The most common reason to keep your own chickens is of course for the fresh eggs. When it comes to egg laying, however, not all breeds are created equal. So which breeds are best if you want a flock that produces tons of tasty eggs? This list will help you find out.


10. Ancona
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Coming in at number ten is the Ancona breed. Anconas lay about 220 large white eggs a year.

Anconas are in the Mediterranean class of chicken breeds. Originating in Italy, they are named after the city of Ancona, capital of the Marches. These birds are primarily kept for their egg laying abilities. They are a smaller breed, with males weighing in at about 5.5 pounds and females about 4. Like other Mediterranean breeds, they are on the flightier side and tend to be more skittish than some other breeds. They are very active and hardy birds, good for free ranging. Broodiness is rare in this breed.

Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 220
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Flighty, active
Broody: No

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Ancona breed reviews and the Ancona breed focus thread.


9. Rhode Island White
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Coming in at number nine is the Rhode Island White. RIWs lay 240 large brown eggs a year.

Rhode Island Whites, as the name would imply, originated in Rhode Island. They are a very distinct breed from the Rhode Island Red, despite the similarity in name. This is a dual purpose breed, kept both for their eggs and also to be used for meat. They are a medium to large bird, with males weighing 8.5 pounds and females 6.5. They have pleasant, agreeable temperaments, tending to be calm and docile. Historically, they were fantastic layers, with one hen documented as laying 306 eggs per year. Nowadays they lay around 240 to 250 eggs a year. Unfortunately, this breed is on the decline, making it harder to find them for your flock.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 240
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Docile, pleasant
Broody: Not usually

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Rhode Island White breed reviews and the Rhode Island White breed focus thread.


8. Sussex
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At number eight is the Sussex. The Sussex breed lays up to 250 large brown eggs a year.

The Sussex originated in the historic county of Sussex in England, for which it was named. This fun breed comes in many colors, such as Speckled, Light, and Coronation. This is a dual purpose breed, kept for both eggs and meat. Males weigh 9 pounds, and females weigh 7 pounds. This is another docile breed that also tends to be alert and confident, making them a good candidate for free ranging. Some strains are better layers than others - while the best laying strains produce up to 250 eggs a year, some strains may only lay up to 200.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 250
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Confident, Calm
Broody: Yes

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Sussex breed reviews and the Sussex breed focus thread.


7. Australorp
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Number seven brings us the Australorp, which lays 250 large brown eggs a year.

Australorps are an Australian chicken breed. As their name implies, they were originally bred from Black Orpingtons. This is another dual purpose breed. Males weigh 8.5 pounds and females weigh in an 6.5 pounds. They were developed as a utility breed with a focus on egg laying. In the 1920s, the breed broke world records for egg production and thus gained worldwide popularity. This is a very hardy breed, with docile, gentle, friendly temperaments.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 250
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Friendly, gentle
Broody: Yes

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Australorp breed reviews and the Australorp breed focus thread.

6. Rhode Island Red
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At number six is the Rhode Island Red. This breed lays 260 large brown eggs a year.

This is another breed on our list that originates in Rhode Island. A dual purpose breed, some modern strains have been bred more for their egg production than meat. Males weigh 8.6 pounds and females weigh 6.6 pounds. Originally created by crossing brown leghorns with birds of Oriental origins, the deep red plumage is said to come from their Malay ancestry. From this ancestry they also derive some of their temperament; this breed can be outgoing and even pushy at times.

Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 260
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Outgoing
Broody: Not usually

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Rhode Island Red breed reviews and the Rhode Island Red breed focus thread.

5. Delaware
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The number five spot goes to the Delaware, which can lay up to 280 large brown eggs a year.

