The Lowdown on Layers: Top 5 Best Egg Laying Chickens

Posted by Jennifer Hojnacki, Wed, May 2, 2012; Updated 3/10/2023

Buff Orpingtons nesting box with eggs
Buff Orpingtons are one of the best egg laying chickens out there.


Whether you’re just getting started or have been raising chickens for a while, chances are you spend a fair amount of time thinking about the end product—those delicious and nutritious eggs!

Manna Pro® spends a lot of time thinking about laying hens, and we’ve put together a great new guide to help you get the most out of your flock.

One of the most common questions on forums, in webinars and on our “Ask the Chicken Whisperer” page is, “What are the best laying breeds?” While there’s no absolute answer to this question, we’ve compared some of the expert opinions and owner comments and here are the names that seem to be at the top of everyone’s list:

Top 5 (more or less) Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

#1: Leghorn

No surprise here—the breed that is used the most commercially because of its laying proficiency is in fact the best layer. Keep in mind, however, that if you want a colorful egg basket, you won’t want a flock full of only Leghorns, as their eggs are white.

#2: Rhode Island Red

A great choice because they are not only great egg layers, but the males are big enough to eat as meat (helpful if you incubate and hatch, as you can raise the females as layers and the males as meat birds).

#3: Orpington

Also dual-purpose and known for laying abundant amounts of brown eggs.

australorp egg laying chicken

#4: Australorp

Excellent egg layers that produce beautiful light brown eggs.

ameraucana chicken
Fuzzy, cute, and amazing egg-layers, you'll love the Ameraucana chicken breed seen here.


#5: Ameraucana, Delaware, Sussex & Wyandotte

It’s a tie for 5th. Honorable mentions go to these incredible egg-laying breeds.


Raising Ducks for Eggs

When considering which breed of chicken to add to your backyard flock, consider going with a different species altogether - ducks! Ducks are beautiful, entertaining, full of personality AND produce delicious and nutritious eggs. Click here to learn more about raising ducks for eggs.

indian runner ducks best eggs
Indian Runner ducks are known to produce many eggs! Consider this amazing breed for your backyard flock.


Best Chickens for Eggs Downloadables


Manna Pro Chicken Breed Guide

For information on egg production, egg color, temperament and more for 30 top breeds, be sure to download the Manna Pro Chicken Chart, a helpful and easy-to-use guide to selecting the right breeds for your flock. 



Egg Laying Guide

Download our complete egg-laying guide here for info on how to optimize egg production in your backyard flock!