What's The Best Feed For Isa Browns?

Hybrid Isa Brown, Hyline Brown and Lohmann Brown chickens have high dietary requirements. They do best on feed rations of 17%, but 16% will suffice. Anything less that this though, and you'll notice a decrease in egg quality and quantity. 

Elise's Top 6 Feeds For Layers

  1. Barastoc Champion Layer 16.5%, smaller pellet that bantams love
  2. Laucke Showbird Breeder (micro pellet)
  3. Barastoc Layer Mash (grain mash - feed wet)
  4. Red Hen Seventeen
  5. Country Heritage Layer Pellet - a beautiful organic feed
  6. Barastoc Golden Yolk 16% - the feed that many grower sheds (chicken farms) recommend 

How much grain does a chicken eat per day?

Bantam = 70 to 110g per bird per day

Isa Brown/Hyline Brown/Lohmann Brown = 110g per bird per day

Standard or Large Purebreed = 130g-180g per bird per day

These are a guide, and keep in mind that you may have a boss hen with an appetite of a Labrador, while others, no matter how much food you offer them stay sleek and slender!

The Secret To Getting Isa Browns To Lay Longer

Hybrid layer genetics are quite remarkable. 

They are bred and built to thrive on 111g of high quality pellets or grain ration per day, and weigh in at a slim 2kg, or 2.005kg to be exact! 

Having farmed Isa Browns, I'll always have a soft spot for them. And I still believe their personality makes them the number 1 choice for open range egg farms.

When on farm, they need constant access to feed. However, if you're keeping a small flock in a backyard, the trick a getting them to lay for longer is not to let them get fat. 

Megg Miller told a story of a farmer who was the owner of a 7 year old Isa Brown who he claimed still laid! This is quite remarkable, given that most hybrid hens severely decline in egg production after their second year of lay, and few live beyond 4 years of age.

The secret to this hen's production? She was fed well but not too much, foraged daily, and was a healthy weight, say 2kg.

Want to know more?

Join me for my next round of my online course, Natural Chicken Care - Healthy Happy Backyard Chickens. You'll go from Googling the answers to being confident in the care and health of your flock. 


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Elise - Chicken Coach - August 23, 2020

Hi Helen, sounds like it could be a layer mash? That means it’s been crushed and can be quite fine. I would suggest feeding it as a “porridge”, and adding a little water to it. Only feed what the hens will eat in a day. So 110g each should be about right for Lohmanns. Replace daily. That way they will get all of the goodness that’s in the finer powder and no wastage. If that doesn’t work for you and your feeder, I would suggest one of the feeds above. Best, Elise

HElen kIlmartin - August 23, 2020

I have Lohman chooks, really beautiful and laying well, I use layer feed from the commercial farm I got them from and ‘they’ say their feed is excellent and they make it their.. but as a lot of it is fairly fine and they flick quite a bit if it from the feeder. Happy for any suggestions
Thank you

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