Day Old ISA Brown Baby Chicks
Can also be found as part of the Happy Homestead Special
The ISA Brown Chicken is the epitome of a high production laying chicken. They are also very docile, easy-going, and adaptable birds, fitting in with backyard or small farm situations as well in battery-styled high production houses. ISA Browns are hybrids that are believed to be the result of crossing special strains of mostly Rhode Island White and Rhode Island Red chickens. They are attractive birds; medium-sized, with a stocky appearance very similar to a Rhode Island Red.
ISA Brown hens can be bred with any rooster to produce offspring, but the offspring are not considered ISA Browns. The name, ISA Brown, is trademarked to the "Institut de Sélection Animale" and breeders would have to be officially licensed to sell ISA Brown Chickens. The offspring from these more random breedings will still be good layers and will also probably still retain the gentle temperament. Their appearance will depend heavily on the parent rooster.
Production: ISA Brown Chickens are one of the leading types of hen used for commercial laying operations, and as such, they do lay a very large number of eggs, up to 285 per year, although 300 per year is not unheard of. With these hens, there is also not a very dramatic drop in production in the fall due to waning daylight hours. They produce very large brown eggs. ISA Browns have a definitive period of productive laying and are not long-lived in general. Cockerels can be quite meaty, and the white feathering provides a clean-dressed roasting bird.
Temperament: ISA Brown Chickens were bred not only for production but also for their very mellow temperament. They are friendly and calm with humans and do well in almost all farm environments.
History: The ISA Brown hybrid was originally developed for industrial-agricultural use as a brown egg-laying commercial layer by a French company called Institut de Selection Animale (thus ISA) in 1978. In 1997, ISA merged with Merck & Co., forming Hubbard ISA, so that is why this hybrid is sometimes referred to as Hubbard Isa Browns. In 2005, the project became a part of the multi-species breeding company, Hendrix Genetics, which produces other hybrid layers along with their ISA Browns.
APA Class: Not recognized; hybrid.
Color Description: ISA Brown Chickens are sex-linked, meaning that males and females are colored differently from hatching age. ISA Brown hens are a brownish-red color, and roosters are white.
Conservation Status: Not applicable.
Weight: Cockerel 4 lbs, Pullet 3.5 lbs.