ISA Brown vs Lohmann Brown

ISA Brown vs Lohmann Brown

If you’re wondering what the differences are between ISA Brown vs Lohmann Brown chickens, there are some notable differences.

In short; ISA Browns are sex-linked chickens created by crossbreeding what is believed to be Rhode Island Reds, Rhode Island Whites, and some unknown genes/breeds. Lohmann Browns are known to be the result of crossbreeding Rhode Island lines with White Rock lines.

Both of these hybrids have been specifically bred to be prolific egg-laying chickens and are typically used in the egg farming and poultry industry.

They are also kept as backyard pets and offer some unique benefits to chicken keepers. If you’re looking to learn more about either of these hybrids, how they compare, and why you should or shouldn’t raise some yourself, read on…

ISA Brown vs Lohmann Brown Comparison Chart

 ISA BrownLohmann Brown
Ave Hen Weight4lb4.5lb
ColorBrown w/whiteBrown w/white
Comb TypeSingleSingle
Egg ColorBrownBrown
Egg SizeLarge-X LargeLarge-X Large
# Eggs/yr 1300-330300-320

What Are ISA Brown Chickens? A Closer Look at This Hybrid

ISA Brown chickens were first revealed back in the 70s. A French company called the Institut de Sélection Animale was behind ‘creating’ this hybrid, and they carefully manufactured them to be profitable egg-layers.

You may have just picked up on this, but this is why they‘re called ‘ISA’ Browns. ISA is an acronym for the company that created them.

Another interesting thing about ISAs is that only the company that created them (which has now been bought by another company called Merck & Co.) knows exactly which breeds and genes went into making this hybrid.

Typically, it’s made public which breeds make a hybrid, as you’ll see when I explain what Lohmann’s are. This has been kept secret with ISA Browns as they are so profitable for the company that produces them.

As a chicken, they’re designed to have a short lifespan and lay a lot of eggs. If you’re going to raise your own, be prepared that their life expectancy is only 2-3 years.

You will get a lot of eggs in that time though. ISA Browns lay in excess of 300 eggs in their first year, and are estimated to lay around 500 in total.

RelatedMore information on how many eggs ISA Browns lay.

What Are Lohmann Brown Chickens? A Closer Look at This Hybrid

Lohmann Browns were also created for the purpose of laying a lot of eggs and being a profitable asset for egg farmers.

They were created in Germany, and are the result of being crossbred selectively from lines of the Rhode Island breed and White Rock breeds.

You can understand why they used these two breeds. Rhode Island Reds are hardy backyard chickens and prolific layers. As are White Rocks, which are a variety of the Plymouth Rock.

They are early to mature and will start laying as soon as 19 weeks, and are capable of producing up to 320 eggs in their first full year of laying.

ISA Brown vs Lohmann Brown Temperaments and Characteristics

If you look at an ISA Brown then a Lohmann Brown, there’s no question they look similar. Side-by-side, however, there are some physical differences that tell these two chickens apart.

First of all, both chickens are a light brown to chestnut color with white tail feathers and some white markings on their wings. They also both have single combs and yellow legs.

The main difference I see when looking at both of these chickens side-by-side is that the Lohmann Brown is a little larger, slimmer, and the ones I’ve seen have more upright tail feathers.

Temperament-wise, they are both docile, friendly birds. This is what makes them such great backyard pets, as they tend to fit into existing flocks with ease.

The most obvious reason why you would raise either of these chickens is for their eggs. Both lay large, to extra-large, brown eggs. If you’re after an egg-laying chicken, you can’t go wrong with either of these.

RelatedA look at the differences between ISA Brown hens and roosters.

Where To Buy ISA Brown and Rhode Island Red Chicks, Chickens, Hatching Eggs

The best place to buy poultry online is Cackle Hatchery. They’re a family-run business based in Lebanon, MO. Cackle Hatchery is NPIP registered, they stock hundreds of breeds, and in my experience ship out pretty quickly.

Their staff are really knowledgeable and helpful, too. If you have any questions, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask them.

You can see what Cackle Hatchery has available for ISA Brown and Lohmann Brown chickens by clicking here.

In Summary

I hope I helped clear up the differences between ISA Brown and Lohmann Brown chickens. Both were created to be excellent egg layers and certainly come from similar gene pools, but they do have their own little nuances.

If you’re thinking about raising either of these, my advice is to go for it. They’re lovely birds, all those eggs are always going to be welcome, and you’ll have a load of fun along the way.

Interested in other chickens similar to ISA Browns? Check out:


Image credits – Header photos by Étienne Godiard and Monika Kubala on Unsplash

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