That’s it, you have finally decided to take the plunge and welcome some egg laying hens into your garden so you can collect some good, fresh eggs every day (or at least almost). The only problem is you are not entirely sure what breed of hen you should choose… Here is a little overview on the best egg-laying hens and their specific features!
It is important to remember that hens start to lay eggs from the age of about 6 months old. The number of eggs they produce reduces after the hen is 3 years old until they completely stop laying after they reach 8 years old. You should also remember that you will have more eggs in spring and summer than you will in autumn and winter.
1. Rhode Island Red hens
Red hens are the most common hen. They are not only excellent layers producing about 250 eggs per year but they are also particularly endearing. They are very sociable and curious hens and like to follow humans around everywhere, a bit like a little dog! With this hen you can either choose a hen house with or with a hen run. However a hen run is strongly recommended so as to protect your hens from predators.
2. Harco hens
Soft, calm and strong, Harco hens are known for being one of the best egg laying hens that there is. This black hen is able to produce more than 250 eggs per year.
This hen is often confused with Marans because of the colouring of their feathers. Marans are also good egg-layers producing about 200 eggs per year. They are often called the “golden-egg hen” for the simple reason that their eggs are an exceptional rusty colour.
3. Gauloise dorée
As well as being very attractive, this french breed produces about 250 big eggs every year. With their friendly and energetic characters they are also easy to approach.
The Sussex hen is a particularly good layer producing about 240 eggs per year but they are also good incubators and extraordinary mothers. What’s more despite their slightly nervous temperament, they have a good character and get on very well with other hens.
5. Géline de Touraine
Although this french breed “only” produces 170 eggs per year, they are also able to continue laying eggs in winter which is not always the case for other breeds. This hen has a calm temperament and likes to walk around making it another excellent choice!
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