The Delaware was first bred in Delaware in the 1940s. Using Plymouth Rocks crossed to New Hampshire hens was common at the time to create broilers. Sometimes a lighter bird was produced from such a mating, and the breed's creator focused on these birds to create the Delaware. Originally used as a broiler, their Plymouth Rock heritage makes them decent layers as well. This is a large bird, originally kept primarily for meat only. Males weigh in at 8.5 pounds and females at 6.5 pounds. Once upon a time this bird was relatively important to the broiler industry and was fairly common, but nowadays with the advent of the fast-growing cornish cross birds, this breed has been tossed to the wayside and is critically endangered. They are generally docile in temperament, though they may not be overly friendly with their human keepers.

Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 280
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Docile
Broody: Yes

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Delaware breed reviews and the Delaware breed focus thread.

4. Plymouth Rock
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Number four finds the Plymouth Rock. Rocks can lay up to 280 large brown eggs a year.

Plymouth Rocks are another American breed, first bred in Massachusetts in the early 19th century. This breed comes in many colors, the most famous of which of course being Barred, but they are also found in Partridge, Silver Penciled, White, Blue, Black, Splash, Buff, and Columbian. This dual purpose breed is kept for both eggs and meat. Males weigh 9.5 pounds and females weigh 7.5 pounds on average. The best laying strains of Plymouth Rock will produce up to 280 eggs a year. Some strains lay a little more modestly at about 200 eggs a year. This is another calm bird. They tend to be mellow and curious, and are friendly, docile birds.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 280
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Mellow, friendly
Broody: Yes

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Plymouth Rock breed reviews and the Plymouth Rock breed focus thread.

3. Easter Egger
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Number three is the Easter Egger. This interesting bird isn't a true breed, but more of a hybrid. They lay 280 large to extra large eggs per year, often in shades of blue or green.

The Easter Egger is a fun bird. They aren't a true breed like the other birds that have been on this list. Rather, they are mixes that usually share the same traits, such as pea combs, muffs - and a propensity to lay blue or green eggs. If you want a colorful egg basket and a colorful flock, this is the bird for you. Since they aren't a standardized breed, they can be found in all kinds of plumage colors, making for a varied flock. The blue and green eggs will also add some color to your egg basket. In general they are also excellent layers, producing lots of large to extra large eggs. Generally these birds are very friendly and personable.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 280
Egg Color: Blue, Green
Egg Size: Extra Large
Temperament: Very Friendly
Broody: Not usually

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Easter Egger breed reviews.


2. Red/Black Sex Link
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At number two are the hybrid chickens known as red and black sex links. These highly productive birds can lay up to 300 extra large brown eggs a year.

This high production hybrid was designed with egg laying in mind. This is not a true breed, but rather a fist generation cross of two other breeds, chosen for egg production and crossed in such a way so that the chicks hatch different colors based on their gender - making it easy to pick out the pullets on day one. Many hatcheries will have names for their particular hybrid, such as Red Star, Black Star, ISA Brown, etc. These are all sex-linked hybrids. However, their super egg production comes at a cost - they are very prone to reproductive issues such as cancer. Generally these birds are not broody, but never say never. They tend to have docile, friendly dispositions.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 300
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Extra Large
Temperament: Docile
Broody: Not usually

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the BYC breed reviews for both black sex links and red sex links.


1. Leghorn
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Number one goes to the queen of white egg production, the white leghorn. Some strains of these birds will lay up to 320 large to extra large eggs per year.

The Leghorn is the undisputed champion of laying large numbers of white eggs. Some strains may only do 280 eggs a year, but others will lay up to 320. The world record for most eggs laid in a year is held by a white leghorn hen, who laid 371 eggs in 364 days - which means some days she laid more than one egg!

This breed originated in Tuscany. While they come in colors other than white, it is the white that has been bred most fervently for egg production, so the whites will outlay every other color. They are a smaller breed, with males weighing 6 pounds and females about 4.5 pounds. They tend to be very active, even flighty, and have a reputation as being nervous.


Quick Facts

Eggs Per Year: 320
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Large
Temperament: Very active
Broody: Not usually

To learn more about this breed, you can visit the Leghorn breed reviews and the Leghorn breed focus thread.


And there you have it, the top ten best egg production breeds. If you're looking for a lot of eggs from your flock, any of these breeds would be a good choice.