Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Aug 13, 2015
Our Isa Brown population started from a handful of pullets advertised for sale on the bulletin board in the “Farm Supply Centre.” We rang a few neighbors who had Isa Browns and discovered a loose network of enthusiasts. We built a hen house to the recommended specs – it turned out to be about 7 x 5 x 6 with a run about the same size. Although this was more than enough space for 5 birds, we soon had to duplicate it after a friend gave us a rooster.
These birds will lay an egg a day in the summer, and less in the winter. Some people use lights to extend the winter days and keep up production, they also discourage brooding (they're not a broody chook). We are not so intent on productivity, and focus rather on ways of cutting costs. Layer pellets are expensive but they’re hard to beat but we have come up with a few supplements. We cook our egg shells and mix up a mash of kitchen scraps and whatever else is available. I acquired 3 tonnes of sweepings from the local grain silos and put it in some old crates, I shovel it out on the ground and let them go through it. I also feed them boxes of lettuce leaves, thrown out by the local grocery store, they put them out the back for me to pick up.
Overall, they are worth the effort, prolific layers and not hard to maintain.