ISA Brown hybrid, cross between Rhode Island Red (female) and Rhode Island White (male) Created by alexg
Breed Information, Comments, and Experience with breed:
The ISA Brown is a hybrid type of Sex Link chicken, which is the result of crossing Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites. The ISA Brown is a hybrid, not a true breed. It is known for its high egg production of approximately 300 eggs per hen in the first year. The Institut de Sélection Animale, a French firm, the company which originally developed the breed in 1978 for egg production as a battery hen. The ISA Browns are a hybrid brown egg layers. They are easy to raise and prolific producers of large richly colored brown eggs of excellent shell quality. They are quiet and friendly and easily trained to lay in their nests. They tend to settle for an early in the day lay. We pick our eggs by 10AM. At birth you can tell the sex by the color... white chicks are males, tan chicks are females. If you are looking for a timid, well behaved, quiet hen around children and a good layer the ISA Brown Hen is the hen for you. These hens are very affectionate, loving birds... we call them our "Ladies". They are very loyal layers of beautiful peach to brown eggs. We have 15 ladies and are blessed with 13 to 15 eggs daily. As soon as my 6 year old grandson or I sit in the yard they have to hop onto our laps and arms of the chairs, at times we may have five or six hens on our laps at one time. They are sweeties. We are going into their second fall/winter season. I have made some changes to their secure outdoor area, I put a sloped roof on to eliminate the earth in the outdoor area from getting saturated from rain and snow and thereby eliminating muddy eggs, from muddy feet, puddles which could cause a fungus on their feet, and smelly ground. Some rain still gets in but just a little. I wanted to paint prior to fall but the time just got away from me. Well is't cold outside and inside the coop too. I have a "Flat Panel Coop Heater" which I purchased from shop the coop.com. This is the second winter I am using it and the heater usually can take the edge off the cold air in the coop with the door closed. Shop the coop.com is a great site for so many things with great people and very good advice. Some of my ladies are still molting slitely... they do get funny looking during this period of time. We are just into the winter and I can't wait for warm weather again. We are still getting between 10 and 14 eggs each a every day, they are such good layers. I do supplement day lite for them... I have a timer which turns on a 40 watt bulb in their coop at 4:30am and off at 7:30am and again turns on at 4:30pm and off at 7:30 pm. This gives the ladies 15 hours of lite a day. We open their coop exit door in the morning everyday so they can get out and scratch in the outdoor secure area. They then go back in as soon as it turns dusk and settle in for the nite. Their exit door gets closed in the winter at night but not in the warm spring, summer or warm fall. Some of the ladies like to perch outdoors till it gets very dark in the warm months especially if someone is outdoors. They are a nosey bunch and are very social. Here in the Chicagoland area we have a feed store called "Feed Store"... (708) 458-1327 5400 S Harlem Ave · Summit Argo, IL. It's a very tiny place, old fashioned, but great. In the spring you can purchase chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons, and all kinds of birds and their feed and accessories. In the Spring they carry ISA Brown female chicks which can be easily sex identified by their color. They are very reasonable in price. Don't ask me why??? but I do enjoy the smaller mom & pop places rather than the huge mega stores. The smaller places actually have people employed that are knowledgable in the subject and can think outside the box, unlike the mega stores that are scripted. Enjoy your birds! ***UPDATE** Today is Nov 16th 2010 about 3 months ago we introduced six new laying hens that were 4 months old to our existing ISA Brown flock of (16) two and a half year old birds. the object of this introduction was to supplement our old laying flock to get more eggs per day. little did we know that we were introducing avian leukosis virus, which is a type of cancer in hens. within two weeks one of the new birds died... then one of our mature hens died, then another, then another. from a flock of 22 we are left with 12 currently and destroying all their eggs daily. we took a dead hen and a sick hen to the vet and the vet sent the two dead birds to the university of ill urbana for necropsy. during this necropsy it was discovered that our mature birds were dying because of this avian leukosis virus. this death is somewhat slow and terrible and i am having my 12 remaing hens humanely destroyed. this is really taking a toll on our emotions as these hens are our pets and they have supplied us with wonderful memories and delic eggs. we have found someone who is willing to put them all down for us but i am researching if the virus can be picked up by the man and introduced into his own flock??? i called the u of i at urbana and a doctor is getting back to us. we are going to start all over in the spring with a brand new flock... please wish us luck. thank you. ***updated 3-22-2011*** we are starting a new flock... ordered Ameraucana, Australorps, Dominiques, Jersey Giants, and ISA Browns for delivery between april 10th and may 10th. i might even purchase a few ducks for duck eggs (will have to do a little research). can't wait for the babies to arrive. 5-13-2011 Just picked up baby chicks from Tri County Stockdate in Joliet, IL. I think I have 1 dark aracona (the easter egg chicken), 2 reds and three tiny yellow feathered friends. Then I drove over to The Feed Store in Summit Illinois, there I purchased 2 lite aracona, 1 dark aracona and 3 barred rocks, all ladies (I HOPE). I would have loved to get Wyandottes but they were a straight run and I can't have any roosters where I live. Not that I would mind being awakened by a cock a doodle do but my neighbors can be stuffy. We are getting a few ducklings to live with the chickens but The Feed Store can's let the little ones go to homes for about 1 to 1 1/2 more weeks. The babies are in a very large rubber box right now... in the laundry room. I hope to get them into the coop, under a heat lamp in about a week or two at the most. Wish me luck!