Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (2023)

one of the funniestthings about having chickens that lay eggs is having multicolored eggs. you already learnedwhich chickens lay green, olive, pink and blue laying hen breeds.

Next, we'll cover how to add some deep rich golden eggs to your basket.

Although many hens lay light or tan brown eggs, only a few lay dark brown eggs. These eggs add beauty to the egg basket and value at a farmers market.

Which chickens lay dark brown eggs?Five breeds of chickens lay a dark brown or chocolate-colored egg. These breeds are Barnevelder, Maran, Penedesenca, Welsummer, Empordanesa chicken breeds. Pendesenca chickens put the darkest brown color while Welsummer is an easier breed to find.

Barnevelder and Maran hens lay a chocolate-colored egg. Penedesenca and Empordanesa hens lay the darkest brown color of all the brown layers.

Welsummer chickens are unique in that they are dark brown with darker spots.

But brown eggs aren't the only amazing thing about these breeds. Some of them lay a large number of eggs and other breeds function both as meat and chicken eggs.

Plus, find out which breeds are better at foraging and which do better in smaller, more confined spaces.This article will cover which breeds do best in hot and cold climates and which birds are calmer with close neighbors.

The best chicken breeds for dark brown eggs are:

  • barneveld
  • Emporda
  • maran
  • Penedès
  • Welverano

Click to jump to a particular breed:

Barnevelder chickens: beautiful chocolate eggs

Farmers developed Barnevelder chickens some 200 years ago in the village of Barneveld in the Netherlands. At the time, brown eggs were prized. As a result, the locals bred them to lay large, chocolate-colored eggs. They used to put very deep dark chocolate eggs.

Since then they have been bred for their beautiful feathered plumage and the coloring of the eggs has darkened to a dark brown. Eggs can also be seen.

Barnevelders came about as a result of breeding between local Dutch chickens and imported Asian chickens. Possible lineage includes Brahma, Cochin orCroad Langshan.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (1)

Uses of Barnevelder Chicken

Barnevelders are slow to mature and are a dual purpose bird. They will lay about 3 eggs a week. This equates to between 180 and 200 eggs per year. Chickens continue to lay well in cold, wet winters.

Chickens will grow to 2.5 kg (5-6 pounds) and roosters will reach 3 kg (6-7 pounds).

Some chickens are breeders, while others are not, depending on the exact strain.

The eggs are large, dark brown to light brown in color, depending on the strain.

Barnevelder features

Barnevelders are an upright bird that come in a variety of colors. In the old days they were partridges, but this color is believed to be extinct.

Today, they can be found in double-laced silver, double-laced blue, white black, silver blue, and suede. The necks do not have color patterns, but the body has a beautiful triangle tip pattern over the base color.

The original color was dark brown with a light brown arrow pattern. It has a U-shaped back. The wings are high on the bird.

They have a single five-pointed comb, yellow feet, and four toes. They have red beards.

Barnevelders were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1921. They are also recognized by the Entente Europeenne d'Avicultura et de Cuniculture and The Poultry Club of Great Britain.

Barnevelder is a breed of chicken with Dutch heritage. They live between 4 and 7 years, so they are not considered American heritage chickens due to their shorter lifespans.

Caring for your Barnevelder chickens

They are tame and can be teased by other breeds. They are friendly and active birds.

Barnevelders are cleaner chickens and spend a lot of time grooming and taking sand baths.

They do very well in cold, wet climates, but they don't like snow either. They tend to stay indoors instead of venturing out into the snow. They are not very heat resistant.

Barnevelders do well in confinement. They don't fly well because their wings are higher on their body, so they do well in backyards. They are not noisy chickens and even roosters crow only a few times a day.

They are very rare in the United States. They are easy going with kids and chickens make great mothers! They make excellent beginner chickens due to their hardiness, relatively calm nature, and friendliness.

Air conditionedPersonalityTo useSizeEggs/ YearIncubatorby ages
cold and wetactive and friendlyeggs and meatM: 7 pounds

F: 6 pounds

180-200It dependsSim
  • chocolate colored eggs
  • very smooth and active
  • Suitable for backyard.

Empordanese Chicken: Deep Brown Eggs

Take a trip to Spain, just enjoying your own Empordanesa chickens. These Spanish breed hens lay beautiful, very dark eggs.

(Video) Best Chicken Breeds for Dark Brown Eggs

This ancient breed has been around for a long time, cultivated among local Catalina farmers, but the first mention of it was in 1921. Professor M Rossell I Vila called it a patriotic duty to save the local Penedé chickens.

Its publicity helped. The breed began to revive until the Spanish Civil War and World War I almost wiped it out again.

