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The Chicken Breeds That Lay the Largest Eggs

Last Updated: 22.10.20

 

 

If you are looking for a performant automatic chicken coop door and are also interested in chicken breeds that lay really big eggs, you should know that Isa Browns lay the most eggs per year, and their eggs are also large in size, while other breeds, such as Minorcas, Leghorns or Orpingtons lay fewer eggs per year, but very large ones.

Among the egg-laying breeds of chickens, there are some breeds that are genetically selected to lay some really big eggs. They are the favorite breeds of egg fanatics, that are really happy to see large eggs in the nest when they go out to take them from the barn. First of all, let’s take a closer look at what a big egg means.

You may be surprised to find out that the size of the egg is determined by its weight, not by how big it appears to be. Thus we have the small-sized eggs that weigh approximately 18 ounces, medium-sized ones of up to 21 ounces, the large eggs of 24 ounces, extra-large ones of 27 ounces and the jumbos, that weigh 30 ounces.

Although the weight difference between them does not seem to be that big, you need to consider how much effort hens put into delivering the jumbo eggs compared to the small ones, and how much nutrients and calcium they use for them. So, let’s take a closer look at the chicken breeds that lay the largest eggs.

 

Minorcas

This rare chicken breed is kept mainly for ornamental reasons, as it is not currently bred for meat or egg-laying purposes. It is one of the largest Mediterranean chicken breeds and a very beautiful one. It has glossy black feathers, with white earlobes and red face and combs. It is also a very friendly breed of chickens.

Both Minorca roosters and hens are medium-sized chickens, weighing approximately six and a half pounds. Although their feathers and legs are dark-colored, surprisingly their skin is white, making it one special trait of this breed. Unfortunately, Minorcas are still on the endangered list, as there are very few individuals left around the world.

Although it does not lay a record number of eggs per reproductive cycle, the eggs this breed produces are very large ones. Minorca hens usually lay up to 140 eggs per year, and the eggs are white. This is not something you would expect from a black hen, to be laying pure white eggs, but they are really pleasant looking.

 

 

Leghorn

The Leghorns are yet another breed of chickens that lay jumbo-sized white eggs. As opposed to the previous breed, they also lay a lot of eggs every year, up to 280 of them every reproductive cycle. The number of eggs they lay per year, as well as their size, depends on the age of the hen, and on how well she is fed.

This chicken breed originates from Tuscany. These are beautiful white birds, with bright red faces and combs. They come in quite a few varieties, amongst which the most popular ones are the single red comb and the rose comb buff ones. They have lively temperaments and can be quite noisy if anything is bothering them.

Leghorns have been around for a long time now, as the breed was named and officially recognized in 1865. They are also called “Livorno” or “Livornese” and they are used as egg-laying chickens, due to a large number of eggs they produce every year. Leghorns are not used for meat, mainly due to their yellow skin.

 

Isa Brown

This breed is a hybrid designed to lay eggs. They actually do so – many large eggs are being laid by hens every year, up to 350 of them per hen. Thus, Isa Browns are a great hybrid, highly appreciated by many owners around the world. The eggs they lay are light brown, good quality, and very pleasant looking. 

This hybrid was created in France by crossbreeding a large number of egg-laying breeds, and the way they did that is still a very well kept secret. The hens are quite small, weighing approximately 4 pounds, their feathers are reddish-brown, with bright red combs and faces. Being such great egg-layers, they need special diets, rich in protein and calcium compared to the average hens. 

Isa Browns are the most commonly used breed in battery cage egg farms, and they are only used for one year. In many countries around the world, after their first year on the farms, they are sold to free-range farmers as second-hand egg-laying hens. It takes them about one month to adjust to the free-range life, and after that, they make great hens for many years to come.

 

Lohmann Brown

Lohmann Browns are yet another great hybrid bred for egg-laying purposes. They lay up to 300 eggs per reproductive cycle, and the eggs are large-sized ones, light brown, and very pleasant looking. They usually lay their eggs daily, either at dawn or at dusk, depending on the hen. The size and number of eggs depend on the age and health status of the bird.

These chickens are also beautiful, not just useful. Their feathers are caramel-colored, or light brown, with light-colored tips in the tail. Their faces and combs are bright red, and their skin is light yellow. This hybrid was created by crossbreeding New Hampshires with other chicken breeds that lay brown eggs.

They start laying eggs when they are approximately 18 weeks old. At first, they lay one small egg every few days, and their size and number of eggs gradually increase over the first month, as the birds get older. Lohmann Browns are good-natured, lively chickens, that can be kept in large groups without risking any fights, as long as they are given enough space to live in. 

 

Welsummer

This breed is originally Dutch and it was created by crossbreeding various dual-purpose breeds, such as Rhode Island Reds with other valuable egg-laying breeds. Welsummer chickens were bred at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it was mainly used as an egg-laying breed, used in commercial trading.

Some of the eggs were exported to the United Kingdom, and so the breed became part of the breeds used throughout the UK as egg-laying hens. The chickens are medium-sized, weighing approximately 6.6 pounds, and they are nicely colored with different shades of light to dark brown, that form a specific pattern. They have red faces and combs.

The eggs Welsummer hens lay are colored reddish-brown, close to the terracotta color, and they are large-sized eggs. Each hen can lay up to 180 eggs per reproductive cycle, meaning they are no longer super egg-layers in terms of numbers. However, they are considered to be high-quality eggs. The breed is mainly ornamental nowadays.

 

 

Barnevelder

Yet another Dutch breed, it is the result of crossbreeding between local Dutch breeds and imported breeds, mainly from Asia, such as Brahma and Cochin. Due to the medium to large size of the birds and the large eggs they lay, Barnevelders were used for both meat and eggs throughout time. 

One of the much-appreciated traits these birds have is that they continue to lay eggs in cold weather, so people can enjoy fresh barn eggs in the wintertime. The eggs they lay are large-sized, brown colored, and considered to be high-quality. Barnevelder hens will lay up to 180 eggs per year, depending on their age and health status. 

Barnevelder roosters can weigh up to 8 pounds, making them a good choice for a tasty meal. Both hens and roosters have dark-colored feathers and bright red faces and combs. Their comb brightness is also an indicator of how healthy they are, as any discoloration is a strong indicator that something is wrong with the bird.

 

Orpington 

Orpington is an egg-laying breed named after the town of Orpington, in south-east London, in the United Kingdom. Today they are mainly bred as show birds, given their pleasant appearance, soft feathers, and calm, friendly temperament. But in the past, they were used as a dual-purpose breed, for both eggs and meat.

Orpingtons are quite big, heavy birds, weighing up to 10 pounds. They have white skin, making them an excellent choice for those of us that are looking for an extra tasty, high-quality, pleasant-looking chicken steak. They come in a wide variety of colors, from light to dark-colored feathers. It is also a known fact that Orpingtons seldom fly.

Hens lay large-sized eggs that are light-brown and very pleasant-looking. They will lay up to 200 eggs per year, making them excellent egg-layers among other breeds. Of course, the number of eggs per reproductive cycle also depends on how well-fed and healthy they are. The drawback here is that they stop laying eggs in cold temperatures. 

 

 

 

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