Chickens laying eggs is a big deal around here. I get so many messages from my followers on Instagram and Facebook wondering which types of chicken breeds I have on my tiny farm. I also get a ton asking which ones I would recommend and which ones are the best around kids, and more. While I am not the biggest chicken expert around, I have done my due diligence and have researched so much on all the different kinds of chickens making sure to get the right kind of backyard chickens for my environment, our weather, and our needs, and even just to indulge ourselves a bit as well.
I have been asked many times, why we chose the chicken breeds we chose for our backyard farm. Well, I had about 5 important factors that I used to pick the right ones for our home. I want to share those with you and then we will talk all about the different types of chicken breeds for eggs, including chickens laying blue eggs and chickens laying green eggs!
There are a couple things I made sure to consider when choosing the right chicken breeds for laying eggs.
First, let’s talk about the chicken breeds I have. We have Brahmas, Barred Plymouth Rock, Gold Laced Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Blue Orpington, and Lakeshore Eggers(these are a hybrid of Easter and Olive Eggers). We are currently also adding a couple more baby chicks. We have ordered Blue Americaunas, Welsummers, and a Salmon Faverolle.
These are what I considered:
Are they appropriate for your climate:
First, I had to make sure I looked for chicken breeds that were hearty in cold environments. We have very cold and long winters so I needed to make sure the ones that I got would be safe. You can find certain chickens that are better for hotter climates and those that are better suited for colder climates.
Here are a so many chickens it hard to classify each one, but I wanted to give a handful of my favorite chicken breeds that work for the two extreme climates.
Cold Climate: Australorp, silkie, barred plymouth rock, dorking, cochin, Welsummers, Wyandotte, Domniques, Brahmas, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, and Faverolles are just some.
Warm Climate: Orpingtons, Easter Eggers(however they are good it the cold too), Barred Plymouth Rocks, Phone Island Reds, Welsummer, White leghorn, Brahma, Andalusians, Sumatra, New Hampshire Red and many more.
What I think is awesome is that there are a ton of chickens that are both cold hardy and heat tolerant. But you definitely want to check to make sure the chickens you have chosen are a good fit.
This was something that I also looked for. I wanted to make sure that the chickens I chose had a generally good disposition and were known to be calm and good with kids. When looking at chickens whether you are ordering your baby chicks online or if you are picking them out at the local farm store, there are many resources for learning about their temperament. I found Meyer Hatchery to be a great resource. They list each and every chicken they carry with their egg color, size, egg layer percentage, and their temperament and whether or not they are broody.
- The chickens we purchased all had good reviews of having great personalities and for being gentle. I have heard that Rhode Island Reds can be a bit aggressive but are also wonderful layers, so you have to weight the pros and cons. Also, if you handle them a lot, they should be more friendly. Yet, we have a blue orpington that is super sweet, but not really friendly and is our most flighty chicken.
I would say our Barred Rock and our Lakeshore Eggers(easter egger/olive egger cross), and buff Opingtons are our most friendly. They have the sweetest personalities and are not as flighty and scared. For the most part, all of our chickens come running to our feet excited for treats and some attention, every time we come out to see them.
Our Light Brahmas are our most noisy. They have so much to say and yell at us every time we come into the coop or run. Probably just to tell us they need more treats.
My daughter can hold our Buff Brahmas like babies….so you never know what you might get haha!
Our Blue Orpington and Light Brahmas are probably our least friendly, but are still sweet as ever.
Egg Laying Capabilities
Most chickens have an average of how many eggs they lay through the year. If you are looking for prolific layers, look no further than Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks, Ancona, Barnevelder, Marans, Buff Orpingtons, and Easter Eggers. We ended up with a good amount of sweet, docile and prolific egg layers. Finding that combination is important to us. If you are looking for only egg production I would suggest Rhode Island Reds and Legorns.
