If you prefer white eggs and are looking for chicken breeds that lay those beautiful, brilliant eggs, there are many breeds to choose from. As a matter of fact, you might even be doing yourself a favor by choosing chicken breeds that lay white eggs, because the “painting” process of eggs requires extra nutrients and energy.
If you have chickens that lay colored eggs, you’ll actually need to buy more food than you would if you raise chickens who simply lay white eggs.
- 6 Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds for Beginners
- Chicken Breeds That Lay Brown Eggs
- 8 Chicken Breeds with Feathers on Their Feet
How Can You Tell What Color Eggs a Chicken Will Lay?
Perhaps you are ready to go to a farmer’s market and pick up laying hens rather than starting from scratch. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell exactly which breed of chicken you’re actually getting as there are so many different breeds and many of them look very similar.
To help determine what color of eggs a particular chicken lays, you’ll want to look at the chicken’s earlobe. Don’t rely on the color of chicken’s feathers to predict egg color. Although this trick is not 100% accurate, scientists have deemed it the surest method of determining the color of eggs a chicken will lay.
Red Earlobes = brown eggs
White Earlobes = Colored and white eggs
5 Breeds of Chickens That Lay White Eggs
Leghorns were imported from Italy to North America in 1828 from the Italian seaport of Livorno. Somehow, the port name got translated to the commonly known chicken breed name, Leghorn. While the original heritage breed has been preserved by a few breeders, the majority are raised by commercial chicken farmers.
These birds are medium-sized standard chickens. They run about 5 ½ pounds for roosters and 4 to 5 pounds for hens.
These are chickens that do well in confinement. They will need adequate protection in the winter as their large comb is prone to frostbite. They do need shade in the hot summer months but they don’t have dense feathering so they tolerate the heat well.
White Leghorns are the most popular color within the breed. However, there are 12 other colors to choose from if you want to go with Leghorns for their outstanding white egg-laying abilities. They are:
- Golden Duckwing
- Silver Duckwing
- Black Mottled
- Red Mottled
These birds tend to be described as nervous, but Leghorn owners have reported that they can also be sweet and tame. They may have a slight tendency toward being ADHD, but that doesn’t preclude them from being friendly and lovable. They have an amazing sense of curiosity and are active and very excitable.
These are very noisy birds. They are not recommended if your coop is close to your house or you have neighbors who may object to you raising chickens. They do well in captivity and are cold hardy.
Your Leghorn hens will lay between 200 and 280 eggs a year. This translates to about 4 eggs per week. The eggs are large and white. They will start large, and increase in size as the chicken ages. They have been reported to be productive layers into their third and fourth year. Egg production will decline after year four.
This is a breed that does not turn broody very easily. They tend to be non-sitters so your best bet if you want to hatch eggs from your flock is to buy an incubator. Their desire to hatch eggs has been bred out through their popularity in the commercial egg farming industry.
Is This the Breed for You?
Because of Leghorn productivity, this breed has been widely abused in the poultry industry. Having them as a loved backyard breed will help give Leghorns a much deserved second chance. Leghorns don’t make great mothers. They are active, vibrant birds that will give you loads of white eggs for the minimum amount of food. They may be a little quirky but they have very few health issues.
2. California White
Second cousin to the Leghorn, The California White is another prolific white egg-laying breed. They were created by combining the White Leghorn with a Grey California rooster. They carry the best traits from both breeds. They get their egg-laying ability from the Leghorns, and more quiet and social nature from the Gray California.
These birds only come in white, as their name suggests. The difference between them and their cousins is that they tend to be larger. They also have slightly larger combs than Leghorns which may make them even more susceptible to frostbite in very cold climates.
These birds may have some black spots on their feathers near the lower back area. They have slightly more dense feathering and have a better ability to fly than Leghorns. You may find these birds perching in trees and on the roofs of buildings.
The range of reports on the personality of these chickens varies. Some find this breed to be aloof and distant. Others find them interactive and social with humans and other breeds of chickens.
California Whites are adaptable to confinement and are good for beginners because they don’t have any health issues and provide lots of eggs. They are not particularly broody so you have to be patient or use an incubator for hatching.
California Whites have been reported to lay more eggs than Leghorns. They can lay up to 300 eggs a year. These girls start with large eggs and end up with jumbo-sized eggs as they mature.
You can expect around 5 eggs a week from California White. You will be very popular with friends and family as just 3 hens will give you over a dozen eggs a week!
Is This the Breed for You?
The California White is a hybrid of the Leghorn and California Gray chicken breeds. It brings the best traits from both birds. The mix has produced a slightly larger bird that is a little calmer than Leghorns, is not as noisy or flighty, but produces more eggs. Like the typical white egg layers, they don’t require a large amount of food. They are great for beginners because of their personalities. They have very few health issues and are abundantly productive layers.
Bred along the east coast of Italy, the Ancona is a stunning breed of chicken that gets its name from the seaport Ancona. This breed was raised for centuries before being exported to the United States in the 1800s. They are one of the most striking breeds of chickens. They are show birds as well as great layers.
The Ancona have striking orange-red eyes and midnight black feathers with white speckles. They have a clean appearance as their feathers are tight to their bodies and they have clean legs and of course white earlobes. Their bright yellow legs and beak are streaked with black.
There are three varieties of Anconas, the traditional that was just described and the Blue and Red. All varieties have the white-speckled feathers.
These birds have been described as breath-taking with their unique blend of black and yellow feathers and fuzzy yellow bellies. They almost give the illusion they are wearing a black cape.
