The best backyard chickens for eggs can be friendly or more standoffish, depending on the species.

The Best Backyard Chickens for Eggs

Rachel Lark - April 6, 2024

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Do you love eggs or simply want to minimize your food-based carbon footprint? Getting a breed of the best backyard chickens for eggs could be an exciting option for feeding your loved ones and starting a new hobby. Create a symbiotic relationship with these easy-care animals by finding ones that will thrive in your backyard.

Are Chickens Easy to Take Care of for Beginners?

Yes — beginners should be able to manage a flock fairly easily. The hardest part will be the upfront costs and labor of preparing your yard with a coop, fence, perches and heating. Starting small can make the process easier, but you must get at least three chicks. Chickens are highly social animals and they will become incredibly unhappy if their needs are not met, potentially leading to a lack of egg production.

That said, the rest of the work will be very manageable. The first few weeks will be the most care-intensive since you have to incubate and rotate the eggs, and feed and turn down the incubator for the freshly hatched chicks. Once the flock gets older — and potentially starts having their own babies — they should be able to do everything themselves.

The only exception to this is if you get a breed that gets less broody — or starts trying to hatch chicks. These hens are less interested in sitting on their eggs, meaning the eggs will not incubate. This is not an issue if you prefer repurchasing your chicks, but if you want to keep your starter flock going, you may need to continue incubating eggs and hatchlings if the hens do not feel like sitting.

Best Backyard Chickens for Eggs: 6 Breeds

Whether you are just getting started or want to expand your meat flock to eggs, you need to know which breeds tend to lay the most. Here are six of the best backyard chickens for eggs.

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are one of the most famous chicken breeds out there and produce some of the most eggs of the dual-purpose breeds. At six months old, they can produce up to 300 eggs per year per chicken. Hopefully you have a stock of egg recipes on hand if you choose to rear these prolific egg-layers.

Golden Comet

Golden Comets lay heaps of eggs, as well. They can lay up to 330 eggs annually from 16 weeks all the way up to 2 years old, when their egg production will lessen as they continue to get older. This will happen to all these breeds — not just Golden Comets — so keep that in mind no matter which kind you go with. Unlike Rhode Island Reds, however, these chickens are known for their cheerful and loving attitudes but have rather short life spans of 4 to 5 years.


The Orpington is a popular breed that comes in a variety of feather colors. However, breeding practices have dropped their egg production a bit, so make sure you get a utility strain rather than a show one to get 200–280 eggs a year. Orpingtons can be late bloomers, waiting up to 28 weeks to start laying. These chickens have lots of feathers and are on the heavy side, so they need low perches and shaded areas to stay in peak health.


Leghorns are probably the only other chicken breed you might have heard of if you are a beginner. Their egg-laying rates can get as high as 320 — even at the low end, 280 is a lot of eggs starting at 18–20 weeks. Because they do not eat much and love to forage, they are the most cost-effective food-to-lay breed. They are on the crankier side, though, so do not expect them to be as cuddly as the Golden Comets and Orpingtons.


Because they were originally bred from the Orpington, they, too, have a cheerful disposition that makes them great companions. They come in a few colors, but however they come, they can lay 250–300 eggs annually. Australorps actually have the record for most eggs laid — six of them produced 309 eggs on average in one year.

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock’s personality might be one of its biggest selling points — they love following their owners around for pets and an opportunity to sit in their lap. Like many breeds, they have a few color varieties, but the black-and-white barred ones are the most typical. These sweet chickens will start laying when they are around 18 to 20 weeks old and can produce 200–300 eggs a year. You should get an average of four eggs a week from each hen in your flock.

Why Raise Chickens?

Believe it or not, chickens have a host of environmental benefits. Because you are raising them yourself, you know no unsavory chemicals or additives are going into your food or seeping into the ground. Additionally, you are reducing your food’s carbon footprint because you only have to walk into your backyard to grab eggs rather than drive to the store.

You can also feel better about eating the eggs because you know the chickens are being treated well. As is the case with meat farms, egg farms are not humane places for animals. Raising the best backyard chickens for eggs yourself means you are giving them a happy, natural life, free of overcrowding in scary factories or painful industry practices.

Chickens also make fantastic pets and will eat your food scraps, ensuring you send less to landfills and have a great connection to nature for your kids. They love eating ticks and other pests, too. All that healthy feed, ability to roam, and access to those bugs you do not want in your yard allows the hens to produce eggs with two to three times more omega-3s and a third of the cholesterol of factory eggs.

Get the Best Backyard Chickens for Eggs Daily

Raising chickens is rewarding not only because they make a product, but because they are lovely animals you will likely find companionship with. By taking the best care of them you can, you can get nutritious food for your loved ones or local customers. Consider getting one of the best backyard chickens for eggs to increase your independence and lower your carbon footprint.

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.