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11 Best Laying Hens for North Carolina  

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Anyone that lives in North Carolina is aware of the moderate temperatures the state enjoys throughout the year.

During January, the coldest month of the year, the average low temperature is 24°F, while in July, the average high temperature is 89°F.  

North Carolina experiences all four seasons each year, so it is important to find chicken breeds that do well in all seasons, not just some.

Luckily, since North Carolina experiences such a moderate climate year-round, there are several chicken breeds that are ideal for residents of the state.  

Here are 11 of the best egg laying chicken breeds for North Carolina.  

1. Rhode Island Red  

Rhode Island Red hen foraging on grass fields

Rhode Island Red chickens are an American breed that thrives in North Carolina.

Rhode Island Reds are a hardy chicken breed that can withstand hot or cold temperatures and do extremely well in moderate climates.

The hens are great egg layers, producing up to 280 gorgeous large brown eggs annually. Many hens will go broody but not all

Hens of this breed can weigh up to 6.5 pounds when they reach adulthood. Their size, hardiness, and laying habits make the Rhode Island Red ideal for backyard chicken owners in North Carolina. 

2. White Leghorn 

White leghorn chicken on white background

White Leghorn chickens are some of the best laying hens for North Carolina.

They are excellent egg layers, laying up to 300 large white eggs each year.

They are also great foragers and excel as free-range chickens.

White Leghorns are hardy birds that can survive in both cold and hot environments. They thrive in North Carolina’s climate, and they make great additions to all chicken farms in the state.  

These laying hens can weigh up to 4.5 pounds as adults and they do shy away from egg sitting.

White Leghorns are a perfect choice for North Carolinians thanks to the breed’s hardiness, laying capabilities, and foraging qualities.  

3. ISA Brown 

Little boy holding and cuddling ISA brown chicken

ISA Brown chickens, also called Red Stars or Golden Comets, are some of the best egg layers in the world. They do well in cold and warm temperatures, so North Carolina’s steady temperatures are perfect for them.

ISA Brown chickens are a hybrid breed between a Rhode Island Red and a white Leghorn chicken. They were designed specifically to be prolific egg producers, and they can lay up to 320 large brown eggs annually, by far the highest on this list.

ISA Brown laying hens are a fantastic option for all North Carolinians looking for some prolific egg laying hens. These chickens will outproduce and likely outlive many laying hens of other breeds. 

4. Australorp  

Herd of Australorp chickens roaming in the garden

Australorps are great laying hens for North Carolina and can lay up to 280 brown eggs annually. 

Breeders derived these chickens from the Orpington breed, and it originated in Australia, hence the name Australorp.  

Australorp hens can weigh around 6 to 8 pounds as adults, and they are able to handle extreme weather conditions. Since North Carolina has such moderate weather, Australorps can really thrive there.  

Australorps are docile birds and thanks to their hardiness, they make excellent laying hens for North Carolina. They would be an excellent choice for any small chicken operation in the state.  

5. Speckled Sussex 

Speckled Sussex chicken hen walking across deck

Another great laying hen for North Carolina is the Speckled Sussex chicken. This breed features large chickens, with hens weighing up to 7 pounds when fully grown.  

Not only are these chickens gorgeous with their speckled feathers, but they also lay up to 240 large light brown eggs each year. Speckled Sussex birds are hardy and seem to enjoy living in the North Carolina climate.

Speckled Sussex hens make ideal additions to most backyard chicken coops in North Carolina.  

6. Plymouth Rock  

Free ranging plymouth rock chicken in farmyard

A staple laying hen breed for backyard chicken farms in North Carolina is the Plymouth Rock.

Plymouth Rock chickens can withstand both hot and cold climates, so they enjoy the comfort of North Carolina’s moderate weather.  

Plymouth Rock chickens are excellent layers and can produce a whopping 280 large brown eggs annually if conditions are right. They are also rather large chickens, weighing up to 7.5 pounds when fully grown.  

These chickens are not only great layers, but they also have an appealing black and white barring pattern in their feathers that almost makes them appear checkered.   

7. Orpingtons 

Buff Orpington chicken standing in the backyard farm

Orpington chickens are also perfect laying hens for chicken farms in North Carolina. These hens can lay up to 280 medium-sized brown eggs every year and they are often willing to sit on their own eggs.

Orpington chickens can come in a variety of colors including golden, white, brown, lavender, and more.

They can weigh up to 8 pounds when fully matured, and they are hardy birds, which makes them an ideal option for North Carolinians.  

These chickens are friendly, easy to care for, and are quality laying hens for all backyard chicken coops in North Carolina.  

8. Black-Laced Golden Wyandotte 

A golden laced Wyandotte chicken walking on grass

Black-Laced Golden Wyandottes are another solid option for North Carolinians.

Black-Laced Golden Wyandotte are a hardy, dual-purpose breed that not only survives but also thrives in North Carolina’s mild climate. They are solid producers, laying up to 260 brown eggs annually.

Black-Laced Golden Wyandottes have golden feathers tipped in black which creates their striking laced appearance.  

These chickens are friendly, hardy, and can weigh around 6 pounds as adults, but they are not typically broody.  

9. New Hampshire Red 

A Young New Hampshire Red hen nibbling on a Palo Brea Tree

If you enjoy raising red-feathered chickens, the New Hampshire Red is another breed that produces excellent laying hens for North Carolina chicken coops.

These birds are tough and can withstand extreme temperatures, which makes the state’s calm temperatures a dream for them. 

These chickens are fantastic layers, producing up to 280 large brown eggs and they are sometimes broody. New Hampshire Red chickens are docile and can weigh up to 6.5 pounds when fully grown.  

This breed originated in 1925 and breeders derived it from the Rhode Island Red chicken breed.

New Hampshire Red hens are just as good of an option for North Carolina as Rhode Island Red hens.  

10. Black Jersey Giants 

Black Chicken of Jersey Giant Breed on wooden floor

The Black Jersey Giants are some of the best laying hens for North Carolina. They can weigh up to 10 pounds as adults, hence the ‘giant’ in their name, and they can lay up to 260 brown eggs every year.  

Black Jersey Giants are gorgeous, with their black feathers that feature a green sheen in the right light.

They are popular, partially for their size, but also for their ability to continue laying eggs even in the winter months.  

Thanks to their large size, these birds are hardy, and they enjoy the moderate weather that North Carolinians experience each year.  

11. Ameraucanas 

An Ameraucana hen chicken on green grass

Ameraucanas are another great laying hen option for North Carolina. These hens only reach up to 5.5 pounds as adults and despite their small size, they are very hardy birds that thrive in the state’s environment.  

Ameraucanas can lay up to 200 pale blue to pale green eggs each year and their unique egg color makes them rather popular.

These birds come in a variety of colors, mainly thanks to the fact that they are a hybrid breed.

Ameraucanas tend to be non-broody, and they are a little flighty, but if you want a tough bird that lays colored eggs and thrives in North Carolina, this is the right breed for you.  

Final Thoughts 

North Carolina has an excellent climate, without any extremely low or high temperatures despite experiencing all four seasons each year. This is great news for backyard chicken coops in the state that are looking to add some quality laying hens.

Now, you should be aware of which chicken breeds make the best layers for North Carolina, just narrow it down, or you’ll end up needing a bigger chicken coop!  


This article was crafted using my own experience raising chickens in North Carolina and the following resources. 

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