Eggs are the main ingredients of hundreds of dishes. It seems that a kitchen aiming for mouth-watering meals can hardly run without enough eggs. However, you cannot be too sure of the source of your eggs nowadays.
To guarantee that only the healthiest eggs end up on your table, consider keeping egg-laying chickens, sometimes called layers. Besides the promise of an endless supply of eggs, you can sell some of the eggs for some healthy profits because there is always a market for them.
If egg-laying birds sound like a wise investment for you, it is crucial to pick the right chicken breed. Lohmann Brown chickens are among the best layers you can choose for your farm or small backyard chicken coop. Here are a few facts on this chicken breed to guide your venture.
Lohmann Brown Chicken History
The Lohmann Brown chicken is a crossbreed of the White Rock and Rhode Island Red chicken breeds. Both the Rhode Island Red and White Rock are hardy backyard chicken breeds comprising prolific layers. Mixing the two species was bound to get a chicken breed with high egg production.
The Lohmann Brown breed is among the oldest chicken hybrids that remain popular to date. Germany is believed to be the origin of Lohmann Brown chicken breeds. Here, the chicken breed was developed by a breeding company known as Lohmann Tierzucht that started in 1932. This explains its name, Lohmann, after the breeding company and Brown owing to its color.
There are four Lohmann Brown varieties, including the Lohmann Brown-lite, Lohmann brown-classic, Lohmann Brown-Plus, and Lohmann Brown-extra.
Lohmann Brown Chicken Characteristics
Several chicken breeds look like Lohmann Brown chickens, including the Hyline Brown and ISA brown. Therefore, it helps to know the characteristics that set the Lohmann Brown apart so that you are not fleeced into settling for an inferior egg-laying breed. Here are some features that define Lohmann Brown chicken.
– Size and Weight
The Lohmann Brown chicken breed is a medium-sized bird that, although not fancy, is very pretty. The bird has light brown body feathers with a reddish or cream tinge. In some cases, Lohmann Brown birds have dark or light feathers around their necks, wings, and tails. They also have yellow legs, long necks, short tail feathers, and single combs.
Lohmann Brown chickens have light bones, neat physiques, and dense plumages. Their small heads have round earrings and bright red crests. Adult egg-laying Lohmann Brown hens weigh 1.9-2.1 kg, while roosters weigh up to 3 kg at 20 weeks.
Though active, Lohmann Brown chickens are thankfully not aggressive. They rarely fight and will not divide or mark their territories. The birds can be easily hand-tamed, so they make perfect options for homes with kids and those looking for pets.
Their non-territorial natures also make them ideal for mixed flocks that are left to freely roam because you will not deal with constant fights that leave some birds injured.
Despite their docile natures, experts recommend keeping Lohmann Brown birds separate from other breeds because of their low weights, making them easy targets for bigger birds.
When investing in chicken for egg-laying, it is best to pick a breed with a long lifespan that guarantees you the highest benefits. The average lifespan of a Lohmann Brown chicken is 6-8 years, with some birds living for ten years.
This is an impressive timeframe because most egg-laying breeds live for only up to five years. To ensure your chickens live their full lifespan, pay attention to their genetics, diet, housing, and veterinary support.
– Egg Production
Lohmann Brown chickens are the classic choices for egg-laying because they produce 290-320 brown eggs annually in their first year of life. In the second year, egg productivity for your bird will decrease by about 15% and by 20% in the following years. Though older birds lay fewer eggs, the eggs increase in size as your chicken ages.
Lohmann Brown birds will start laying eggs at an early age of 21 weeks with an average weight of 1.7-1.9kg at this time. The eggs weigh 63-64 g with average hatchability levels of 80-83%. Peak egg laying is, however, achieved at 26-30 weeks.
The egg production period of one bird spans eighty weeks. If your birds have not less than fourteen hours of daylight, you can expect them to lay eggs daily, even in winter. Even so, do not expect any eggs when your chickens are molting.
– Meat Production
Though the Lohmann Brown chicken breed is not primarily kept for meat production, it still has a place on your table. The amount and quality of meat you will get depends on what you feed your bird.
