Top 12 Brown Egg Laying Chickens

Brown Egg Laying Chickens Are the Most Common Egg Layers in Backyard Flocks

by Erin Snyder

Brown egg-laying chickens are the most common egg layers in backyard flocks. From Buff Orpingtons to Golden Comets and every breed in between, this article will count down the top 12 best brown egg layers in egg production.

#12 Buff Orpington

Buff Orpingtons are sweet, talkative, and will do just about anything for attention. These hens are both cold and heat-hardy, making them ideal for most weather climates. Buff Orpingtons lay an average of 3 – 5 light brown eggs per week (120 – 150 eggs annually) and will lay for three years.

What Orpingtons lack in egg quantity, they make up for with their affectionate, people-loving personalities.

Color Varieties: Black, Blue, Buff, Jubilee, Lavender, and White.

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#11 Welsummer

With their lovely mahogany brown eggs, Welsummers’ eggs are among the most pleasing. Averaging 3 – 5 eggs weekly (120 -150 eggs annually), Welsummers will consistently lay eggs for the first three to five years of their lives and are one of the longest-producing brown egg-laying chickens.

Welsummer hens are docile and friendly, although they are known for feather picking if bored. This breed is intelligent and should have mental stimulation to avoid developing destructive behaviors.

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Color Variety: Partridge

 #10 Swedish Flower Hens

The rarest of the brown egg-laying chickens featured in this countdown, these delightful chickens have a lot to offer backyard flock owners. Swedish Flower Hens are a landrace breed, meaning they were not carefully selected for their breed characteristics. Therefore, hens of this breed come in a variety of colors.

Swedish Flower Hens are confident and friendly birds, often seeking out their owners for attention.

Hens are excellent layers, averaging 4 – 6 large tan or tinted eggs per week (200 – 220 eggs annually).

Color Varieties: Various colors, none of which breed true.

#9  Dominique

Dominiques may be best known for their calm, sweet, gentle, people-loving nature, but they are also excellent egg producers. Hens average 4 – 6 large brown eggs weekly. (200 – 220 eggs annually)  Dominique hens lay well for two years before production starts to decline. Even so, Domiques are still known for their longevity of production.

Color Variety: Barred.

#8 Wyandotte

Wyandottes are among the most popular brown egg laying chickens, known for their hardy and robust characteristics. They are respectable egg layers, averaging 4 – 6 medium/ large light brown eggs per week. (200 – 220 eggs annually)  Wyandottes have a short production life of about three years

Wyandotte hens are an ideal beginner breed due to their friendly disposition, with the Gold Laced variety being the friendliest.

Color Varieties: Black, Blue, Buff, Black Laced Red, Columbian, Gold Laced, Partridge, Silver Laced, Silver Penciled, and White.

New Hampshire Red

#7 New Hampshire Red

Excellent egg layers, New Hampshire Red hens average 4 -6 extra large brown eggs per week (200 – 220 eggs annually), laying an average of three to four years before production ceases. New Hampshire hens are known for being good broodies and excellent mothers. These traits, however, can affect the number of eggs each hen produces.

This breed is generally known for being friendly, although they can be food-aggressive and bully other hens away from the feeders.

Color Variety: Red

Speckled Sussex

#6 Speckled Sussex

Highly intelligent and energetic, the Speckled Sussex is a well-loved breed. The hens’ calm, cheerful, and curious natures make this breed one of the most popular brown egg-laying chickens. Sussex hens love interacting with people and often carry on animated conversations with their favorite humans.

Speckled Sussex hens lay an average of 4-5 medium light brown eggs weekly (150 eggs annually). While they may not put out the same number of eggs per year as other breeds, the number rarely decreases for the first four years of their lives.

Color Varieties: Speckled is the only common variety in the United States.

#5 Delaware

Delaware hens are a fun addition to the flock with their quirky, mischievous dispositions. They are known for being good layers, averaging five large/extra large brown eggs per week (200+ eggs annually). Deleware hens produce eggs for the first three years before production ceases.

Color Variety: White with barred neck feathers and black wing and tail feathers. White feathers turn “brassy” when allowed in the sunshine.

#4 Australorp

Usually described as “shy but sweet,” Australorps are energetic, friendly, and known for their vibrant personalities. Their sweet natures make them the perfect choice for families desiring an egg layer who will quickly become part of the family.

Australorps are egg-laying rockstars, averaging 5 – 6 light brown eggs per week (about 220 – 240 eggs per year), and lay an average of 4 years.

Color Varieties: Black is the primary color available in the U.S.

#3 Rhode Island Red

Possibly the most popular brown egg-laying chickens, Rhode Island Reds are well known for their egg-laying abilities. Averaging 5 – 6 extra large brown eggs weekly (200 – 220 eggs annually), Rhode Island Reds are known for frequently laying double-yolked eggs. Hens of this breed lay consistently for about three years before production begins to slow down.

Rhode Island Red hens are calm and friendly and quickly become part of the family.

Color Variety: Red

Plymouth Rock

#2 Plymouth Rock

One of the most popular brown egg laying chickens in America, the Plymouth Rock has many fans. They are excellent layers, and their calm nature makes them a good choice for a pet.

Plymouth Rocks are reliable layers, averaging 4 – 6 medium/large brown eggs weekly (200 – 220 eggs per year). Plymouth Rock hens’ most productive years start to decline by the age of three, but some hens have been reported to lay a respected ten years, although egg production will decrease to just a couple of eggs.

Color Varieties: Barred, Blue, Buff, Columbian, Partridge, Silver Penciled, and White.

#1 Golden Comet

An ideal chicken for novices and veteran chicken keepers alike, this breed tops the charts for egg production.  Hens are friendly, people-loving birds who sometimes prefer their human companions over the company of other chickens.

Comets are excellent egg layers and will easily outlay all other breeds. They average 5+ extra large brown eggs per week ( about 280 – 300 eggs annually). Golden Comets lay exceptionally well for the first two to three years of their lives. After age three, egg production will significantly drop.

Color Variety: Golden Red with white.

Brown egg-laying chickens have dominated the henhouse for centuries. With so many delightful breeds, it’s easy to see why many chicken keepers today choose brown egg-layers for their backyard flocks.

This article about brown egg laying hens was written for Chickens magazine online. Click here to subscribe to Chickens magazine.

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