Top 20 ‘Laying Chickens Breeds’ Care, Diet, Habits, Lifespan, Egg Production, and Nutrition

Laying chickens are a cornerstone of both commercial poultry farming and backyard homesteading.

With various breeds offering different egg-laying capabilities, temperaments, and care needs, understanding these aspects can greatly aid in successful chicken keeping.

This guide will highlight the top 20 laying chicken breeds, their care, diet, behavior, and lifestyle. Understanding the lifespan of these breeds, which chickens are prolific layers, and what factors can enhance egg production are important for anyone looking to raise chickens for eggs.

Laying Chickens Breeds

This article will explore these aspects, as well as introduce you to hybrid chickens and some unique egg-laying facts.

Top 20 Laying Chicken Breeds

  1. Rhode Island Red: Known for their hardiness and consistent egg production.
  2. Leghorn: Celebrated for their prolific white egg-laying abilities.
  3. Plymouth Rock: A dual-purpose breed that lays brown eggs.
  4. Sussex: An English breed with good laying rates and a calm demeanor.
  5. Australorp: Renowned for setting world records in egg-laying.
  6. Wyandotte: Offers beautiful plumage and is a reliable layer.
  7. Orpington: A heavy breed known for its docility and brown eggs.
  8. Ameraucana: Lays distinctive blue eggs and is quite hardy.
  9. Hy-Line Brown: A hybrid chicken breed known for outstanding egg production.
  10. New Hampshire Red: A great layer with early maturity.
  11. Barnevelder: Recognized for their dark brown eggs.
  12. Buff Orpington: A friendly breed that lays brown eggs.
  13. Ancona: Small, active birds laying white eggs.
  14. Golden Comet: Hybrid breed known for being prolific egg layers.
  15. Hamburg: A smaller breed that lays white eggs.
  16. Isa Brown: A hybrid with high egg production rates.
  17. Marans: Famed for their dark chocolate brown eggs.
  18. Welsummer: Known for large, dark brown eggs with a terracotta tone.
  19. Dominique: America’s oldest breed with good egg-laying ability.
  20. Silkie: While not prolific layers, they are popular for their unique appearance.

Bathing Care for Laying Chickens

Chickens generally keep themselves clean through dust bathing and rarely require water baths. Only bathe chickens if they are particularly dirty or for health reasons, using a gentle cleanser and ensuring they are thoroughly dried afterward.

Health Care of Laying Chickens

Routine health checks, vaccinations, parasite control, and prompt treatment of any illnesses are vital to maintaining a healthy flock. A clean coop and stress-free environment also contribute to their well-being.

Daily Diet of Laying Chickens

A balanced diet for laying hens should include layer pellets, grains, greens, and occasional protein sources like mealworms. Ensure constant access to fresh water and supplements like oyster shells for calcium.

Gestation Period of Laying Chickens

Chickens do not have a gestation period; instead, they lay eggs that can be incubated. The incubation period for chicken eggs is typically 21 days.

Sleeping Time of Laying Chickens

Chickens roost and sleep from dusk till dawn, requiring about 6-8 hours of sleep per night. They prefer dark, quiet, and safe places to rest.

Aggression in Laying Chickens

Most laying breeds are docile; however, some individuals or breeds can exhibit aggression, especially if space is limited or there is competition for resources.

Physical Characteristics of Laying Chickens

Laying breeds come in various sizes and colors, from the small, white-feathered Leghorn to the larger, fluffier Buff Orpington. They generally have well-developed bodies suited for egg production.

The Ideal Habitat for Laying Chickens

A secure coop to protect from predators and elements, with nesting boxes, perches, and ample space for foraging, is ideal for laying chickens. They thrive in environments where they can exhibit natural behaviors.

Behavior and Lifestyle of Laying Chickens

Laying hens are often active, foraging for food throughout the day, and prefer to roost at night. They can be social animals, enjoying the company of their flock and even bonding with their keepers.

Lifespan of Laying Chicken Breeds

The average lifespan of laying hens is about 5 to 10 years. However, their peak egg production often occurs in the first two years of life. Factors such as breed, diet, and overall care can influence both lifespan and productivity.

Prolific Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

Certain breeds like the White Leghorn are known for laying eggs consistently. A healthy hen of a prolific breed can lay an egg almost daily under optimal conditions.

Chickens That Lay 300 Eggs Per Year

The Hy-Line Brown, a type of hybrid chicken, is known for its remarkable egg production, potentially laying up to 300 eggs per year. This breed is a popular choice for both commercial and backyard egg production.

Foods That Increase Egg Production in Chickens

A diet high in protein and calcium is crucial for egg production. Foods such as leafy greens, alfalfa, and calcium supplements like crushed oyster shells can help increase egg production.

Consistent access to clean water and a balanced commercial layer feed is also essential.

Understanding Hybrid Chickens

Hybrid chickens are bred from different purebred lines to exhibit specific desirable traits, such as increased egg production, hardiness, or particular egg colors. They are not a breed per se but are crossbred for performance.

Can a Chicken Lay Two Eggs in a Day?

It’s rare, but possible, for a hen to lay two eggs in a day. This is more likely to occur in young hens whose laying cycles aren’t yet regular.

Chickens That Lay Blue Eggs

The Araucana, Ameraucana, and Cream Legbar are known for laying blue eggs. These breeds have a gene that causes the eggshell to be blue instead of the typical white or brown.

Chickens That Lay the Largest Eggs

Breeds such as the Jersey Giant and the Rhode Island Red are known to lay larger eggs. Factors that can contribute to egg size include the hen’s age, breed, and diet.


Choosing the right breed for your needs, providing proper care, and understanding the behaviors of laying chickens can lead to a rewarding experience of fresh eggs and companionship.

Whether for a small backyard coop or a larger farm, these top 20 laying breeds offer a variety of options for the aspiring poultry keeper.

For enthusiasts and farmers alike, raising laying chickens can be a rewarding endeavor. With proper care, a suitable diet, and an understanding of different breeds and their capabilities, you can enjoy a steady supply of fresh eggs.

Whether you’re interested in the egg-laying powerhouses or the more unique breeds with colorful eggs, there’s a chicken breed suited to every need.