Chickens with brown plumage are among the most popular breeds known around the world. However, they are valued more than their colors. Brown chickens are famous for their meat and their egg-laying ability. Poultry owners most probably have their brown chicken favorites in their coops. Here are the top 9 brown chicken breeds you can choose from.
This article will cover
- ISA Brown Chickens
- Rhode Island Red Chicken
- Buckeye Chicken
- Golden Comet Chicken
- New Hampshire Chicken
- Lohmann Brown Chicken
- Buff Brahma Chicken
- Naked Neck Chicken
- Easter Egger Chicken
1. ISA Brown Chickens
|Egg production per year||Around 300|
|Chicken skin color||Brown|
|Life span||2-3 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||5-7 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||7-8 lbs|
These birds are famous for their brown egg production. It has a reputation for being the world’s best brown-laying hen. Their hens have been a crowd favorite, especially for the poultry world, because of their egg-laying ability.
hese birds can lay around 300 eggs annually! It may be time to get the egg baskets running and about. If your family enjoys gathering eggs, then it would be a fun collecting time for your family.
ISA Browns are leaning toward the smaller size but are considered average-sized chickens. Their feathers are brown and shiny. Some features stand out because of the bright red that adorns their head. In bright red and exuding power are their wattles, single comb, and earlobes. On the other hand, their legs are yellowish. The beaks could be short and stout, but these conventions highlight their strong beaks.
ISA Browns are also very friendly and enjoy interactions with their human families. They are also relatively quiet birds. Thus, these birds can be good pets even for kids. These birds are very easy to raise as they are low maintenance and can adapt to most types of environments. Aside from being strong at the egg-laying game, these bad girls and boys are also challenging.
Their rugged personality allows them to win over their enemies, and by that, it’s the predators. Their toughness does not mean you can be lenient with your care as well. Chickens still require their owner’s help in protecting themselves. Learn more about ISA Browns.
2. Rhode Island Red Chicken
|Egg Production per Year||250|
|Life Span||5-8 years|
|Adult Weight (Hen)||6.5 lbs|
|Adult Weight (Rooster)||8.5 lbs|
These birds are another backyard favorite! They are very easy to get along with and are very adaptable. In the 1800s, these chickens were developed at Little Compton, Rhode Island. Rhode Island Red Chicken can tolerate both the cold, the rain and the sun, but may struggle with intense heat.
The happiness and energy they have do not decrease because of the weather. It’s safe to say that they are not picky and cranky. This makes them the calm creatures you want to have in your backyard.
These chickens have so much energy in them. They are tough and hardy, but their hearts are very soft. Indeed, they are one of the friendliest chickens you can have around. Their sweet nature and energy surely add up to the sunny days in your day.
Rhode Island Red Chickens enjoy your company and will even let you pet them. In conclusion, this breed is a bunch of all-rounder chickens. From being producers, helpers, and companions, they never disappoint. Learn more about Rhode Island Red Chicken.
3. Buckeye Chicken
|Comb type||Pea comb|
|Life span||8-10 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||4.5-6 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||7-9 lbs|
The Buckeye Chicken is the only breed developed by a woman. This remarkable lady is known as Mrs. Nettie Metcalf, residing in Ohio, United States. This species was named after Ohio’s nickname, which is the buckeye.
Buckeye chicken was developed by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buff Cochins, and some black-breasted red game. Her main goal was to create a breed that could survive and thrive in the cold temperatures of the Midwest. Thankfully and amazingly, she achieved what she was aiming for. Thus, the buckeye chicken.
Buckeye chickens have deep mahogany-colored feathers, and their skin, pea combs, and legs are yellow. It’s a nice contrast between colors. Their genes allow them to like and lean on free-ranging and to forage a lot.
So, it would be beneficial to let them have their way and provide them with enough space in the backyard. While they can tolerate confinement given enough space, they perform better when given enough space, preferably grass.
