If you are looking for low-maintenance chickens for eggs, you have come to the right place.
Raising chickens in your backyard is a joyous and rewarding experience. Not only are chickens entertaining, quirky, and fun.
They can provide a valuable service by giving us plenty of eggs throughout the year. Raising your backyard chickens is a great way to always have access to fresh eggs.
However, choosing the right chicken breed for your backyard can be challenging, especially if you are a beginner.
With hundreds of chicken breeds in the poultry world, choosing a low-maintenance chicken breed for egg production may not be a walk in the park.
Not all chicken breeds are good for egg production. Some lay more eggs than others. Besides, it is important to note that chickens lay eggs of different colors.
This article will discuss everything you need about the best egg-laying chicken breeds you can raise in your backyard.
These breeds are ideal for beginners as they do not have a lot of maintenance needs. Keep reading to learn more.
Rhode Island Red
First on our list of the best low-maintenance chickens for eggs is the Rhode Island Red. The breed is one of the oldest purebred chicken breeds.
It is also among the most popular egg-laying chicken breeds because they are tough and lays many eggs.
Contrary to its name, the Rhode Island Red has brown and black feathers, which gives them a dark appearance.
They are hardy birds that can thrive in both hot and cold climates. These hardy chickens also have very few health concerns.
However, like most other chicken breeds, they can be prone to a few health issues and parasites like mites and lice.
Rhode Island Reds are docile and friendly chickens. They are commonly picked by first-time chicken keepers.
These friendly chickens can do well in a backyard flock comprising other breeds. While they are nice, they are challenging birds that do not entertain bullying from aggressive birds.
Like roosters of other breeds, Rhode Island Red roosters can be aggressive. They can brave themselves against predators and intruders.
These friendly birds are also good foragers and need enough space and setup. If you have a large backyard, you should allow them to roam freely as they free range.
This will help you save on the cost of feed. Under good care and proper diet, a Rhode Island Red hen can lay 5 to 6 eggs per week.
This translates to between 250 and 300 eggs per year. They lay brown eggs that can be medium to large-sized.
These birds are great for beginners and can lay for three to four years. Your hen can continue to lay eggs beyond that third year, but they will lay fewer eggs.
They first start laying eggs around 18 to 24 weeks old.
The Easter Egger is technically not an actual breed but a hybrid breed. If you want a fun chicken breed to enchant your kids and wow your neighbors, look no further than the Easter Egger.
Since they are hybrids chickens, you can expect them to range widely in color variations. Often, they tend to be brown with flecks of other colors on their feathers.
Their resemblance to a hawk makes them extraordinary free-range chickens. These adorable birds are known for their quirky beards, often contrasting in color with the rest of the chicken’s body.
Easter Eggers are friendly and docile chickens that can do well in any backyard flock. However, roosters can get noisy and aggressive. They fly well and will roost in high places.
They are hardy and robust birds that can do well in hot and cold climates. Besides, these hardy chickens can thrive both in confinement and when allowed to free-range.
They are known to be good foragers. The Easter Egger chicken is bred from the Araucanas, which have the genetics to lay blue eggs.
Araucanas are sometimes crossed with other breeds, like the Ameraucanas, who lay blue or green-tinted eggs.
Therefore, the Easter Egger is a mix of several chicken breeds that can lay eggs in shades of brown, blue, aqua, pink, olive, and green.
These birds are mostly raised for egg production, although they get large enough to be used as table birds. You can expect your Easter Egger hen to lay 4 to 6 weekly eggs.
This translates to around 250 eggs per year. They lay medium to large-sized eggs. If you are looking for a chicken breed that will provide you with plenty of colorful eggs throughout the year, look no further than an Easter Egger.
The Orpington is a well-behaved and affectionate bird that originated in England. They make great pets, thanks to their loving personality.
Despite their large size, they are calm and friendly birds that will rarely attack other chickens in the flock and kids. Their quiet nature is suitable for confinement and makes them ideal for beginners.
They are available in black, blue, white, and splash. These birds are commonly known for their buff color.
They have copious feathering that tends to hide their legs, giving them a more prominent appearance.
They have a single comb and are well-suited to cold climates. However, they can tolerate hot climates, too.
Generally, Orpingtons do not have a lot of maintenance needs. They are healthy and robust chickens with not so many health issues.
However, that does not mean they should not be cared for. Like any other chicken breed, your Orpington chickens can be prone to common poultry diseases and parasites like lice and mites.
If you are looking for a chicken that will ensure a steady supply of eggs, this is one of the breeds to consider. An Orpington hen can lay up to 250 eggs per year.
They lay large, brown eggs. As with other chicken breeds, these birds need good care and a proper diet to live a long and more productive life.
They tend to go broody, and when they hatch, they become great mothers to their baby chicks. These large-sized chickens are also suitable for meat production.
The Sussex is one of the best egg-laying chicken breeds. Heavy birds can weigh between 7 and 9 lbs when fully grown.
As with most other breeds, roosters are slightly bigger than hens. However, despite their large size, they are incredibly gentle and are known for being gentle.
Sussex chickens come in a variety of colors. However, the most popular variety is speckled. Because of their friendly nature, they can do well in any backyard flock comprising other breeds.
However, you must ensure the other birds in the flock are friendly and non-aggressive. They are dual-purpose chickens, suitable for both meat and egg production.
A Sussex hen can lay 4 to 5 eggs per week. This translates to between 200 and 250 eggs per year. They usually lay medium to large-sized brown eggs.
They will start to lay eggs anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks old. The only thing to note about this breed is they are known to go broody. Therefore, they can stop laying eggs during spring.
Last on our list of the best low-maintenance chickens for eggs is the “Leghorn.” The breed’s egg production ability single-handedly changed the egg industry in the 1900s.
Thanks to their egg-laying abilities, they are a favorite to many backyard chicken keepers. Whilst all varieties of Leghorn chickens are good layers, the White Leghorn really shines.
With good care and proper nutrition, a Leghorn hen can lay up to 300 eggs per year or 4 to 6 eggs per week. Unfortunately, they may not be ideal for raising chicks, as they do not like to hatch.
They lay during the winter months. Leghorns are low-maintenance and hardy chickens that can do well in any climate. They are good foragers and inexpensive to feed.
If you have a large backyard, you can allow them to roam freely as they free range. These friendly birds are also easy to handle and are great for beginners.
With hundreds of chicken breeds in the poultry world, choosing a low-maintenance chicken for eggs can be challenging, especially if you are a beginner.
Not all chickens are suitable for egg production. If you are looking for an excellent egg-laying chicken for your backyard flock, you can consider one of the options on our list.