TOP TEN: BEST CHICKEN BREEDS AND CROSSES FOR HIGH EGG PRODUCTION

I discussed briefly in a previous post about the best chickens for various things, including egg laying. In this post, I will go into further detail about this, and I will list a short description of each chicken breed/cross along with pros and cons. Let's start with #10.


#10 WYANDOTTE

The Wyandotte is a dual-purpose breed that lays medium-sized cream colored eggs. The Wyandotte lays around 200 eggs per year, and comes in many different official and unofficial color varieties, including Black, Blue, Blue-Laced Red, Blue Partridge, Buff, Buff Laced, Columbian, Gold Laced, Partridge, Red, Silver Laced, Silver Penciled, and White (Silver Laced, Gold Laced, and Blue Laced Red are the most common colors.) Wyandottes have rose combs, which are flatter than most combs and are more frostbite resistant. This breed does best in a cold-ish environment. Wyandottes are usually a docile chicken breed, but do not always like being handled. Wyandottes are only somewhat broody.


#9 PLYMOUTH ROCK

The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose breed that lays large cream or brown colored eggs. The Plymouth Rock lays around 200 eggs per year, and comes in a variety of different colors, including Barred, Blue, Buff, Columbian, Partridge, Silver-Penciled and White (Barred and Columbian are the most common colors.) Plymouth Rocks have single combs, which have a tendency to get frostbite. This breed does best in a mild environment. Plymouth Rocks have a hardy personality, and are fairly friendly. Plymouth Rocks are only somewhat broody.


#8 EASTER EGGER

The Easter Egger is a cross breed (Ameraucana x most other breeds) that was bred to lay large green, blue, pink, brown or white eggs. The Easter Egger lays around 250 eggs per year, and comes in pretty much every known color. Easter Eggers can have pretty much any comb type, but rose and single are the most common. This cross breed does best in a cool-ish environment. Easter Eggers are very friendly chickens, however they are very broody.


#7 AMERAUCANA

The Ameraucana is a chicken breed that was bred for egg laying, and it lays large blue eggs. The Ameraucana lays around 250 eggs per year, and comes in a variety of different colors, including Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten and White, with Blue being the most common. Ameraucanas have rose combs, which are very frostbite resistant. This breed does best in a cool-ish environment. Ameraucanas are quite friendly also, but are very broody.


#6 BLACK SEX-LINK

The Black Sex-Link is a dual-purpose cross breed of chicken that lays medium-sized brown eggs. The Black Sex-Link lays around 300 eggs per year, and comes in one color, which is black and gold (Note that the Roosters are Barred and Red instead.) Black Sex-Links have single combs, so they must be protected from the cold. Other than their combs, this cross breed does well in a cooler environment. Black Sex-Links have a hardy personality, and are also friendly. They are not very broody.


#5 AUSTRALORP

The Australorp is a dual-purpose breed that lays large brown eggs. The Australorp lays around 250 eggs per year, and comes in three colors: Black, Blue, and White. Australorps have single combs, so be careful during winter months. This breed can otherwise handle cooler weather well. Australorps are both hardy and friendly, and are not generally aggressive unless broody, however, they go broody often.


#4 RHODE ISLAND RED

The Rhode Island Red is a dual-purpose chicken breed that lays large brown eggs. The Rhode Island Red lays around 260 eggs per year, and comes in one color, which is Brown/Red. Rhode Island Reds have single combs that can get quite tall, especially on roosters, so be careful during the winter. This breed is hardy in most weather. Rhode Island Reds are hardy, but are not particularly sociable. They do not go broody often.


#3 NEW HAMPSHIRE RED

The New Hampshire Red is a dual-purpose chicken breed that lays large brown eggs. The New Hampshire Red lays around 280 eggs per year, and comes in one color, which is Red. They have single combs, which are prone to frostbite. This breed does well in most weather. New Hampshire Reds are a bit skittish, but are quite hardy. They do, however, go broody often.

#2 LEGHORN

The Leghorn is a chicken breed that was bred to lay extra-large white eggs. The Leghorn lays around 300 eggs per year, and comes in a variety of colors, including Black, Buff, Columbian, Cuckoo, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Red, Red-Tailed Black, Silver and White. The most common color is White. Leghorns have very tall single combs, which can easily get frostbite.

This breed does best in warmer weather. Leghorns are somewhat hardy, but are very flighty. They almost never go broody.


#1 RED SEX-LINK

The Red Sex-Link is a hybrid that was bred to lay extra-large brown eggs. The Red Sex-Link lays around 300 eggs per year, and comes in one color, which is Red and White (The roosters are more white, while the hens are more red.) They have medium-sized single combs, so be careful that they don't get frostbite. This hybrid does well in any environment. Red Sex-Links are both hardy and friendly, but like to make quite a bit of noise. They almost never go broody.


