The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that in 2015 the cost of world egg production was USD 55 billion and egg production was USD 70.4 million.
Before World War II, the largest egg production was obtained from small farms with around 400 chickens, but today, in the large egg-producing countries of America, chicken farms have reached 100,000 and even 1 million chickens in some cases. However, given that the market for eggs raised on smaller chicken farms has increased, due to health concerns and the security conditions on larger farms, the egg-producing sector has become very attractive for small businesses.
In general, chickens are raised for meat or eggs, and each chicken farm must decide its business intention: raise eggs, growing chickens for the meat industry and providing a mixed farm, with both eggs laid chickens and chickens more appropriate for meat processing. As far as the most competitive egg-laying chickens are concerned, these are the best egg-laying backyard chicken breeds for this reason.
1. Australorp Chicken Breed
This breed, which originated in Australia, was produced in 1920, with deep roots in the Orpington breed.
The name of this breed was given to the Orpington breed “Austral Orpington Club”.
It is a breed of chicken specialized in the production of eggs, considered a true champion since a chicken of this type laid 364 eggs in 365 days. The Australorp breed is found in three varieties of color: red, white and black.
Australorp chickens are very healthy, with a rapid growth rate, starting to lay eggs in the fifth month.
They are ideal for growing in a closed environment but provides better egg production if they can walk freely in the open space. Such chickens are not good for flying, which makes it possible to expand into an open space, without having a large shelter. The hens of this breed are quite resistant, they quickly pass cold winters, without affecting their egg-laying speed.
2. Lohmann Brown Classic Chicken
It is the most common laying hen breed in the world and is used almost everywhere in the world.
The Lohmann breed has a small size, with a bodyweight that does not exceed 2 kilograms. A chicken of this breed produces up to 313 eggs per year, with a low feed intake of only 110 grams per day.
3. Rhode Island Red Chicken
The breed originated in the United States, where it is used with a dual purpose, both for eggs and meat. Such chickens are more common with small chicken breeders because they can easily adapt to backyard environments, have high disease resistance and generally have a rather harsh temper. Rhode Island red chicken can lay up to 260 eggs a year.
4. Sussex Chicken Breed
This is a dual-purpose breed, which means that chickens are grown for eggs or meat. The breed has eight different colors, but the most famous are white chickens with black necks and tail feathers. Sussex chickens are very calm and tame, suitable for growing in the backyard. Chickens are capable of producing up to 250 eggs per year.
5. Golden Comet Chicken
This breed is actually a widespread hybrid, known for its ability to produce between 250 and 300 eggs per year. The Golden Comets are very calm and relaxed birds, ideal for open and quiet spaces with other farm animals. The eggs have a brown shell on them.
6. Leghorn Chicken
The breed originates in the port of Livorno, Italy, from a very old Italian community. It has 12 color variations, but white chickens usually have the most feathers. Leghorn chickens have an average annual production of approximately 200 eggs, but up to 280 eggs can be produced. The eggs have a weight of 55-67 grams and have a white shell. The breeding instinct manifests very poorly, with the chickens of this breed brooding only in the proportion of 1-4 percent.
7. Marans Chicken
It is a breed of chicken native to France, with a very rich and colorful plumage. It has an annual production of 180-220 eggs and can be produced for both meat and eggs. The average egg is 60 grams and the shell is brown.
8. Plymouth Rock Chicken
This chicken breed is excellent for those who do not have much experience in chicken farming because they can easily adapt to a corral lifestyle. These chickens are usually very tame and lay around 200 eggs a year, small to medium-sized and brown. They can lay up to 280 eggs per year with proper care. Plymouth Rock hens are gray with white stripes.
9. Barnevelder Chicken
This chicken breed is an unusual hybrid between birds of the Asian jungle and the Dutch breed. Originally developed in Holland, it is known for its bright feathers. The hens lay up to 200 eggs a year, with a mottled appearance of light brown and small to medium size.
10. Buff Orpington Chicken
This breed is originally from Kent, England, this is the most popular variation of the Orpington breed and is ideal for breeding in the backyard because it is very meek and eager to socialize. Hens prefer to get broody during the summer months, so they lay around 180 eggs each year.
11. Ameraucana Chicken
This breed originates in South America and is named after the Araucanian Indians in Chile. It is also known by the name of Araucana. The Ameraucana breed developed as a hybrid between several hens and wild birds, from which they inherited the character that gives them the title of chickens that lay the healthiest eggs. The color of the eggshell has a greenish-blue hue; That is why it is sometimes also called “Easter eggs.” It has an annual production of 170-180 eggs, weighing 53-60 grams.
Egg production levels may not be important, but due to the low cholesterol content of eggs, they are generally sold at a higher price.
12. La Bresse Chicken
It is one of the oldest breeds of French chicken, created by a selection of local chicken populations. It has three varieties of color: black, white and gray, the most common is white.
A chicken produces 160-180 eggs per year, weighing 65-70 grams and a white shell. La Bresse is not just a good breeding chicken; It also has very tasty meat.
13. Hamburg Chicken
The breed was developed in England by the native breeds of Andalusia, Menorca, Sumatra and Sebright Bantam. The name has nothing to do with Hamburg, Germany.
This breed produces an average of 150-170 eggs per year, weighing between 50 and 55 grams.
Tips for improving egg production
Increasing a suitable chicken breed for egg-laying is not enough to guarantee a large egg production. Keep these tips in mind if you want to make sure you get the best possible result from your backyard chicken coop or farm: chickens older than 3 have fewer eggs than younger chickens; Chickens need enough protein in their diet to lay eggs.
The usual dose is 20 grams of protein per day; make sure the hens have enough natural light up to 14 hours per day for the best egg production; It is not recommended to force the process of laying eggs through artificial light during winter.
Chickens need this rest period; consider having chickens for brooding, so always have a stock of laying hens because not all laying breeds are also good for brooding; chickens must have enough space; Free-range chickens are those that generally lay the most eggs and also the tastiest.