I keep being asked over the years what is the best layer for steady egg laying. I'm a 5th generation chicken rancher and have been at it all my life and I'm 68 now, so I've had a lot of experience with chickens. Many chickens can make for a happy farming life and all of the breeds like the free range life which is the healthiest for both the chicken and the humans eating the eggs. All chickens have the need to scratch and dig into the earth. AS for the best chicken breed to have depends on if you want a combo egg laying and meat bird. Or just want pets. I've had all kinds of breeds in all kinds of weather conditions and I've raised them from hatch out. My number one favorite chicken for egg production that so far no other breed has been able to out-lay is the Rhode Island Red. The White Leghorn cannot even out-lay this breed. Brown Leghorns are great layers also but a very unfriendly flighty type birds. They lay a white egg in case you are fooled by their brown feather color. ALL Leghorns lay white eggs regardless of the color of the bird. If you want pets in chickens, the Buff Orpington is a good heavy meat chicken that if you keep hands on handling make excellent pets, but if egg production is what you want , they are not your breed. They are a beautiful bird, calm when young, but do not begin to lay eggs until they are almost a year old. They take longer to lay their first egg then any other breed I've ever had. They are more a meat bird then an egg layer. This breed has been puffed up as to egg production, when they finally begin to lay eggs, their egg size stays small longer then other breeds. They will give you tiny pee-wee eggs for weeks. And you are lucky to get an egg every few days. Once in awhile you will get a Buff Orpington to lay 4 a week, but I have found this is not the usual for this breed. For what they eat, and what they produce, this breed is not on my list for egg production. They are very good on the meat if you can eat your own birds which I've never been able to do. I get attached. But the Buff Orpington will eat you out of house and home and you will get very few eggs in return for what they eat. Another very good layer is the Aracana - the colored egg producer. Once they begin to lay you can count on an egg a day for the full laying season from them and they are a very calm and friendly bird. But the roosters are nasty, just the opposite of the very friendly hen. And the egg size gets large quite quickly. Other great layers are the Bard Rock, Wyndotts, and also the Amberlink. All three are good and faithful layers. The Amberlink seems to lay at a younger age then the others. The New Hampshire hen is okay, but not as good as the Rhode Island Red. I've had other breeds as well, but these are my favorites for egg production or pets.