April 1, 2017
There are so many Chicken Breeds around the world that it is impossible to name them all so I thought I would pick some of the most commonly used chicken breeds for egg production in the USA.
The breed of your chickens is important and you need to look at what your situation is and decide the breed most suitable for your needs.
You will need to take into consideration the space available to you as this will determine the amount of chickens you can have and the size of the chickens. For example you can keep more bantams in a small area than a larger breed but the bantams will produce much smaller eggs. In colder areas you may need a hardier breed than in temperate climates.
A good idea is to check what breeds other people in your area are using. Chances are they have already done the research and have chosen a breed suited to your environment.
Chicken breeds are distinguished by their size, color, plumage, skin color, comb, earlobe color, egg color, leg color and the number of toes they have. They are also divided into groups that are used for egg production, meat production or for purely ornamental purposes. Some are used for both and they are called dual purpose breeds. Most people who are considering raising chickens for eggs especially in the urban backyard will want chickens that have a friendly docile nature, lay over 300 eggs per year, and are quiet and not too big. The following breeds are used mainly for egg production even though most of them are dual purpose breeds.
These are one of the few breeds of chickens to lay blue or green eggs and they originally come from the Araucana breed. They are a dual purpose breed and will tolerate all types of climates. Their egg productivity is fairly average but they handle small areas well and are easily handled and quiet. Many people like to have a few in their flock because of the unique color of their eggs.
The Brahma breed was originally from China and was brought into the United States in the 1840’s. They are a dual purpose breed with medium egg productivity. They produce large light brown eggs and tolerate all climate types. They are also considered to be an ornamental bird and are very docile and easy to handle. They come in a variety of breed colors.
The Buckeye originally comes from Ohio. The breed was first recognized as unique in 1904. Buckeye’s posses a rich mahogany outer plumage and are a slate color underneath. The Roosters have long iridescent green tail feathers and are very handsome birds. They have an average egg production and produce medium sized brown eggs. They will tolerate all climate types because of their tight feathers which make them particularly suitable for colder climates. They will even lay in the cold winter months when some other breeds stop laying. They also do well in hot climates. The disadvantage of this breed for the urban gardener is that these chickens prefer to free range and will require a larger chicken run. They also can be quite noisy and may become aggressive towards each other.
Delawares are a silver bird with black markings. They were originally developed in the state of Delaware in 1940. They are a dual-purpose bird, and are useful for both the backyard and the farm. Their egg production is very high and they produce large brown eggs. This breed is very tolerant of hot climates and they have a friendly and docile disposition. They are a very useful and easy to look after breed and because of their superior egg production I would recommend them especially if you live in warmer areas.
The Dominique breed comes originally from the United Kingdom and is a very hardy bird that can handle an extreme climate. They are very docile and friendly and will make great pets for your children. They have a very high egg production and produce medium sized brown eggs. They are a dual purpose breed and have a rose type comb.
New Hampshire Red
New Hampshire Reds are a really good breed for producing eggs. They were developed from the Rhode Island Red in the early 1900’s in New Hampshire. This breed matures early, has large brown eggs, and has lots of strength and vigor. They are a ual purpose bird and weigh quite heavily; Their egg production is high and they handle all types of climates well. They lay an egg each day and their eggs are quite large in size. They are a friendly, easily handled breed and quite docile.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is a very popular dual-purpose breed. They originated in New England in the 19th Century and are very hardy and known for their egg laying, broodiness, and meat production. They are a very friendly breed and are very easy to handle. They mature earlier than some breeds and their egg production is high. They lay large light brown eggs and if you are planning on breeding from them, they make great mothers. The breed handles all types of climates and they come in a variety of colors.
The Leghorn is originally from Italy and was brought to America in the early 1800’s. They were bred with other birds to increase their size and are a very popular breed for egg laying. Their egg production is very high and they lay large white eggs. They can be quite flighty and scared birds but if you raise them from chicks you can develop a good relationship with them. The breed tolerates all climates and will produce an egg each day. They also come in quite a variety of colors.
Rhode Island Red
This breed is a true dual purpose bird and was developed to withstand the harsh New England Winters. They are a very hardy bird with excellent large egg yields and they can also be used for meat production. They produce large brown eggs and can be slightly aggressive and noisy birds especially the roosters. It does depend on how you bring up your hens as to whether they are friendly or not. The Rhode Island Red is the State Bird of Rhode Island. They only come in the one color.
Rhode Island White
The Rhode Island White is classed as a totally different breed to the Rhode Island Red. They too are a dual purpose bird and like the Rhode Island Red they tolerate the cold climates really well. Their egg productivity is high and they produce large brown eggs. They can be quite aggressive birds especially the roosters but the hens will vary in their temperaments and it depends again how much effort you put into developing a relationship with them. Their color is pure white.
The Wyandotte is a dual purpose bird with a very nice temperament. They lay well and have a high egg production and don’t usually fight much. They lay medium to large light brown to brown eggs. Their only problem if you don’t want to breed from your hens is their tendency to broodiness. They get broody quite often and this can cause a few problems if you only want to produce eggs from them. They come in a variety of colors, tolerate all climates and are very docile and easy to handle.
For Further information on Chicken Breeds check out the book below:
Chicken Breeds: A Quick Guide on Chicken Breeds for Beginners
This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you make a purchase using this link.