Backyard Chickens: The Best Feed to Buy For Healthy ISA Browns
Updated: 01 April 2021
ISA Browns make a lovely addition to your backyard chicken flock. They’re low maintenance, friendly and love a cuddle. The ISA Brown’s temperament makes them great for small children.
Plus, they’re eggceptional layers!
To keep your ladies laying lots of high-quality googs, you need to provide them with the nutrients they need to keep them fighting fit.
What do backyard chickens eat? Read my blog on the essential nutrients you should include in your backyard chickens’ diet.
Hybrid ISA Brown, Hyline Brown, and Lohmann Brown chickens are highly demanding ladies with high dietary requirements.
Aim for feed rations of 17%, but 16% will suffice. Anything less than this, though, and you'll notice a drop in your ISA Brown’s egg quality and quantity.
Elise's Top 6 Feeds For Layers
- Barastoc Champion Layer 16.5%, bantams love the small pellets
- Laucke Showbird Breeder (micro pellet)
- Barastoc Layer Mash (grain mash - feed wet)
- Red Hen Seventeen
- Country Heritage Layer Pellet - a beautiful organic feed
- Barastoc Golden Yolk 16% - the feed that many ISA Brown breeders recommend
How Much do Backyard Chickens Eat per Day?
Use the below quantities as a guide, and keep in mind that you may have a boss hen with the ravenous appetite of a Labrador. While others, no matter how much food you offer them stay sleek and slender!
How often should you feed backyard chickens? Feed your ISA Browns the following quantity of grain daily:
70 to 110g per bird
ISA Brown, Hyline Brown and Lohmann Brown
110g per bird
Standard or Large Purebreed
130g to 180g per bird
The Secret To Getting ISA Browns To Lay Longer
Hybrid layer genetics are pretty remarkable.
When you’re learning what to feed backyard chickens in Australia, you need to understand they thrive on 111g of high-quality pellets or grain ration per day, to maintain an ideal weight of 2 kg.
Having farmed ISA Browns, I'll always have a soft spot for them. Their personality makes them the number one choice for open range egg farms.
On the farm, your chickens are free ranging, so they need constant access to feed. However, if you're keeping a small flock in chicken coops in your backyard, the trick to getting them to lay for longer?
Don’t let them get fat!
Poultry egg-spert Megg Miller told a story of a farmer who owned a 7-year-old ISA Brown who still laid! This is quite remarkable, given that the egg production of most hybrid hens declines after their second year of lay. And few live beyond four years of age.
What’s the secret to this hen's egg-cellent production? She was well-fed but not over-fed, foraged daily, and maintained a healthy weight at around 2 kg.
If you want to know where to buy ISA Brown chickens, read my blog on finding healthy backyard chickens for sale in Australia.
Are you new to backyard chickens? Or want to get started with ISA Browns? Check out my video here:
Want your chickens to be the healthiest and happiest they can be? I offer backyard chicken workshops, online programs, phone coaching and in-person support to families, schools and free-range egg farmers.
Drop me a line - email@example.com, comment below or visit our Facebook page.
Elise McNamara, Chicken Consultant & Educator.