Spotlight on...The Lohmann Brown Chicken
Size: Medium, 3.5-4.6 lbs.
Environment: Ideal for small areas, gardens, yards
Diet: Omnivorous; diet is typically primarily chicken feed
Temperament: Friendly, Adaptable
Egg Size & Color: Very Large, Brown
Laying Rate: Good — as many as 300 eggs per year
Life Expectancy: 10 years with about 2 years of good laying
Interesting facts: Developed in Germany, the Lohmann Brown Chicken were often used by commercial chicken farms thanks to their egg quality, production efficiency and adaptability. They often start egg production earlier than other chickens — 14 as opposed to 20-24 weeks.
Appearance: These chickens are not fancy. Their plumage is orange-brown with cream highlights. Medium in size, they have a long neck, typical comb, and short tail feathers.
Personality: Called the best of the backyard chickens by some urban farmers, Lohmann Browns are hardy, friendly and good layers. While the White Leghorn chicken puts out a comparable number of eggs per year and is number-one for large-scale commercial egg production in the United States, they tend to be nervous and flighty. Lohmann Brown raisers say they are docile, friendly, and easy to keep. They can be ideal for a home with children.
Common Health Problems: If you keep a closed flock (no additions of new birds, or use a quarantine period), you may not need to vaccinate your chickens. For humans, salmonella poisoning is a concern, so hand-washing is important after handling chickens or eggs. A big “health concern” for chickens is predators, even in the city. Threats include chicken hawks, foxes, weasels, owls, dogs, cats and raccoons. In line with this, chickens should be kept in a coop at night and provided covered area during daytime hours. Consider wood or concrete for the coop floor to protect young chickens from rodents. Make sure fences are secure — predators can sneak through very small holes.
Best Match: For first-timers, juvenile or adult chickens may be best. Chicks must live in a brooder for 4-6 weeks depending on outdoor weather. Check local ordinances as there is commonly a limit on flock size, and many areas prohibit roosters.
Suggested reading: A detailed guide to raising and keeping Lohmann Brown Chickens published by the original developer of the breed can be found at: www.hastavuk.com.tr/en/kitapciklar_en/0/brown.pdf.