9 Best Chickens That Lay Brown Eggs (Our Top Choices)

Are you interested in raising chickens that lay brown eggs? You’re in luck. Most backyard chicken breeds lay brown eggs, and you’ll have a lot of choices.

Let’s discuss the top breeds of chickens that lay brown eggs and what you should consider before choosing.

There are so many good choices here. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

brown eggs on tea towel

are brown eggs better? Why does it matter?

In short, it doesn’t matter!

Nutrition: Some people think brown eggs are healthier than white eggs. They believe brown eggs have more nutrients or are more “natural”. The truth is, that the color of the eggshell doesn’t affect the egg’s nutritional value. Both brown and white eggs have the same amount of protein, vitamins, and other good stuff.

Taste: Some say brown eggs taste better. The taste can be a bit richer or more “egg-like.” But the flavor of an egg has more to do with how the chicken is raised and what it eats than the color of the eggshell. Chickens that eat a natural diet and have room to roam usually lay eggs that taste better, no matter the color. And backyard chickens commonly are brown egg layers.

The color difference is determined by the breed of the chicken that lays the egg, just like eye color in humans. It’s just cosmetic.

brown eggs next to sink
a few shades of brown from Wyandottes and Orpingtons

That being said, most backyard chickens do lay brown eggs. Storebought eggs are frequently white because the most productive bred of all, the White Leghorn, happens to be a white egg layer. But most breeds lay brown.

1. Rhode Island Red

rhode island red walking on gravel driveway

The Rhode Island Red chicken is an American breed from the Northeast. It’s a top choice for many who want lots of brown eggs. These sturdy birds can adapt to different climates, making them a reliable pick for most backyards.

In terms of egg-laying, you can count on Rhode Island Reds. They often lay around 5-7 brown eggs per week. This means you’ll have a steady supply of eggs if you choose this breed.

It’s important to know that Rhode Island Reds are not the most friendly birds. They can be moody and somewhat aggressive, especially around other chickens. (You’ll see them peck frequently, steal food, and keep other hens from the feeder.)

Because of their temperament, they might not be the best choice if you have children or are looking for a pet-like chicken.

So, if you’re focused on egg production and can manage a more spirited bird, then Rhode Island Reds could be the right choice for you. Just keep in mind that they’re not the cuddliest birds around.

2. Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock)

barred rock chicken outside
Barred rocks are very easy to identify. They are productive but one of my least favorites… no personality and not much to look at.

The Plymouth Rock, often called Barred Rock because of its black and white stripes, is an American breed. It comes from the United States and has been around for a long time. This breed is often recommended for people who are new to raising chickens because it’s pretty easy to take care of.

When we talk about egg-laying, the Plymouth Rock does a good job. You can expect around 4 to 5 brown eggs a week from these birds. So, you’ll get many eggs, but maybe not as many as from a Rhode Island Red. Still, they’re reliable layers and will give you a steady supply of brown eggs.

What makes Plymouth Rock chickens nice to have is their friendly nature. They’re usually calm and get along well with people and other animals. This makes them a good choice if you have kids or other pets. They’re also pretty quiet, so they won’t make a lot of noise in your backyard.

If you’re looking for a chicken that’s easy to take care of, lays a good amount of brown eggs, and is friendly, then Plymouth Rock might be the one for you.

3. Wyandotte

The Wyandotte chicken is another American breed, originally developed in the late 1800s. It’s known for its pretty feathers that can come in different patterns and colors. People like it not just for its looks but also for its good egg-laying abilities.

black laced golden wyandotte outside
This is a Black-Laced Golden Wyandotte, one of the most beautiful breeds!
  • Silver-Laced Wyandotte: These have white feathers with black edges, creating a laced appearance.
  • Golden Laced Wyandotte: Similar to the Silver Laced but with gold feathers and black edges.
  • Blue Laced Red Wyandotte: These have blue feathers with red in the center and dark lacing.
  • Black Wyandotte: These are solid black in color.
  • White Wyandotte: These have pure white feathers.
  • Buff Wyandotte: These are a light orange-brown color.
  • Partridge Wyandotte: These have a mix of brown, black, and tan feathers, somewhat resembling a wild bird.
  • Columbian Wyandotte: These have a white body with black neck and tail feathers.