You’ll be actively entertained by the Ancona if you choose to add them to your flock. They are excitable and busy from sunrise to sunset. They do not do well in small confined areas, so you need a coop with a large run to keep them happy.
These are chickens with lots to say so they are quite noisy. They get along well with other breeds. When raised in a good environment, they can develop trust with humans and be quite personable.
They are excellent flyers. You will probably need to become proficient at clipping wings if you decide to raise Ancona. There are many stories of this breed flying out of their pens and ending up in unexpected places.
Ancona chickens are prolific layers of small white eggs. They are so comfortable with cold temperatures that they will lay all winter. They mature very quickly and begin laying at 5 months of age.
You will be getting between 200 and 220 white eggs per hen from your typical Ancona. Don’t expect these ladies to sit around and hatch eggs. Because of their active nature, they don’t tend to go broody. You will need an incubator to hatch their eggs.
Is This the Breed for You?
If you’are looking for an attractive breed of chickens that are prolific layers, consider the Ancona. They are very well suited for free-range and need a large run if you plan to keep them in a coop. They are great flyers so you need an enclosed area or know how to clip wings. These birds do well in very cold climates and will lay all winter. Talkative, energetic, beautiful, and quirky, these are birds that will lay a lot of eggs and keep you entertained.
Yet another breed known for its striking beauty, the Hamburg is a popular breed for shows and exhibitions. This breed was the very first breed in a poultry show in the 1800s.
This came about when a group of men was arguing in an English pub over whose rooster was the most beautiful.
Hamburgs were bred in Holland and have existed since the 14th century. They come in standard and bantam varieties. They are known for being cold hardy and productive layers.
The graceful Hamburg chickens are long birds with compact bodies. Their long sweeping tails and large wings stay neatly tucked. 10 varieties vary in size with the self-colored being the largest and the pencilled forms being the smallest.
Six of the varieties are recognized by the American Poultry Association.
- Golden Pencilled
- Golden Spangles
- Silver Pencilled
- Silver Spangled
Hamburgs are well-known for their beauty and utility. They are active, talkative birds. They are great foragers which make them an economic breed if you allow free-range. This is a breed that doesn’t tolerate confinement well. Large coops are necessary to keep this breed happy.
Another breed of good flyers, Hamburgs love to roost in high places. This makes keeping them confined tricky as you will have to have an enclosed run. They do become bored easily and will take out their frustrations on other chickens.
Because of their wild nature, this is not an ideal chicken to keep as a pet. They are not particularly people-friendly and prefer the company of other chickens. They do look festive in your yard and serve as a great addition to your yard décor.
Maturing very early, Hamburgs will begin laying in 4 to 5 months. They will lay small white eggs and produce 180 or more eggs a year. They are not good as dual purpose chickens because of the gray colored skin this breed has.
These ladies do not like to sit around and hatch eggs, so don’t expect them to go broody. S you will need an incubator to hatch your own chicks.
Is This the Breed for You?
If you are a fan of fancy and free-spirited chickens, you should consider Hamburgs. They are best suited for free-range as they love to forage, fly, and perch in high places. They are an economic bird as they will fend mostly for themselves but still lay 200 small white eggs a year. Don’t expect these birds to be your best friends, but they have great beauty and entertainment value.
5. Blue Andalusian
Just as their name suggests, this chicken breed hails from Andalusia, Spain. Their former name was the Blue Minorca. The breed was developed by crossing black and white chickens that produced a bird with a blue tint to the feathers.
This breed is at a critical level in conservation because breeding the birds to retain their blue coloring is rather tricky. It takes work to keep the color pure.
The distinguishing features of the Andalusian include the bright red wattles and white almond-shaped earlobes. Eyes are reddish and their beaks are tan with a downward curve.
For the standard breed, the plumage should be slate blue with black lacing. You can distinguish the quality of the lineage of your bird by the definition of the coloration. If the hues vary and lacing is not distinct, the chicken is not considered high quality.
Andalusians come in bantam and standard size. Since they come from the Mediterranean, they are not meant for frigid climates, though they have been known to lay all winter. They will need protection to keep their combs from frostbite.
You can expect your Andalusian flock to be curious and friendly. They will show up eagerly for treats, but they don’t like to be handled. They love foraging and ranging and they will not thrive in close confinement.
If kept in confinement, you will notice nervous behavior like feather picking and they will become noisy and flighty. They are good flyers, so if you do keep them in a large run, it will need to be enclosed or you will have to clip wings.
Andalusians will lay about 3 eggs per week or 15- medium to large eggs a year. They lay all through the winter months.
Yet another breed of birds that don’t like to go broody, the Andalusians will not sit on a nest and hatch eggs. They are fast maturing and will lay eggs in 4 to 5 months.
Is This the Breed for You?
If you like exotic birds that are a bit of a challenge, you might want to try out a flock of Blue Andalusians. You will be helping preserve a bird on the endangered list. While they don’t like to be held, these birds will interact with people and be friendly and interactive. They are a bit noisy so they are not a good choice if you have close neighbors. They do best with free-range and are healthy, hearty, and great layers.
If you’re on the hunt for chicken breeds that lay white eggs, and are looking to add to your flock, there’s no doubt that you’ll do well with any one of the breeds listed above. All of them are very easy to raise, are friendly and are prolific egg layers.
If you think you’re ready to get started, you can order baby chicks directly from our partner, Cackle Hatchery. They offer over 200 different breeds of chickens, turkeys, ducks and more. You can check them out right here, or click the banner above.