Brown chicken breeds are some of the best birds you can add on your backyard. Despite adding color, they will lay lots of tasty eggs for breakfast and offer meat for your family.
These chickens will range on your backyard collecting tasty insects, slugs, weeds and seeds. Some calm breeds will make good pets for your kids and you too.
Do you want to know more about brown chicken breeds? In this article, I am going to take you through some of the best brown chickens.
This will help you choose the right brown chicken for you.
Best Brown Chicken Breeds
There are different breeds of brown chickens out there. However, I have decided to take you through some of the best birds you may consider to keep.
Rhode Island Red
At the beginning, this bird was raised as a dual purpose breed but that soon changed and it was bred to lay more eggs.
In a year, the Rhode Island Red hens will lay a clutch of 200-300 eggs. The eggs are large and have brown shells.
These chickens will have either single or pea combs which are deep red just like the wattles. The legs are clean and of a yellow color just like the skin.
Their color plumage is lustrous brown which some may refer to as reddish. They are sweet, gentle and are the type that does not mind being held on your lap or eat from your hand.
The ISA Brown is a modern hybrid chicken that was recently introduced in the poultry world. These industrial birds were developed with the aim of getting many eggs.
They trace their origin in France where they were developed to offer many eggs that were in a high demand. Looking at these birds, you can easily mistake them with the Rhode Island Reds because they almost look identical only they they are smaller.
ISA Brown chickens are light brown in color with white tipped tail feathers. They are small to medium in size with a rectangular body.
These chickens have single combs which are small and of a red color. The wattles and earlobes are red too.
Their legs are clean and free from feathers. Legs and feet are yellow so is the skin color. ISA Brown hens will start to lay early at the age of 16-20 weeks.
In a good year, expect about 300 large eggs which have a brown egg shell color. However, they are not the type that gets broody easily and do not breed true so do not rely on their eggs if you want ISA chicks.
ISA Browns rank low on the pecking order and will be easily bullied by assertive breeds like the Asil chickens.
Buckeye is another brown chicken worth adding on your backyard. They trace their origin in the United States where they were developed by Mrs. Nettie Metcalf.
Her primary aim was to come up with a bird that could withstand the harsh cold weather of the North. Buckeye chickens are extremely hardy and cold tolerant.
These birds are adept foragers and are known to hunt and catch mice and other small vermin. They will need a large area to roam, forage and look for their own meals.
Buckeye chickens have a mahogany plumage, red pea combs, clean yellow legs and skin. They are good winter layers and will lay a clutch of 150-200 large brown eggs in a year.
They get broody easily and are prudent mothers to their chicks. These birds are slow maturing and will reach maturity late than most heritage breeds.
Welsumer is a Dutch breed of chicken. It traces its ancestry in a small village located in the Eastern region of the Netherlands.
This is an old breed that has been in existence for over 100 years. Welsummer was developed after crossing several landrace breeds like Cochin, Wyandotte, Leghorn, Rhode Island Red and the Barnevelder.
These chickens are raised for dual purpose purposes where they are good for both meat and eggs. They are mostly dark brown with a golden brown partridge feather pattern on the neck.
Welsummer chickens will exhibit single combs with five peaks on them. The combs, earlobes and wattles are red in color.
This brown chicken breed is medium in size where the hens weigh about 6lbs and the roosters weigh 7lbs.
These chickens are calm and docile with a friendly demeanor. However, they can be very noisy and are not the best breed to raise on an urban setting.
They do well on free range and tolerate confinement as well. Welsummer hens will lay about 150-180 large eggs in a good year and only take a laying break in winter.
Welsummer chickens eggs have a dark, rich terra cotta brown egg shells and sometimes with dark speckles on them.
The bad side with this brown chicken breed is that it seldom gets broody. If you want those fluffy Welsummer chicks, you better power on your chicken egg incubator.
The Cubalaya chicken is another type of brown chicken worth adding on your backyard. This fancy chicken traces its ancestry in the island country of Cuba.
These chickens were developed after crossing some European and Asian game fowls from Philippines. They are used for eggs, meat and ornamental purposes thus, often referred to as triple purpose chickens.
Cubalaya chickens are said to have “sexy” eyes that are somewhat beautiful and enticing. They are characterized by pea combs which are red so are the wattles and earlobes.
They have long tail feathers especially the roosters. Although the tails are long they are not as long as those of the Onagadori chicken.
Cubalayas are calm, docile and friendly towards humans. Their temperament extends to other chicken breeds too where they will do well when integrated.
They are excellent foragers and will not waste any minute on the backyard but instead look for tasty grubs. Confining them will be a terrible mistake because they will cackle loud making awful noises until they are st free.