In 1981, a Spanish government program worked with local farmers to revive the few remaining chickens. They were first imported into the US in 2001. Only white Empordanese chickens were imported into the US.

There are three breeds of Catalina chickens: the Empordanesa, thePenedès, and Prat Lleonada, which lays rosy eggs.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (2)

Physical characteristics of two Empordanese Gauls

Empordanesa and Penedesencas are related, but there are clear differences. Some people believe that a black empordanesa is simply called a penedesenca, but this is not true.

There are actually more differences between these close cousins.

Empordanesa chickens have red earlobes instead of the white ones of their cousins. They have a carnation comb, name of the carnation flower shaped comb on the head. It is also called Clavell's crown or comb. It starts out as a single comb and as it progresses towards the nape of the neck several loves are spread out to make it look like a crown.

They have bright yellow legs.

Empordanesa chickens come in many colors, including red, white and fawn varieties.

Empordanes chickens were accepted into the Spanish standard in the mid-20th century. They are a heritage chicken from Spain.

Reasons to raise Empordanesa chickens

The biggest reason to have an Empordanesa chicken is the amazing eggs! Empordà hens lay a rich, dark brown egg. They lay one of the darkest chicken eggs in the world.

Hens lay about 3 extra-large eggs a week, or 130-180 eggs a year. They slow down in winter. This rest gives them a chance to darken their eggs again, as they take on an intense color in the spring.

The eggs will lighten as the laying season progresses.

Dark brown eggs are popular in the market and sell for a higher price in many places.

Roosters grow to 5-6 pounds (2-3 kg) and chickens grow to 4-5 pounds (1.7-2.3 kg).

Mothers are a little forgetful and don't get sad very often. If you want to raise Empordanesa chickens, you will need an incubator.

Taking care of your empordanes chickens

Empordanesa chickens fly very well. They love a lot of space and don't do very well in small spaces.

They must be allowed to live in freedom. They are excellent foragers and will be very profitable as they need very little supplementary food during the warm months.

They are very resistant birds and do very well inhigh temperatures🇧🇷 they need morewinter and cold carewinter because its barbels are large and subject to freezing.

Empordanese chickens have a lower risk of being caught by predators than other chicken breeds. They do a great job of looking out for themselves and running away from danger.

Empordanesa chickens are active, eager and busy chickens. They like to talk, so they are not a great bird for small backyards and close neighbors.

They also like to avoid people. They'll get a little friendly, but they'll never get too attached to their owners.

They are especially rare in the United States.

Air conditionedPersonalityTo useSizeEggs/ YearIncubatorby ages
warmNeutralEggsMETRO: 6,5

F: 5



  • self-sufficient collectors
  • Rich dark brown eggs.
  • extra large eggs

Maran Chickens: French Chocolate Egg Coat

Marans chickens come from Maran, France. The city is a seaport and has seen hundreds of years of trade. As a result, local chickens were bred with foreign fowl, and eventually the Marans emerged.

They were particularly prized for their dark brown eggs.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (3)

Most Popular Reason to Eat a Chicken Maran

Farmers originally bred Maran chickens as a dual-purpose bird because of their excellent table qualities. Also, Marans lay a variety of brown eggs. Some Marans hens lay very dark chocolate eggs.

In France, a hen is not considered Maran unless it lays dark eggs at least 4 on a scale of 1 to 9. The darkness of the eggs varies throughout the summer, becoming progressively lighter until the eggs turn dark. eggs in winter.

In early spring, the eggs will become darker again. This happens in all laying cycles.

The French breaded the Marans for their laying ability and brought them to around 200 eggs a year. In the United States, Marans typically lay only about 3 large brown eggs per week, or up to 150-180 per year, depending on the strain.

(Video) Chickens That Lay Dark Brown Eggs

Marans will take time off in the winter to lay eggs. They are melancholy.

Roosters usually grow to 8 to 8.5 pounds (3.65 kg) and hens grow to 6.5 to 7 pounds (3 kg). Marans are fast growing birds.

Chicken Maran Appearances

Maren chickens have a lot of variety in appearance and coloring. Each country has its own "official" acceptance standard as Marens chicken.

Maran's dark eggs are the main reason they are highly prized. Black Copper Marans can have especially chocolate brown eggs.

But remember that eggs darken when exposed to light. This means that photos of Marans eggs can be easily manipulated.

Marans come in many colors including White, Wheaton and Copper Black. They also come in Birch, Blue, Salmon, Silver Salmon, Silver Cuckoo and Golden Cuckoo. They only have one comb.