In terms of laying eggs, Wyandottes are solid performers. These chickens can lay about 3 to 4 brown eggs a week. While they may not lay as many eggs as other breeds, they’re still quite reliable. Plus, they lay brown eggs, which you’re looking for.

What’s nice about Wyandottes is their calm and easy-going nature. They’re generally friendly birds that get along well with people and other chickens. They don’t make much fuss and can be a bit more reserved, but they’re not skittish. They’re good for families and do well in both small and large flocks.

So, if you’re after a chicken breed that’s both good-looking and lays brown eggs, then you might want to consider Wyandottes. They’re easy to handle and could be a great addition to your backyard flock.

4. Sussex

The Sussex chicken comes from England, and it’s a heritage breed that has been around for quite some time. It’s considered a dual-purpose breed.

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When it comes to laying eggs, Sussex chickens are dependable and steady. You can expect about 4 to 5 brown eggs a week from them. While not as productive as some others on this list, they are steady layers and will lay fairly well in cold weather.

The best part about Sussex chickens is that they’re very friendly. They’re often described as calm and good-natured. Many people say they’re like pets that also give you eggs. They get along well with people, kids, and even other animals. So, if you’re looking for a friendly chicken that’s easy to handle, the Sussex could be a great choice.

If you want a chicken that lays lots of brown eggs and is also friendly, then the Sussex might be the right breed for you. They’re easy to take care of and are often recommended for families or those new to raising chickens.

5. Orpington

buff orpington outside
Buff Orpingtons are fluffy and beautiful

The Orpington chicken comes from England, just like the Sussex. It was first bred in the late 1800s and is well-liked for its fluffy feathers and round shape. It’s a popular breed for people who are new to raising chickens or for those who want a family-friendly bird.

They come in many types with different feather colorings, but they all lay brown eggs.

  • Buff Orpington: These are the most common type, known for their golden-yellow feathers.
  • Black Orpington: These have solid black feathers and are quite striking.
  • White Orpington: As the name suggests, these have pure white feathers.
  • Blue Orpington: These have a unique bluish-gray feather color.
  • Lavender Orpington: These have a pale purple-gray color, which is quite rare.
  • Chocolate Orpington: These are brownish in color, somewhat resembling chocolate.
  • Partridge Orpington: These have a mix of brown, black, and tan feathers in a pattern that looks a bit like a wild bird.
  • Splash Orpington: These are mostly white but have ‘splashes’ of black and gray feathers.

Each type of Orpington has the same friendly temperament and good egg-laying abilities, so you can choose based on the color you like best.

When you look at egg-laying, Orpingtons are pretty good but not the best. They’ll give you around 3 to 4 brown eggs a week. So, you won’t get as many eggs as you would from some other breeds, but you’ll still have a steady supply.

What really makes Orpingtons stand out is their beautiful appearance and friendly temperament. These chickens are often described as gentle and easy to handle. They’re good around kids and are usually not aggressive at all. Because they’re so relaxed, they make great pet.

So, if you’re looking for a chicken that’s both friendly and lays brown eggs, then you might want to think about getting an Orpington. They’re easy to care for and can be a good choice for families or anyone new to raising chickens.

6. Marans

The Marans chicken comes from France, and it’s a breed that’s known for its dark brown eggs. This breed has become more popular recently, especially for those who want something different from the usual brown eggs.

Like Orpingtons, many different breeds of Marans look different but act and lay the same.

Types of Marans:

  • Black Copper Marans: Known for their black feathers with copper-colored highlights.
  • Wheaten Marans: These have a mix of light brown and white feathers.
  • Cuckoo Marans: These look similar to Plymouth Rocks with their black and white stripes.
  • Golden Cuckoo Marans: These have a golden color mixed with black and white stripes.
  • Black Marans: These are solid black in color.
  • Silver Cuckoo Marans: These have black and white feathers but in a softer contrast than Cuckoo Marans.