These birds are fearless. When approached by humans, they are the type to run toward you, unlike most birds’ normal reaction, which is to run away. These chickens are fierce but gentle at the same time. Mice don’t dare cross the birds’ territory as they are known as mouse hunters. This highlights their vigor and their ability to be alert in dangerous situations. Learn more about Buckeye Chicken.
4. Golden Comet Chicken
|Egg production per year||280-330|
|Chicken skin color||Brown|
|Life span||4-5 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||4-5 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||6-7 lbs|
Golden comet chickens are delightful hybrid chickens, primarily with brown feathers, punctuated by a fair distribution of white streaks. These chickens were developed for egg production as the main reason.
While it was initially developed for the commercial world, these birds have slowly and successfully transitioned to smaller spaces like backyards and farms. The popularity of this chicken skyrocketed. Now, this bird may be the most widely kept hybrid chicken all over the world.
These lovely chickens are one of the best egg layers out there. A single hen can lay a range of 5 to 6 eggs per week. That’s about 330 eggs per year! Their peak laying years start from their 18th month up until their 2nd year.
Once they finish their peak years, egg production is expected to decrease. Despite their egg-producing pace, these chickens are not so much of a brooder. So if you prefer having chicks at the moment, you should look for broody brown chickens and those that are sure to hatch eggs anytime soon.
Golden comets are extremely friendly. These birds are the sweetest and the gentlest. If you are new to the poultry world, these chickens are fit for you as you start. These chickens love interacting with their human friends!
And honestly, they are one of the cutest out there. These birds are perfect as friends and companions, especially to children. Indeed, they outdo their initial purpose and become good friends with the people around them. Learn more about Golden Comet Chicken.
5. New Hampshire Chicken
|Chicken skin color||Brown|
|Life span||5-8 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||5-6.5 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||7-8.5 lbs|
As one can get from its name, this red-brown or chestnut feathered chicken originated in New Hampshire. These birds are relatively one of the oldest existing breeds and were developed by someone referred to as Red Richardson.
These versatile birds can be the egg layer, the friend, and the meat bird you want. They are adaptable and can thrive in different climates and temperatures as well.
These birds are pretty underrated and often compared to the more popular Rhode Island Red. They may be underrated, but in reality, these are very valuable birds. These birds are an excellent breed for starters as they have nice genes, are healthy, strong, and neither lazy nor too flighty.
When owners prefer chicks over eggs at the moment, these birds are good choices too. They are moderately broody and would make a good mom for chicks. If you would want to experience and have a bunch of chicks in your yard at the moment, then these birds are for you.
There are other variations for the New Hampshire breed known as the blue-tailed and the New Hampshire White. Blue-tailed was developed in Holland and is considered one of the rare variations and chicken types. On the other hand, the New Hampshire White chicken is rare because it’s relatively challenging to find partners to mate with them. Learn more about New Hampshire Chicken.
6. Lohmann Brown Chicken
|Chicken skin color||Brown|
|Life span||4-6 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||4.5-5.5 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||6-7 lbs|
The Lohmann Brown breed is famous for its egg-laying capabilities. These birds are from the lines of species like Rhode Island red and White Rock. These birds are of beautiful caramel and brown shade. Although they do not look that fancy, they still give off an energetic power because of their fluffy but strong-looking feathers.
They are one of the farmer’s favorites and are often labeled as the best backyard chickens. Unlike other pioneering and outstanding egg layers, Lohmann Browns are docile and friendly. If you have children in your home, these birds are potential good friends for them. Aside from the excellent company they offer, these chickens are also very hardy.
They provide a substantial amount of eggs. They start younger than typical egg-laying breeds. Lohmann Browns start during their 14th week and so on. They can lay up to 300 eggs per year.
These birds are excellent layers that can be a perfect addition to your flock, especially if you are looking for a good egg layer. Not only that, these chickens are very easy to handle, so it is also recommended for newbies in the field.