In a week, Cubalaya hens will lay 4-5 small cream colored eggs. This translates to about 150-200 eggs in a year. They easily get broody and make sweet mothers.
These chickens are often used to foster the young of other breeds and hatch eggs too. However, they are slow maturing and will take about three years to start laying eggs.
The Rhodebar chicken is an English breed that traces its origin from the United Kingdom. It was developed after crossing the Golden Brussbar cock with Rhode Island Red hens.
These chickens are reddish brown in color with a buff barring. The combs are single and have several marked peaks on them.
Wattles, combs and earlobes are red in color. They have clean legs that have no feathers on them. On each foot, there are four well-spaced toes with short claws on them.
The legs, feet and skin are yellow. In a year, Rhodebar hens will lay 200 large eggs which are tinted. They start to lay when they are 6 months old.
These chickens will seldom get broody and do not have time for baby chicks. However, they are autosex chickens and you can easily tell the gender right after hatching.
Rhodebar chickens are calm, docile and friendly birds. They will allow you to get close to them and take cracked corn or other tasty chicken treats from your hand.
However, Cubalaya roosters can be very aggressive and are not the kind to trust with your kids. They will bully and intimidate calm breeds so have several isolation pens.
The Cornish is another brown chicken worth having in your coop. It is also known as the Indian Game and it originates from England.
These chickens are available in a mixture of colors like brown, blue and iridescent green. They have a sharp look and you would think they are angry or mad at you.
Cornish chickens are large birds no wander they have been used to develop the Cornish cross chickens which are the modern day broilers.
If you are looking for many eggs, this is not the right breed for you. The Cornish hen will lay a clutch of 160 eggs in a year.
Cornish cross chicken eggs are small and have light brown shells. The good thing with these girls is that they will easily get broody and make prudent mothers.
Since they have been bred from game birds, these chickens tend to have an aggressive behavior towards people and other chicken breeds.
They sit at the top of the pecking order and will be calling other hens to order inside the coop. These chickens only do well in hot climates and cannot withstand cold weather.
Cornish chickens will do better when allowed to free range and collect their own protein from your backyard. They are predator savvy and will alert other chickens when possums are stalking on them.
The Brown Leghorn chicken is a strain from the Leghorn chicken breed. This breed of chicken traces their ancestry in the Tuscany region of Italy.
They are a Mediterranean breed that was developed to adapt in the hot climate. It is so evident because they have large single combs with defined peaks, large wattles and earlobes to help loose excess heat.
Their combs and wattles are red while the earlobes are white. They have yellow skin and feet while the eye color is reddish bay.
The legs are clean and free from feathers. On each foot, there are four well-spaced toes with short claws on them.
These chickens are either light brown or dark brown in color. Brown Leghorn chickens prefer to forage and roam on the backyard and do not like to be confined at all.
They are extremely skittish and one of the easily scared chickens I know of. These birds will fly when frightened and fail to return to their coop and roost on tree branches.
Female Brown Leghorn chickens are faithful egg layers and will give you a clutch of 300 eggs in a year. Brown Leghorn chicken eggs are large and have white eggshells.
However these girls do not get broody easily and have devoted most of their time in laying those white eggs for you.
Derbyshire Redcap Chicken
The Derbyshire Redcap chicken breed traces its ancestry origin from the English county of Derbyshire at around the 19th century.
These chickens are not very popular and only a few birds are remaining with a number of dedicated breeders.
Although the exact birds used in the development of this breed have not been recorded, some breeds like Dorking, Black Breasted Red Games and Old English Pheasant Fowls are believed to have played part and contributed their genes.
Derbyshire Redcap chickens do not have the sweet personality if you are looking for chicken pets. Remember that they were bred from game birds and still have a trace of their rowdy genes in them.
The good thing with these chickens is that they are faithful egg layers. Derbyshire Redcap hens will lay 200 eggs in a year.
The eggs are medium in size and have white eggs shells. They will continue laying to old age but will rarely get broody and therefore make bad mothers.
These chickens prefer to free range and collect their own meals. This is good as long as there are no predators to hunt them down for food because they will help lower the cost of feeding them.
Final Thoughts on Brown Chicken
Brown chickens are awesome birds to include in your flock. Some make good pets for you and your kids who are chicken fanciers.
Other breeds are adept foragers and will look for their own meals and treats. This will bring down the cost of feeding them and make raising chickens easier.
Keeping these chickens will enrich your vegetable garden with their nutrient-rich manure. In addition to that, they will help control the number of insect pests by eating them up.
Some breeds are egg machines and will lay lots of eggs. This will give you enough protein and those extra eggs will earn you some cash when sold.
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