Marans live an average of 6 to 8 years, but some marans live 10 to 12 years. Marans were accepted into the American Poultry Standard in 2011, so they are not considered a historic bird in the US.

But they are a bird of French heritage and have been in France for over 200 years!

Caring for your Maren chicken

They are robust and disease resistant chickens.

Marans are calm and gentle birds, so they get along well.backyard chicken, but they like to talk a lot, so they are not ideal for fussy or close neighbors.

They are generally heat resistant. They are excellent foragers and love space very much, but they also do well in confinement.

Marans are generally gentle and calm birds. They don't bully other chickens. They are also clean birds. They keep their perches and bedding clean.

Although they are hardy in the winter, they do not do so well in the heat. They are rare in the United States.

Air conditionedPersonalityTo useSizeEggs/ YearIncubatorby ages
ColdKindlyeggs and meatM: 8 pounds

F: 6.5 pounds

  • lays chocolate eggs
  • cold resistant
  • big fledgling bird

Pollos Penedesenca: Spanish Dark Eggs with Love for Heat

The Penedesenca hen is a beautiful Spanish hen that lays some of the darkest brown eggs in the world.

The eggs are a dark reddish-brown color, also called terracotta.

Sadly, this Catalan chicken nearly became extinct due to the Spanish Civil War and World War II. They are believed to have gone extinct in the early 1980s.

In 1982 Antonio Jorda, a Spanish veterinarian discovered the breed among small local farms. He worked to standardize the breed and revive it. They increased the nearly extinct population to almost 300 birds.

The first Penedesenca chickens were imported into the United States in 2001. They are still a rare bird, even in Spain. But they are gaining popularity due to their rare qualities.

Penedès eEmpordachickens are relatives.

Characteristics of a Gallic Penedesan

Penedesencas are beautiful chickens. There are so many unique things about them, you could say they break the rules!

They are not considered a long-tailed chicken, but they have long-tailed feathers that spread out.

They also have unique combs. Its combs start out as a single comb, and as it recedes it splits into multiple crown-like lobes. This type of comb is called a clove comb, kings comb or Clavell comb.

Cockscombs stand upright, but chickens combs can lie on their side, like a flower tucked into an ear.

Penedesencas also have white earlobes but do not lay white eggs. They are the only breed of white lobed chickens that do not.

They have bare blue feet and four toes. Its body sports an erect body with a long and curved back. His eyes are black. They have big red ducks hanging from them.

Penedesenca chickens were admitted to the Spanish Standard in 1946 in the black variety. They are not accepted as a breed by the American Poultry Association. There are several colors: wheat, partridge and crele also accepted in the Spanish standard. The black variety is a dual-purpose bird called the Gall del Penedés. Wheat and grouse lay the darkest eggs overall.

They live six years.

Reasons to have Penedesenca chickens

The most popular reason why people love Penedesenca chickens is for their beautiful dark brown eggs. But, that's not the only reason why they are created. They are also loved for their good table meat.

In Spain, a Penedesenca rooster is worth $50 on the market!


Roosters will grow to about 5 to 6.5 pounds (2.3 to 3 kg). Chickens grow to 3.7-5 pounds (1.7-2.3 kg).

Hens lay 3-4 medium dark brown eggs per week. That's about 140-160 eggs a year. They stop laying in the winter, but when they start laying again in the spring, the eggs are very dark. As the summer progresses, the eggs will whiten.

Mothers are generally not melancholy.

Take care of your Penedesenca chickens

Penedesenca chickens are very active and need a lot of space. They are wonderful foragers. They will find most of their food by foraging and will generally only need additional food during the winter months.

They don't do very well in the cold, but excel in the heat. They are possibly the most heat resistant of all chicken breeds.

Penedesenca chickens are very intelligent with predators. They are not as likely to be caught by a hawk or other predator. This could be because they are always wary of danger.

Even if you have treats they act like you want to hurt them. They almost always avoid human contact, but they can become softer with regular contact from an early age. They rarely become very tame.

Penedesencas do not tolerate confinement.

They are very rare in the US, but there are some breeders that sell the breed.

Air conditionedPersonalityTo useSizeEggs/ YearIncubatorby ages
warmactive, distanteggs and meatM: 6.5 pounds

F: 5 pounds

  • Extremely heat resistant.
  • dual purpose bird
  • extremely dark eggs

Welsummer chickens: beautiful speckled brown eggs

You may not recognize the Welsummer breed of chickens, but you will recognize the most famous Welsummer, Cornelius the Kellogg Rooster.

It is one of the most useful yet underutilized chicken breeds in the world. One reason for this could be that Welsummer chickens are new to the poultry world.

