Isa Browns Chicken Breeds

By patandchickens · Jan 11, 2012 · ·
  1. patandchickens
    [FONT=times new roman,times]ISA Browns
    ...a.k.a. Hubbard ISA Browns, Hubbard Browns... [/FONT]
    [FONT=times new roman,times]...are a line (or breed or whatever you want to call it) of sex-link layers, created by crossing certain Rhode Island Red roosters on certain Rhode Island White hens. I say "certain" because the strain is about 30 years old now and has been strongly selected for egg-laying characteristics the whole time. It was developed by the French company Institut de Selection Animale (hence the "ISA"), later bought out by Merck with the company name changed to Hubbard ISA (hence "Hubbard"), which is now part of Hendrix Genetics. The company produces other types of hybrid layers as well (

    Point being, this is a line (breed, strain, whatever) developed for industrial-agricultural use as a commercial brown layer.
    They are average-sized, chestnut brown (I gather the roosters are white), with a single comb. They excel in the personality department. My 3 were extremely sweet, friendly, calm, and surprisingly intelligent birds. From what I've read, this is quite typical of the breed.
    And as you'd expect, they were amazing egg producers -- many weeks we have got 21 eggs from our 3 chickens, and there was little or no seasonal drop in lay rate, despite being in southern Canada and not using any supplemental lighting. The eggs are large to extra-large and a nice toasty medium brown.


    Unfortunately all three of our ISA Browns succumbed to complications from becoming eggbound and laying internally (a problem that occurs when eggs from the ovary do not go down the reproductive tract but instead get misdirected into the chicken's abdomen where they accumulate, causing discomfort, bloating and eventually death). One died at about 9 months old; another at about a year and a half; and the last one just before turning two years old. I do not know why. It is possible that this is more apt to happen in very high-performance industrial laying strains such as the ISA Brown. They were really great chickens and I miss them a lot.
    [FONT=times new roman,times] [/FONT]
    That's our three year old son Harry having his shoe tasted there, shortly after we got the girls, they were probably about 16-18 wks old. Really pleasant and friendly hens!
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  1. Betsy57
    Are these the same as Cinnamon Queens?
  2. Anna_0909
    It's good to know I'm not the only one with Isa Brown hens :). I've had the same experience as you. They do not like to be hold and petted, but they are very friendly and curious.
  3. sneal79
    I just purchased 3 Isa Browns and they are fitting in very well with the rest of my flock.
  4. GildedCage
    I bought what I was told were Speckled Sussex pullets. From what I see, they look like Isa Browns, or Comets or Sex Links. I don't know the difference. I would like to find a rooster for them. Is there a difference in the breeds I listed? I don't know much about these breeds, only that I love these chickens. They are so sweet.
  5. CayleeMarie03
    Isa browns were one of my first chickens, mine love to be held and they really love there treats!! They'll follow me around when i come out to see them, they are good starter birds and they lay nice sized eggs that are brown.
  6. ScouterJoe
    These were the first I ever owned. Got them from Tractor Supply. Great and huge egg production for two years. Spotty on the third. Unfortunately all three that I had were lost to predation in their third year.
  7. Davlyn
    I just heard a neighbor was given 12. a friend of hers ordered 24 by mistake ( she was having some wine at the time ) So this is the 1st time I heard of the breed/ mix. Last yr was the 1st time I heard of Tetra tints.
  8. Jack Speese
    I think they are bred according to the same principle as the Cinnamon Queens, that is a brown egg-laying sex-linked hybrid produced by crossing a RRR or New Hampshire Red rooster with various silver factor white, silver-laced, or Columbian pattern hens, resulting in cockerel chicks with white down and pullet chicks with rust-colored or buff down, which grow up into white or mostly white roosters and red or mostly red hens like those in the picture, depending on the exact cross used. I have three buff sex-link hens of my own and they look nearly identical to those in the picture, but they are not ISA browns. ISA brown is a proprietary name, the exact parent strains are likewise proprietary, and hatcheries that produce them must have a license to do so. Other hatcheries that produce other red or buff or brown sex links call them by various names such as Golden Comets, Cinnamon Queens, Red Stars. I like my three very much too and they are now going on 4 years old.
  9. Betsy57
    I've had Cinnamon Queens (Cackle Hatchery) and Golden Buffs (Meyer Matchery) before and they did real good for me.
  10. SydneyLorpa
    I got 12 ISA Browns three years ago, after having terrible luck with Australorps. I am down to seven now. During the warm months (N/W Indiana) they lay like crazy, but as winter moves in they slow down. Two of the ladies lay one egg a day regardless of the weather. They go nuts for wild bid seed as a treat. They are smart as chickens go.
  11. Fizzy Daghead
    I’ve only got 3 birds, but one of them is Isa. Isa Brown.
    (That’s the name we’ve given her, as well as it being the breed)

    I’m new to keeping chickens, so didn’t (don’t) really know what to expect from my new friends. Although, I’m learning!

    So, my Isa was the first of my three to lay, and she’s gifted me an egg every day since.
    Gets along well with her coop-mates (Rhode Island, and Sussex Star), and appears to be top of the pecking order in my little flock.

    Really friendly, and she’ll follow me around the garden, searching for food.

    Sorry to hear that you had complications with your Isas becoming egg bound.
    I hope I don’t experience the same problem.

    I’ve read a few articles that suggest adding coconut oil to the birds’ water, maybe once or twice a week, can help to prevent a bird becoming egg-bound.
    Like I’ve said already, I’m new to this, and don’t have any experience, but I’ve been adding the coconut oil as described, and it’s certainly not having any detrimental effect, so worth keeping it up, for me.

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