You can consider this not a super important part of choosing chickens, but for me, it definitely was! Part of the fun of having the our backyard chickens was seeing all the fun egg colors! And believe it or not the green eggs are valued high above the brown ones at my house haha! It’s so fun to get some fun and different colors.
Here are some of the egg colors and chicken breeds that lay them:
- Chickens laying blue eggs– The chicken breeds that lay blue eggs consist of Cream Legbars, Blue Americaunas, Lakeshore Eggers(Meyer Hatchery), and Araucanas
- Chickens laying green eggs– Easter Eggers will often lay either blue or green eggs. Olive Eggers and Sage Eggers are also good green egg layers.
- Pink Egg Layers– Barred Rock, Light Sussex
- Dark Brown Egg Layers– If you are looking for dark eggs, choose a Maran, Welsummer, or Penedesencas(these are a bit more skittish, so may not be the best for a backyard flock).
- White Egg Layers– Want traditional white eggs? Leghorns, Andalusians, Sumatras, Dorking, and Polish and many more are great white egg layers.
- Lavender Egg Layers– Some Easter Eggers can lay lavender tinted eggs.
- Speckled Brown Eggs– Wellsummer, and marans also could have speckled eggs.
- Cream Egg Layers -Dorkings, Faverolles
- Light Tan Layers– Buff Orpington, Wyandotte
- Brown Egg Layers– Rhode Island Reds, Golden Comets, Cochin, Brahma, Chantecler, Java, New Hampshire Red, Buckeye, and Delaware.
Are you letting your chicken flock completely free range, or will they be contained in their run and coop?
I don’t think this is one to worry about a lot, but it is worth considering. Some chickens are great foragers and will be most happy when free ranging and not being locked in. I would think about that, IF you plan to keep them in their run, which I do. We have a large run for them and my chickens are very happy.
The last thing I considered when getting my chickens for laying is are they broody?
A chicken that is broody is when they want to sit on a clutch of eggs and hatch them. Some chicken breeds can be more broody than others. Since we do not have a rooster here on our farm, we did not really want chickens that would easily become broody. We aren’t needing them to sit on the eggs.
All chickens will go broody at certain times of the year, but I have read that some can be much more prone to become broody and for longer periods of time. This isn’t great for chickens laying eggs, because they stop laying eggs when they are broody! So your egg production will go down and even if they aren’t sitting on a clutch of eggs, they will lay in the nesting box and brood for a long time.
Some chicken breeds that tend to go broody more often are:
- Buff Orpingtons
- Dark Cornish
Yes we do have some of these chicken breeds.
All in all, when choosing the right chicken breeds for your backyard flock, take all these things into consideration, but do not be absolute. Don’t rule out the sweet and docile, prolific egg layer because it may go broody. But do consider it if you live somewhere hot, and that type of chicken does not tolerate the heat well. If you want chickens laying eggs like crazy, but have small kids, try to focus on the chicken breeds that are great layers, but also have a reputation for being calm and gentle.
Overall, do your due diligence and choose the chicken breeds that are right for you and your backyard flock. We are so in love with ours.
There are some great resources out there that can help you choose which chicken breed is perfect for your backyard farm. I love searching Meyer Hatcher and their blog. They have a ton of valuable information. Fresh Eggs Daily is also a great resource!
There are so many rewards to having your own flock of backyard chickens. I cannot believe I waited so long to get my own. Now, I am certainly an obsessive chicken owner. They are so fun, they give us the most tasty eggs, and teach my kids so much.
We cannot wait to add more chickens to our backyard flock!
I hope this information is helpful to you in your chicken journey.
Are you getting baby chicks? Check out this post, all about how to raise baby chicks.
Here are my favorite products inside my chicken coop and run:
Need inspiration for the chicken coop you want to get for your backyard chickens?
Check out my functional and stylish chicken coop. We build the entire thing ourselves!
Want more coop inspiration?
How about some yummy recipes to use up some of those farm fresh eggs!