Brown Egg Layers are the most commonly raised breeds for egg production on small farms and in backyards in the United States. There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is the adaptability of many heritage breed brown egg layers in just about any climate or environment.
First of all, most of the higher producing brown egg layers are dual purpose, meaning that they can be raised for egg or meat production. While they will not grow as fast as a production variety or broiler breed and will not have as great of a feed to weight conversion ratio, they will grow large enough to produce a decently sized dressed bird of excellent meat quality.
Another leading factor for the popularity of brown egg layers is hardiness. Hardiness is the chickens natural ability to survive. This means thriving in a wide range of climates, whether they be prone to extreme heat and cold, and resisting disease and illness better than other varieties of birds. Many heavy brown egg layers will not only survive a harsh winter, but they will also continue to lay for you. Their production will most likely cut back from Spring and Summer quantities, but they will continue to lay.
Many brown egg layers are also excellent foragers, making them prime for free range poultry production. They will be healthier, happier, and eat less of your store bought chicken feed when allowed to spend a significant part of their day free ranging and foraging for natural nutrients.
Now that we have outlined some of the benefits of raising brown egg layers, take a look at some of our most popular varieties:
The Plymouth Rock is one of America's older and more popular brown egg layers in the United States, and the Barred color variation is by far the most common. Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens can be found on farms and in backyards in every corner of the country due to its exceptional egg laying capabilities and enduring hardiness. They do great in cold or hot climates, and they will continue to lay throughout the winter months during their prime laying years (1-3). They can be easily tamed, and their docile nature makes them great for families with children.
Rhode Island Red Chickens boasts the title of "America's most well known chicken breed". While once critically declining in population, hobby hatcheries and backyard farmers have revitalized this breed to incredibly healthy numbers across the country. With prolific brown egg production, incredible hardiness, and dressed weight worthy of any dinner table. The Rhode Island Red chicken breed has an amenable disposition and is a favorite among 4-H groups and fair shows. Their active disposition and hardy nature also make them choice birds for free range environments.
The Buff Orpington is known to be one of the more docile dual purpose chicken breeds, and they are commonly raised in backyard flocks by families with children who enjoy interacting and handling the birds. Orpington Chickens are well known for their hardiness and winter egg laying abilities. As a white skinned bird, Buff Orpingtons will also dress well, yielding a substantial amount of meat. While their pleasant demeanor makes them excellent backyard birds, they can be bullied when raised in mixed flocks with more aggressive breeds. Another trait that can be beneficial and a nuisance is their tendency to go broody. This is great if you like to hatch your own chicks, and you are looking for a hen to do the incubating for you. However, if you're strictly looking for egg layers, it can be a burden for a hen to go broody, halting egg production for an extended period of time in attempts to hatch a clutch of infertile eggs.
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Decided that Brown Egg Layers are right for you? Browse our entire selection of Brown Layers on eFowl.