Hi Broken Bird, I'm interested in your comment:
Isa Brown, actually do not exist in a pure form now, they have been superseded with the Hi Line and Hi Sex, or maybe a new breed by now.
How long ago were they superseded? Up here in FNQ there are 2 chicken dealers which don't breed their own chicks but have them flown up from Brisbane. Both dealers get them from the same breeder in Brisbane. We bought 4 Isa Browns from one of these dealers. We got them at 8 weeks old which makes them exactly 3 years old at the start of March. They did the thing you mention, where by the eggs start off dark and get lighter as the time progresses. These dealers are still advertising as having Isa Browns for sale, and I have spoken to them and they confirm they can still get Isa Browns (the same as the ones I bought 3 years ago). Do you think they are just calling them Isa's because most people know the name?
On another note, we are down to 3 Isa's due to a snake at christmas, but out of the 3 left, we still are getting on average a dozen eggs a week. When they were in their 1st year of laying out of the 4 we were getting around 2 - 2.5 dozen, which pretty much carried through their second year as well. I think they are doing quite well at laying. Also interesting, it is a struggle to keep them fully feathered when they were in their 1st and 2nd year (around their bum and neck) as all the protien must go into egg production. Now that they are 3 all their feathers are back. Just thought you may be interested.
Hi csteddy, I hope my Isa's are still laying at 8 years (if they make it that old). They do seem quite hardy birds I have never had a problem with them (touch wood).
Although I am now moving towards pure poultry, I still find it interesting to learn about the Hybrid layers.