There are practically countless numbers of breeds of chickens. Hybrids and crossbreeds have, also, emerged in recent years. It is important to choose the right breed that meets your requirements and is easy for you to raise. Different breeds differ in some attributes like meat, eggs or simply temperament. It is advisable that during the initial years, you try two or three breeds, so that you can decide which one is the best pick for you. Even then all birds of a certain breed might not be identical and show some deviation from their type. Breeding can have effect on egg size and productivity.
A popular website recently conducted a survey of more than one thousand readers, who have more than three years of experience in raising chickens to find out the popular breeds, hybrid or natural. It turned out that most productive hybrid egg layers were Hy-line Brown, California White, Golden Comet, Cherry Egger and Indian River while Leghorns, White-faced Black Spanish, Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, Rhode Island Whites and Plymouth Rocks topped the heritage egg layers. For extra-large eggs Hy-line Browns, Golden Comets, ISA Browns, Cinnamon Queens and Brown Sex Links did well among hybrids while Jersey Giants, Australorps, Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds among heritage.
The following excerpt shows some more categories-
“Some hybrid pullets (young hens) start laying eggs when they’re only 17 weeks old, but pullets of some breeds take more than 26 weeks to mature and start laying. If you’re in a hurry to get fresh eggs on your table, consider Cherry Eggers, Indian Rivers, ISA Browns, Pearl Leghorns and Golden Comets. Almost all Leghorns and Leghorn hybrids are quick to mature, but if you’re looking for other heritage breeds, check out Red Caps, Whitefaced Black Spanish, Anconas and Minorcas. Hens of these breeds can start laying at as early as 21 weeks.
Egg Color Spectrum
If one of your selection criteria is eggshell color, Marans, Barnevelders and Welsummers lay the darkest brown eggs. (We didn’t include Penedesenca in our survey because they’re rare, but they usually lay even darker eggs.) Ameraucanas and Araucanas (rumpless) lay greenish or bluish eggs.”
Take your time going through the details and remember our tips.