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There is nothing more delightful than gathering freshly laid eggs from your own flock of hens! And if you’re new to keeping chickens, you’ll want to make sure you pick the perfect breed to meet your needs. You’ll want chickens that reliably lay great eggs and suit your lifestyle.

With so many breeds out there, it can be tricky to choose the right ones. Some chickens are docile and friendly, while others are more adventurous. Plus, each breed has its own needs for climate and living conditions.

To help you choose the right breed of chicken for your new flock, we’ve put together a list of the best chicken breeds for eggs for beginners.

1. Plymouth Rock

Plymouth rock chickens
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Plymouth Rock chickens were once the most common breed in the U.S. and remain a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers. These docile, friendly birds can tolerate cold weather and do best if they have room to roam and forage. Plymouth Rock hens lay around 200 eggs per year and can continue laying up to the age of ten.

2. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red chickens
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With their placid and easy-going temperament, Rhode Island Red hens are a good choice for a small backyard flock. They are very hardy and robust, enabling them to cope with all living conditions. Rhode Island Red chickens produce a plentiful supply of eggs, around 200-250 per year.

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3. Black Australorp

Black Australorp
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These glossy black chickens are world record holders for egg laying; most will produce at least 250 eggs annually. Black Australorps cope well with confinement, but daily foraging keeps them healthy and in peak condition. In warmer climates, provide plenty of shade to prevent overheating.

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4. Easter Egger

Easter egger
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Easter Egger hens are a great choice if you’ve got young aspiring chicken keepers in the family. They are easy to tame, and their fun-loving, quirky personalities make them a joy to care for. These hybrid hens are specially bred to lay eggs in different colors, including blue, green, white, pink, tan, or chocolate brown.

5. Brahma

Brahma chickens
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Brahmas are the gentle giants of the chicken world, and their friendly nature makes them easy to handle. These beautiful big birds require plenty of space and food but will reward you with a plentiful supply of extra-large eggs. Brahmas are also among the few chicken breeds that lay well through winter.

6. Sussex

Sussex chicken
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The Sussex chicken is an ancient breed that is easy to keep and rarely suffers from health problems. They have a curious and inquisitive nature and enjoy the opportunity to roam and forage for food. This breed copes well with colder climates and will lay at least 200 large eggs per year.

7. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington chicken
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With their beautiful golden plumage and calm temperament, the Buff Orpington is a great choice for beginners. They are easy to tame and cope well with confinement but enjoy exploring and foraging for food. Buff Orpington hens will lay up to 280 large brown eggs per year.

8. New Hampshire Red

New Hampshire red chicken
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New Hampshire chickens are a tough, hardy breed that produces over 200 eggs per year. They can become very tame and sociable if handled regularly from a young age. This breed doesn’t always mix well with other chicken breeds, so it should not be kept as part of a mixed flock.

9. Wyandotte

Wyandotte chicken
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Wyandottes are one of the most exquisitely-feathered chicken breeds, boasting a glamorous plumage in a range of different colors. They cope better in colder climates than most breeds and are calm and easy to handle. Wyandotte hens will lay up to 200 light brown eggs per year.

10. Delaware

Delaware chickens
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Although Delaware chickens are not renowned for being cuddly, their curious nature means they’ll follow you around, making adorable, chatty noises as they go! This hardy breed lays around four large eggs per week and will thrive if adequate food, water, and shelter are provided. Delaware chickens can be quite noisy, so perhaps they are not the best choice for urban chicken keepers.

11. Leghorn

White leghorn chicken
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Leghorn chickens love to explore and will thrive in a free-range system or large enclosure where they can roam all day. They do well in warmer climates and will lay at least four eggs weekly. Leghorns are notoriously good flyers, so they need an enclosure with a high fence to keep them secure.

12. Olive Egger

Olive egger
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Olive Eggers are a hybrid chicken, created by crossing a hen that lays blue eggs – commonly an Ameraucana – with a breed that lays brown eggs. The result is a chicken that produces beautiful olive-green eggs, hence the name. Olive Eggers are friendly and low-maintenance, making them ideal for beginners.

13. Silkie

Silkie chicken
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Who wouldn’t fall in love with these adorable little birds?! Silkies are a small breed of chicken that cope well with confinement, making them ideal for keeping in a backyard.

They are incredibly tame and easy to handle and also make excellent mothers. Silkie chickens don’t cope well with poor living conditions, so be prepared to provide a bit of extra pampering.

14. Faverolles

Faverolles chickens
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Faverolles chickens are a French breed that is well-adapted to being reared in small flocks. They are docile, friendly, and rarely suffer from health problems. Faverolles hens produce around 200 medium-sized eggs per year and will continue to lay through the winter months.

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BarredRockRooster - heritage chicken breed
Image Credit: Homestead How-To

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chickens
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composting food scraps and eggshells
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