How to Select the Perfect Breed of Best Egg Laying Chickens
Until recently, eggs have a bad reputation of causing deadly cardiovascular diseases. Most health experts in the past encourage moderation when it comes to consuming eggs. Now, a number of studies have brightened the reputation of this nutritious food.
Who doesn’t love eggs? They are tasty, easy to prepare, have many uses and, more importantly, they are loaded with nutrients. Some of these nutrients are even hard to find in the modern diet.
Each year, it is estimated that on average, around 250 eggs are consumed by a person in a year. It’s no wonder since eggs are a typical part of breakfast and other dishes.
Thus, raising a chicken on your background as either a source of additional income or just to have a regular supply of fresh eggs is a worthwhile activity.
Before raising chicken for their eggs, however, it is important that you select the best egg laying chickens. That is because the breed of chicken largely impacts the amount and quality of eggs you get each day.
Some breeds of chicken tend to lay eggs less or not at all, for instance, while some give eggs at an average of 280 a year. Choosing the right breed will make you the most number and the best quality of eggs either for personal consumption or sale.
Things You Must Consider First
Before you venture out in egg production, it is important to consider some factors. These factors will help you out maximize the resources you have and the produce that you will get. Here are some things to consider:
Size of the Space Available
Big breeds of chicken expectedly produce large eggs. Large eggs are priced or valued differently compared to regular-sized ones. However, these breeds of chicken require a large space. If you have a limited backyard space, you might need to consider trading off size for number by favoring smaller chicken.
However, if you have a large space, you can check your available resources and if your budget can allow you to prepare a place, then opt out for a large chicken. They produce large eggs. If produced in large quantities, the return of investment would be faster which will result in higher profitability.
Another significant factor you must consider is the climate of your place. Some breed of chicken, however, great producers of eggs they are, will have a hard time surviving a cold climate, for instance.
Some chicken breeds are also unable to live and produce eggs well under a hot climate. These factors need to be considered first before choosing the breed of chicken to raise to save you from losing money and from wasting time, energy and resources.
Drainage and Access to Water
Chicken waste can be easy to clean, but without proper drainage and access to water, you might end up having a smelly coop. Worst, the buildup of waste and bacteria might even affect the health of your chicken and the quality of the eggs they produce.
Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds
The most popular hybrid chicken for egg laying is Golden Comet. Hybrids are bred for egg laying. That is, they are bred to produce large and high-quality eggs frequently with as little food consumed as possible.
Hybrids are excellent breeds because you’ll have a return on your investment as soon as possible. You don’t need to spend much to feed them, yet they produce eggs efficiently. A typical hybrid produces around 280 or more eggs annually.
Eggs produced by hybrids range from medium to large size. Egg color varies from brown, white or golden. Chickens bred for egg-laying, though, do not usually turn broody. They are not great if you want to hatch chicks.
Leghorns are easy to identify because of their characteristic white color. They produce medium-sized white eggs. On average, leghorns produce 250 or more eggs a year. They are among the perfect breeds because leghorns are very resilient.
The downside of this Italian breed of chicken is they are hard to tame. You may find yourself wrestling with your leghorns if you want to clean your coop or transfer some to bigger and better places.
Most chicken breeds, after their egg-laying years, can’t be eaten (at least enjoyably) because of their tough meat. Chicken meat tends to get tougher as the chicken ages. This is not the case for Sussex, however.
Sussex are great breeds for egg laying because they produce relatively large eggs because of their large size in great amounts—250 or more eggs a year. In addition, they are dual-purpose. That is, you can consume their meat after they cease to be efficient egg producers.
This breed of egg-laying chicken is very tame. You can feed it in your hands. You can even raise it in free range. Because of its docile nature, you can even raise it in your backyards without having to fear for your garden.
#4 Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red are somewhat similar to Sussex chicken with the difference only in their color. Rhode Island Red is reddish-brown in color while Sussex is usually white.
In addition, they are similar in the sense that Rhode Island Red are large and are dual-purpose. Their size gives them the ability to produce large brown eggs. In addition, their meat remains ideal for consumption even after their egg-laying years are over.
A typical Rhode Island Red produces more than 250 eggs annually. This breed of chicken is perfect because of their resiliency and docility. You can raise this breed of chicken even under harsh climatic conditions.They are also very docile and are among the best loved and most picked breed by keepers because they are easy to handle.
#5 Plymouth Rock
If you are a beginner and have limited space, Plymouth Rock is the perfect breed of chicken for you. You can either raise them in free range or a coop with limited space. They are easy to raise because they are also relatively friendly.
However, unlike other breeds, Plymouth Rock produces small to medium sized eggs. They also produce an egg approximately every two days. In a year, a typical Plymouth Rock would produce 200 or more eggs.
Their characteristic gray stripe appearance makes them easy to identify. You can feed them in your hands, and you can quickly clean their coop and transfer chickens from one coop to another.
Another small chicken breed that is ideal for a beginner is the Hamburg. They are small thus they will require a smaller space. If you prefer quantity over size with a small space, then the Hamburg will serve such a purpose.
Expectedly, they produce relatively small eggs because of their size. This breed of chicken is one among the most attractive breeds because of their unique white and black patterns. Their eggs are a bit glossy, as well.
A typical Hamburg produces a small to medium sized eggs and lays more than 200 eggs a year.
If you have little space and wants a dual-purpose chicken, Marans are perfect for you. They are small. You can keep them in small coops in your backyard. They are very gentle even in small spaces. They are so docile they can even serve as great pets.
Marans produce dark-brown medium sized eggs. They produce more than 200 eggs a year. They may not be great egg layers compared to other breeds, but the size of the eggs they produce over the space they require is a plus factor.
The bad reputation of eggs has already been lifted and changed. People are gradually embracing the fact that eggs are not only cheap but are also excellent sources of nutrients.
Amidst some ill claims about the health effects of eggs by some detractors, the American Egg Board expects a steady increase in egg consumption and demand until 2024. Thus, egg raising, either for personal consumption or additional income is a worthwhile and profitable activity.
Do you like our list of best egg laying chickens? Do you have other suggestions or comments? Please feel free to let us know in the comment section below.