For the best quality meat, including a high protein feed in your bird’s diet. This supports rapid growth. Forage is also crucial because it makes the meat taste better.
Lohmann Brown Chicken Care
To ensure you get all the benefits of raising Lohmann Brown chickens, pay attention to their care. Below are guidelines on the aspects of care on which you should focus.
– Feeding and Nutrition
The ideal diet for your Lohmann Brown chicken depends on its age. In general, layers are fed twice or thrice daily in addition to 20-30g of different supplemental foods given throughout the day. Overfeeding your bird carries a risk of overgrowing, which leaves your bird unable to move and reduces egg production.
When feeding adult Lohmann Brown chickens, exclude whole grains from the diet because these are poorly digested. Refined barley, oatmeal, sprouted wheat, sunflower seeds, millet, flax seeds, and corn are your ideal choices for the birds.
You can also settle for ready-made compound feeds given in amounts of 110-120g per day. Feed the chickens on wet mash in the afternoon and mornings with dry feeds at night.
Other than grains, include chopped root crops and vegetables to provide vitamins for your birds. Free-range Lohmann Brown chickens can get these on their own. If you have newborn chicks, feed them every two hours, even at night, on boiled yolk, boiled chopped nettle, and corn grits.
Week-old chicks are generally fed seven times daily. At three months, the chicks are fed on adult diets. Ensure your Lohmann Brown birds have enough water throughout by installing drinkers in different places and ensuring they are constantly replenished.
Lohmann Brown chickens will suit small areas because of their medium sizes. The birds are kept in open enclosures or cages on the floor. The ideal stocking density for these enclosures is 6-8 birds per square meter. The minimum size of your chicken coop with twenty birds is about ten square meters.
Throughout the laying period, your Lohmann Brown chicken is kept indoors. The room must be warm and ventilated, with the windows protected using a metal mesh. Spread some sawdust or straw on the floor of your chicken coop. Always monitor the straw or sawdust to ensure it is dry and clean.
Your hen house should have a lighting and heating system to maintain the air temperature at 18-22 degrees Celsius. Lohmann Brown chickens will not lay when temperatures fall below ten degrees Celsius. The lights should be placed two meters away from the floor and provide 13-14 hours of daylight in autumn or winter.
– Health Problems
Though Lohmann Brown birds have good immunity, poor nutrition and improper care predispose them to several conditions. The common conditions that affect the chickens include Ascariasis, Coccidiosis, and tuberculosis. Coccidiosis is an infectious disease affecting the stomach. It causes birds to lower their wings and become inexplicably lethargic.
A worm causes ascariasis. It makes your birds eat poorly and become lethargic. Tuberculosis causes Lohmann Brown chickens to eat poorly, fall to their feet and move little. Sick birds diagnosed with tuberculosis should be isolated and killed.
Lohmann Brown Chicken Breeding
You cannot get Lohmann Brown chickens from the eggs laid by domestic hens. You need to buy day-old chicks or hatching eggs from producers for breeding. To incubate your chickens at home, you need an incubator that plays the role of the brood hen. Fresh, clean eggs will be laid in this incubator with their blunt ends facing up.
The incubator is warmed to 36-38 degrees Celsius before the eggs are placed in it. Turn the incubated eggs from time to time and put a water container in the incubator to maintain humidity. Lohmann Brown chicks will hatch on the twenty-first day.
Thankfully, Lohmann Brown chicks have high survival rates. Healthy chicks gain weight, eat well, and are active. If you leave your chicks cold and on wet or dirty bedding, this predisposes them to diseases because they weaken their bodies. Sick Lohmann Brown chicks should be medicated and isolated to avoid infecting your healthy ones.
Lohmann Brown chickens have high egg productivity levels and are renowned for the excellent quality of the eggs. Moreover, their care and maintenance are easier than most layer breeds.
Therefore, these are among the best choices for anyone looking for a hassle-free way of egg production. With the above information, you are well-versed on what to expect when rearing these chickens and can better prepare your property for them.Chickens