When it comes to laying eggs, Marans are decent. You can expect around 3 to 4 dark brown eggs a week. The egg color is the big draw here, and it’s what makes them special.

As for their temperament, Marans are generally calm and easy-going. They don’t make a lot of noise and usually keep to themselves. They’re not as friendly as some other breeds but also not aggressive. They do their own thing and are pretty low-maintenance.

So, if you want a chicken that lays unique dark brown eggs and is easy to care for, Marans could be the right choice.

looking for different colored eggs?

7. Australorp

Australorps come from Australia, and they were made by breeding Orpingtons with other types of chickens. The goal was to create a good egg layer to handle Australia’s weather. They’ve been around for about 100 years now.

The Australorp is generally found in Black, Blue, and White varieties.

When it comes to laying eggs, Australorps are one of the best. In fact, one Australorp even set a world record by laying 364 eggs in 365 days! You can expect about 5 to 7 brown eggs a week from an Australorp.

In terms of how they act, Australorps are calm and friendly. They usually get along with people and other chickens. They’re not loud and don’t make a fuss. This makes them easy to take care of, whether you’re new to chickens or have had them before.

So, if you want a lot of eggs and a chicken that’s easy to handle, the Australorp could be a good choice for you.

8. Red Star aka Red sex link Chickens

Red Star chickens are another hybrid breed. In this case, the goal was to create chickens that lay many eggs. Red Stars, also known as Red Sex-Links, come from the United States.

When it comes to laying eggs, Red Stars are hard to beat. You can expect about 5 to 7 brown eggs a week from one of these chickens. They’re known for being very reliable layers, which makes them popular with people who want a lot of eggs.

In terms of their personality, Red Stars are usually calm and friendly. They’re not aggressive and can get along with other animals and people. Because they’re easygoing, they are a good choice for families and for people who are new to raising chickens.

Choosing the right type of chicken for your backyard isn’t always easy, but knowing what each breed offers can help. Whether you’re looking for a lot of eggs, chickens with a friendly nature, or maybe a bit of both, there’s likely a perfect match for you.

9. cinnamon queen

cinnamon queen in nesting box

Cinnamon Queen chickens are another type of hybrid chicken, with a lot of Rhode Island Red in them… but without the attitude problem. They’re quite new compared to other chickens and are mostly found in the United States.

When we talk about laying eggs, Cinnamon Queens are top-notch. You can look forward to about 5 to 6 brown eggs every week from one of these birds. They start laying eggs earlier than many other breeds, usually around 4 to 5 months old, which is a plus.

As for how they act, Cinnamon Queens are usually very calm and friendly. They get along with people and other animals quite well. They’re not hard to take care of and don’t require a lot of special attention. Because they’re so easy to handle, they are often recommended for families or people who are new to raising chickens.

less common brown egg layers

As we’ve discussed, there are many brown egg-laying chickens. Here are even more that you want to research. Many are heritage breeds and are slightly less productive.

  • New Hampshire Red: Similar to Rhode Island Reds but generally calmer.
  • Welsummer: Known for their dark brown, sometimes speckled, eggs.
  • Delaware: A dual-purpose bird, good for both meat and eggs.
  • Buckeye: Developed in Ohio, lays medium to large brown eggs.
  • Dominique: America’s oldest breed, lays brown eggs and has a calm disposition.
  • Jersey Giant: As the name suggests, these are large birds and they lay brown eggs.
  • Brahma: Known as the “King of All Poultry,” lays brown eggs and is quite large.
  • Chantecler: Developed in Canada and well-suited for cold climates.
  • Faverolles: Originating from France, these chickens have a calm temperament and lay brown eggs.
  • Cochin: Known for their fluffy feathers all the way down to their feet, they also lay brown eggs.

From the reliable egg-laying of the Australorp to the unique egg color of the Marans, each chicken breed has something special to offer. Take your time, think about what you want, and you’ll be enjoying those fresh brown eggs before you know it.

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