. Or if you are too attached to them they can still make great pets to have around and clean up the food scraps !