They were bred in Holland, in the Dutch city of Welsum, at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1921 they made their debut at the World Poultry Congress in The Hague, where they were instantly appreciated and loved.

Welsummers were bred as dual purpose dark brown laying hens. They were bred from local varieties called landrace and have some of the same ancestors asbarneveldchickens

did you know

Welsummers is a chicken loved by the English. Prince Charles kept a herd for many years.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (4)

Characteristics of Welsummer chickens

Welsummer chickens feature beautiful shades of red and black. Chickens and roosters are different colors which makes them sexable as chicks.

They have broad shoulders and a full chest. Its tail is long and full. They have a single five-pointed comb.

Its feet and legs are free of feathers and have four toes.

Chickens have beautiful dark brown to golden tones. The tail starts off a dark reddish brown and moves to a red partridge pattern on the body, with the neck becoming more golden.

Feathers have a light brown pattern.

Roosters are brown in coloration with an iridescent green undercoat.

It's easy to autosex them. Girls have a distinct darker pattern and a darker head. Males broke fuzzy patterns.

Dutch and British standards accepted Welsummers in 1930.

They were accepted into the APA in 1991. Red Partridge is the official color of the American Poultry Association. It is sometimes called the red-breasted black. Unofficial colors include Gold Duckwing and Silver Duckwing.

Reasons to own Welsummer chickens

There are many reasons to own the chicken nominated for the British "Best Utility Breed" award. Welsummers are a large meat bird and grow to a decent size. Even more amazing, their dark brown eggs are speckled and charming.

Roosters grow to 6-7 pounds (2.7-3.2 kg) while hens grow to 4.5-5.5 pounds (2-2.5 kg).

Welsummer hens lay between 160 and 200 eggs per year. The main feature is that the eggs are very dark mottled brown in color and large in size.

In fact, the terracotta color is so dark that it can fade when you clean it if you're not careful. Hens lay fewer eggs in the winter, but do so for 3 years before production declines.

Hens are not good mothers and rarely brood.

(Video) Top 5 *BEST* Egg laying Chicken Breeds!

Caring for your Welsummer chickens

Welsummer chickens are easy to care for because they are very durable. They do well in confinement and are intelligent chickens.

They will be stable and not intimidated, but not aggressive towards other birds either. They usually end up in the middle or at the top of the hierarchy.

Although they adapt well to smaller spaces, they are noisy, so they may not be the best option for those with close neighbors. They don't fly well, and they don't escape backyards either.

Welsummers are great foragers.

They are quite friendly but will never become a lap hen.

They are heat resistant, but not so cold. Their beards are subject to frostbite and need winter care.

Welsummers are docile, active and friendly. They are a big family of chickens. They are very rare in the US but very popular in the UK and Australia.

Air conditionedPersonalityTo useSizeEggs/ YearIncubatorby ages


meat and eggsM: 7 pounds

F: 5.5 pounds

  • Dark brown speckled eggs
  • dual purpose chicken
  • active and friendly
Top 5 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Brown Eggs | The best farm animals (5)


To make choosing a rare dark laying hen easier, I've gathered many of the things people search for so you can quickly see which breed is best for you. Find the birds best suited to your climate and go from there. Keep in mind that you can often take a heat-tolerant chicken into cooler weather if you take the extra care needed to provide dry, draft-free shelter and protect it.of freezing.

Likewise, a cold-tolerant hen will generally do well in the heat if given shade and plenty of water to keep her cool.



Eggsforagenovatoinner courtyard
barneveldxxxx7 pounds180xSimSim
Empordaxx6.5 pounds160xyes-strong
maranxxxx8 pounds150xSimSim
Penedèsxxx6.5 pounds140xyes-strong
Welveranoxxxx7 pounds160xSim

It doesn't matter whether you live in the cold parts of North America or the warm Mediterranean, have a backyard or a farm, whether you are a novice or an expert.chicken farmer, there is a perfect brown egg layer for you.

You may have noticed that all those dark brown colorslaying henThe breeds are quite rare in the United States. They can be bought from hatcheries and ordered, but you probably won't find them at your local feed store or hatcheries.

Next, let's talk aboutordinary layers of brown eggs🇧🇷 They don't lay eggs as dark as the five breeds in this article, but they do lay brown eggs and many of these breeds are easy to find anywhere in the world.

If you're ready to add a few layers of brown eggs to your flock, check out Part 3 of our series.

Featured image credit:sammydavisperroFlickr

Annemaria Duran

Hello, I'm Annemaria Durán. I moved to the countryside 6 years ago, mainly so I could have more land. I love all aspects of country life. First we catch chickens, then ducks. Now we have sheep, goats and rabbits. I'm always learning and I love sharing!

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