Overall, all of these breeds have their ups and downs, but it is up to you to decide which one is right for you. If you have any questions about this article, or if you need more help picking a breed, contact me with the form below. Thanks for reading!


PHOTO CREDITS:


"Wyandotte": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=8eIvxLRu&id=BE877E6D7ED200A309FE08DDD2EB22211B479DBB&thid=OIP.8eIvxLRuab_H98xjzJ6CYgAAAA&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fwww.wyandotte-nation.org%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2011%2f12%2fsilver-laced-wyandotte-hen.png&exph=412&expw=450&q=wyandotte&simid=607989106729355728&ck=F92D8C0CF79196C5327A203E183C3684&selectedIndex=11&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Plymouth Rock": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=hcsFzi6Y&id=80860F84FD3B8261F1C8510CCAF0869F3D1A57AB&thid=OIP.hcsFzi6YWHMn9rAri21dcQHaFj&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fwww.cacklehatchery.com%2fmedia%2fcatalog%2fproduct%2fcache%2f1%2fimage%2f9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95%2fr%2fa%2frainy_sunday_morning_007.jpg&exph=2304&expw=3072&q=plymouth+rock+chicken&simid=607997821204958192&ck=CDAC701AEF47720609F4471BAC473340&selectedIndex=2&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Easter Egger": https://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=AMAS


"Ameraucana": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=Id1wqYBJ&id=D26C96E2ABE327B51D42CDEFF77669E29CBBC6EF&thid=OIP.Id1wqYBJdqBpQluOYveA2gAAAA&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fi1.wp.com%2fthechickhatchery.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2019%2f02%2fBlue-Ameraucana.jpg%3ffit%3d420%252C420%26ssl%3d1&exph=420&expw=420&q=ameraucana&simid=608043055885452417&ck=0D3F931A503DA75919538AA3364E427F&selectedIndex=27&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Black Sex-Link": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=Pu5dPxRZ&id=0B80D56B0292C92B7B3015299087EE5DDC646A11&thid=OIP.Pu5dPxRZUMc_kfk6YwUiugHaE6&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fwww.cacklehatchery.com%2fmedia%2fcatalog%2fproduct%2fcache%2f1%2fimage%2f9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95%2fs%2fh%2fshutterstock_171202718.jpg&exph=664&expw=1000&q=black+sex+link+chicken&simid=608047123131598444&ck=397A4B1404BCD8D38A84ED9D7E820322&selectedIndex=4&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Australorp": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=2hezbtcA&id=4B1B09025C20D100315225F4650840EBEED2B4BD&thid=OIP.2hezbtcAszE_p8Q97q5HagHaJE&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.roysfarm.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2013%2f10%2fBlack-Australorp-Hens.jpg&exph=612&expw=500&q=australorp&simid=608001003840538987&ck=1EDB9C58D8606FD343827C8D89FB8CEE&selectedIndex=10&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Rhode Island Red": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=E5RPnbho&id=74C988379837F75C5BA2934DB52EDFB62DBD993E&thid=OIP.E5RPnbhoewL90ra49yT5fwHaHk&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fthechickenstreet.files.wordpress.com%2f2012%2f01%2fseptember-rir.jpg&exph=2168&expw=2120&q=rhode+island+red&simid=608010319657109209&ck=AF62A91A1E3324EE2E01556BEB00E412&selectedIndex=2&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"New Hampshire Red": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=UYwrVNHn&id=0DFF2281F510763D05ED3F350541444F126DA147&thid=OIP.UYwrVNHnKbQjJIRggG3oCgHaGk&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fcdn.insteading.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2018%2f03%2f10243407785_3be6a60344_k-600x532.jpg&exph=532&expw=600&q=new+hampshire+red&simid=608034904007836861&ck=6AC8229CD874603188580FA1F53CF09B&selectedIndex=50&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Leghorn": https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=JsP%2bbtC6&id=B507F6D33F15A0F6C9A61DAA1657BB6A82D2B948&thid=OIP.JsP-btC6yL2EiujbJnYQeQHaFd&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2f4.bp.blogspot.com%2f-9gOLKHyhp08%2fThMff4xTmUI%2fAAAAAAAAC90%2ff0nXa5vbNBg%2fs1600%2fDSC_3340.JPG&exph=1181&expw=1600&q=white+leghorn+hen&simid=608036368569075442&ck=B7DD66C18AA9BAABF80A0B6F1D3D885E&selectedIndex=4&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0


"Red Sex-Link": I took the photo!