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Are isa browns the best egg layers?

For backyard chicken keepers looking to maximize egg production, the Isa Brown is a popular choice. This productive hybrid chicken lays a bountiful supply of large, brown eggs. But are Isa Browns really the highest producing egg layers? Let’s take a closer look at their egg laying capabilities and how they compare to other prolific egg laying chicken breeds.

Egg Laying Abilities of Isa Browns

The Isa Brown is a hybrid chicken that was bred specifically for efficient egg production. They are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Rhode Island White hen. This breeding resulted in a productive layer that excels at converting feed into eggs.

On average, Isa Browns lay about 5-6 eggs per week or 250-300 eggs per year. They start laying eggs at about 16-18 weeks of age and reach peak production at around 28 weeks old. An Isa Brown in her prime may lay even more eggs, producing up to one egg per day.

The eggs themselves are a nice large size, weighing 55-65 grams on average. The shells are a uniform light brown color. Besides being good layers, Isa Browns are also friendly chickens that tend to be quite docile.

How Isa Browns Compare to Other Egg Laying Breeds

While Isa Browns are undeniably prolific egg layers, there are a few other chicken breeds that can give them a run for their money in the egg production department:


Leghorns, especially the White Leghorn, are often considered to be the egg laying champs. They lay about 280 eggs per year. Like Isa Browns, they start laying early at around 4-5 months old. Leghorns are light birds that efficiently convert their feed into eggs.


Australorps originate from Australia and were bred to handle hot climates and still produce eggs. On average, they lay about 250 light brown eggs per year. Not only are they good layers, but Australorps are friendly family birds with a calm temperament.


The Ancona breed earns its nickname as the “Mottled Egg Layer” for its spotted feathers and prolific egg capabilities. Anconas lay about 270 eggs per year on average. Their large white eggs are a favorite amongst egg farmers and backyard chicken keepers.

Black Sex Links

Black Sex Links are hybrid chickens developed for egg production. They lay about 300 extra large brown eggs per year. Though they are not actually a breed, Black Sex Links are favored for their egg laying prowess and hardiness.

Here is a data table comparing egg production of Isa Browns and other top egg laying breeds:

Breed Average Eggs Per Year
Isa Brown 250-300
Leghorn 280
Australorp 250
Ancona 270
Black Sex Link 300

Factors That Impact Egg Production

When evaluating how productive a hen is, there are some key factors that can affect her egg laying capabilities:


As the data shows, some chicken breeds are simply genetically better egg producers. Breeds like Leghorns, Australorps, and Isa Browns are all bred specifically for maximum egg laying.

Individual Hen

While breeds provide a good guideline, there can still be significant individual variation between hens. Some exceptional layers within a breed may outperform the average egg production. Monitoring each hen’s laying habits can help identify your star egg layers.


Younger hens tend to lay more eggs. As chickens age, their egg production gradually decreases. Isa Browns and other production breeds peak around 1.5-2 years of age then slowly decline in productivity.


Hot summer weather and cold winter temps can cause dips in egg production. The ideal laying temperature is between 65-75°F. Providing a climate controlled coop can help maximize eggs all year round.


A balanced diet rich in calcium and protein is essential for chickens to lay at their full potential. High quality layer feed, supplements, and treats can all help promote top egg production.


Increasing daylight exposure to 14-16 hours per day using artificial lighting tricks hens into laying more eggs year round. This mimics their natural springtime peak when daylight hours are longest.

Stress Factors

Stress from predators, overcrowding, molting, illness, or poor living conditions can all cause a decrease in egg production. Minimizing stress helps keep your flock happily laying.

Tips for Optimizing Egg Production of Isa Browns

To really get the most eggs out of your Isa Browns or any backyard flock, here are some tips:

  • Provide a balanced feed designed for laying hens, either a quality commercial feed or custom feed mix.
  • Supplement feed with calcium from oyster shell grit or crushed eggshells.
  • Offer fresh water at all times – chickens drink more when laying.
  • Let them forage and peck on a pasture or outdoor run to get micronutrients.
  • Keep their coop clean, dry, well ventilated, and free of pests or predators.
  • Insulate the coop and provide heat sources for cold weather egg production.
  • Install LED lights to artificially extend daylight hours.
  • Collect eggs frequently throughout the day.
  • Cull non-laying chickens from your flock.


When it comes to outstanding egg production, Isa Browns are definitely at the top of the pecking order. Their breeding makes them natural born egg layers able to produce up to 300 light brown eggs per year. However, breeds like Leghorns, Australorps, Anconas, and Black Sex Links can also compete for the title of best egg layer. By providing proper feed and housing for any productive breed of chicken, you can maximize their egg laying potential. With the Isa Brown’s prolific production and good nature, it’s easy to see why they are a favorite among backyard chicken enthusiasts looking to collect bountiful baskets of brown eggs from their flock.