chickens
chicken breeds I have kept
ISA brown
ISA Browns were the first commercial hybrid chicken that I kept.  Like all hybrids they are much better layers than the best pure breed layer varieties. 

The main disadvantage of ISA Brown chickens that I found was that they had a tendency to produce very large eggs. Some chicken breeds that lay large eggs are prone to becoming eggbound, which is when an egg gets stuck in the oviduct.  If not treated an eggbound hen usually dies within a few days.  I lost three eggbound ISA Brown chickens before realising what the problem was. 

For more information on eggbound hens simply type "eggbound hens" into Google and you will get any number of articles on the subject.

As far as I know ISA Browns are still available but these days I prefer other hybrid varieties such as Hy-line Brown or Lohmann Brown.


advantages/disadvantages summary

Internet stock photo of ISA Brown hens.
Photo of ISA Brown chickens courtesy of the internet.  I kept ISA Browns back in the days before digital cameras so I don't have any photos of my own ISA Browns chickens.

From memory my ISA Browns were a darker brown than the ones in this photo.
Advantages
  • Excellent layers.
  • Large eggs.
     
  • Good temperament.
     
  • Rarely go broody (good if you don't have a rooster).

Disadvantages
  • Tendency to be eggbound.
     
  • Rarely go broody (no good if you want hens to sit on fertile eggs)



PAGE UPDATED: 6th July, 2016