7. Buff Brahma Chickens
|Egg Production per Year||150-280|
|Adult Weight – Hen||7-8 pounds|
|Adult Weight – Rooster||9-12 pounds|
Buff Brahmas are one of the giant breeds in the industry. Having the word ‘buff’ in their name is a giveaway of how they are supposed to look. Their size can only be rivaled by Jersey Giants. These birds are labeled as the king of chickens! The color of their feathers is very attractive and well-formed and patterned. This makes them very eye-catching as they walk among your flock.
These birds are docile and friendly, so they get along well with your family and even children. They are very easy to handle. Thus, they are one of the favorites when it comes to showrooms and exhibitions. It is only in recent times that these birds became popular as backyard chickens too.
These gentle giants are good with children and are good companions. They are one of the children’s favorites when it comes to cuddling. They may be intimidating at first, considering their size, but their size equates to the size of their hearts. Being one of the giant breeds out there, they can steal the crowd’s eyes.
Buff Brahmas are cold-hardy and can thrive and adjust better in colder temperatures. So, if you live in a place with cooler temperatures like the northern states, Buff Brahmas can be chicken to add to your flock. Learn more about Buff Brahma Chicken.
8. Naked Neck Chickens
|Egg Production per Year||100-120|
|Comb Type||Naked (No comb)|
|Cost of Chicken||$4 per chick|
|Chicken Skin Color||Brown|
|Life Span||5-8 years|
|Adult Weight (Hen)||4-6 lbs|
|Adult Weight (Rooster)||6-9 lbs|
Naked neck chickens can be one of the most unforgettable chickens once you meet them. Their distinct appearance is very hard to forget as they exude a unique and memorable aura around them. These chickens are often mistaken as turkeys because of their necks being bare and naked.
Their necks seem extra long because of the plain surface and the breed’s built to make it seem longer. However, do not misunderstand. They are indeed chickens! Their necks are one of their assets as they set them apart from other breeds. In their case, it sets them apart from the rest of the different breeds.
These birds are relatively easy to contain. You won’t have trouble trying to keep them inside their spaces because they have difficulty flying. In short, the best they can do is run away as fast as they can if threatened. Thus, it is essential to make sure their space is safe from predators.
Their neck may steal the show, and people can overlook more of their many good qualities. There are more to these birds than their unique neck. People can be awkward around them at first, unsure of how they will react. However, these lovely creatures are, in fact, friendly. They are very cuddly too!
Naked Necks are hardy chickens and can tolerate warmer temperatures. In cases of colder temperatures, their tolerance can vary depending on their comb size and strain. These birds are commonly raised for their unique looks, eggs, and meat.
The estimated amount of eggs per week is 3. However, aside from these common reasons, as mentioned above, they are good pets too. In conclusion, these birds provide you with a new and fresh look, friends as well as produce. It’s safe to say that this bird is all in one! Learn more about Naked Neck Chicken.
9. Easter Egger Chicken
|Egg size||Medium to Large|
|Egg production per year||Around 200 to 280|
|Chicken skin color||Yellow|
|Life span||6-8 years|
|Adult weight (hen)||4-6 lbs|
|Adult weight (rooster)||5-8 lbs|
Easter egger chickens are a hybrid breed of chicken derived from a cross between two purebred chicken breeds. The major bird used in the creation of the Easter Egger is the Araucanas, which lay an unusually colored egg in varying shades of blue and green.
The feathers of an Easter Egger exhibit a range of warm tones, from light to dark brown. While the exact coloration and patterns depend on their inherited genetics, they often feature subtle feather lacing or barring that adds to their visual appeal. Their combs also vary as they can have any type – but most possess single ones while others might display pea combs.
Highly resilient to different climates, this hybrid has proven to successfully breed with ease in small backyards. Known for their hardiness and adaptability, Easter Eggers can tolerate both hot and cold climates easily. This makes them a suitable chicken breed for many different regions. Read more about Easter Eggers.
Selecting the right brown chickens for your backyard can sound as easy as one, two, and three, but in reality, it’s more challenging than it sounds. Assessment and weighing things out also come with the process.
Thus, it becomes more complicated as more concepts and considerations appear. Narrowing it down is one step, and you’re one step closer by reading the top 9 brown chicken breeds.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.